It's rare to wake up raring to go on a ride – the alternative being to lie in bed listening to Radio 4 – but it does happen, especially when the weather's fine or I've had a good night's sleep, but Saturday was not one of those days. I'd had a reasonable night's sleep, but it was gloomy outside and I couldn't quite work out if it was raining or not, although I figured that, at 0600hrs, there was around an hour to go before any kind of 'abort' decision had to be made.
I put the kettle on and ate a banana. When I switched on the mobile I had messages from Phil. First, he was going on the ride, but secondly, he said, it was raining but the weather forecasters said it would stop by 0800hrs. I peered outside, saw that it was raining – a fine drizzle – and texted back saying something like I'd check with Andy. Phil added that he had bacon sandwiches on the go and this, of course, swayed Andy who said, simply, "I'm on my way!"
I was in two minds. While very fine, almost non-existent drizzle, there was still rain and that meant it could get heavier and we'd all get soaked, but with Andy now racing towards to the green to enjoy Phil's bacon sandwiches and Phil outside the house on his bike, there was nothing for it other than to ride out. Had I been greeted with a puncture I might have gone back indoors and put my feet up, but with Phil raring to go – he'd earlier taken flight without me, under the impression that I wasn't going, but I called out to him from my front door step in the nick of time and he came back – it was time to get out there and ride the bike.
Soon we were on our way, heading along Ellenbridge Road in what was reasonably good weather. It was warm, put it that way, and the mild drizzle was easy enough to contend with. When we reached the green Andy was there so we headed straight off having agreed that the safest bet was the Tatsfield Bus Stop (our only destination offering cover).
As the ride progressed, so did the rain and by the time we reached Botley Hill it could no longer be classified as drizzle. There was also a thickish fog that got thicker as we made the turn, heading east along Clarks Lane and getting closer to our destination.
I really ought to get some mudguards fitted. My arse was so wet by the time I reached the bus stop that I had to stand up rather than experience the discomfort of sitting down on a slatted wooden bench in wet trousers. So I stood there, eating first my BelVita biscuits and then my bacon sarnie chatting about God knows what, small talk basically. Andy said he'd signed up for the Reigate Rouleur bike ride on 12th July – the 50-miler. Phil asked whether we preferred bacon to sausage sandwiches (or vice versa) and we all agreed that sausages were best.
As we sheltered from the rain it got heavier and so did the fog. We lingered a while longer in the hope that the rain would stop and it did so we embarked upon the return journey west along Clarks Lane and then north on the B269, parting company with Andy and Warlingham Green and vowing to meet Sunday morning for more of the same. But there would be no more cycling.
Sunday morning was like Saturday but more advanced in the sense that by 0700hrs it was raining properly. Phil had already aborted – as I switched on my phone his text flashed up on the screen. I texted Andy saying 'let's see what it's like at 0700hrs' but in truth it was heavier so we eventually aborted.
Outside as I write this it's cloudy but still and it's a little chilly (I'm wearing a jumper in the house). It's basically a boring Sunday afternoon and I'm feeling a little despondent, but nothing a walk around the block won't cure.