Sunday, 19 July 2015

To Botley Hill (eventually)

It was approaching 0600hrs and I was awake, looking at the digital read-out of the clock and awaiting Something Understood on Radio Four, not that I had any intention of listening to it, I rarely do as 0600hrs means getting up and going for a ride. It was Sunday morning. But then I heard the phone vibrate and I figured it was Andy aborting the ride. In a way it was just that, but not quite.

"What do you think?" said Andy's text.
"Murky. Meet at 8? Looks like rain, though," I wrote back, adding, "It's raining. I think abort, sadly."
"Ok. See you next weekend," said Andy.
"Ok," said I and then, some time later after resigning myself to no cycling – rain was hitting the birdbath, which in my book means 'no cycling' – I looked outside and noticed brighter weather and a calm birdbath. "Brighter here," I texted Andy.
"See you about 8. Quick one to Botley roundabout," replied Andy.
"Ok, will leave here 0730 unless there's another downpour," I said.

Andy and yours truly just past Botley Hill, Sunday 19th July 2015
The weather really brightened up and for that alone I was grateful. While yesterday's blue skies had gone, there was a mixture of blue sky and light cloud this morning as I rode towards Warlingham Green. There was also a lovely fresh smell of rain in the air, which made it a fantastic morning.

I'd forgotten all about Andy's 40-miler last weekend, but remembered when I reached the green and asked him how it went. Fine, he said, although there were plenty of hills and, of course, plenty of middle-aged men in Lycra (Mamils). Not good, but Andy did it with his pal Richard and it was all done and dusted by 2pm.

We headed off in the usual direction for a short ride to Botley Hill, stopping on the mini roundabout where Andy checked out the flora and fauna, wondering if he'd stumbled upon some hogweed. Nasty stuff hogweed, according to Andy. "It can cause third degree burns," he said, trying to describe what hogweed looks like.

"I might have some in my back garden," I told him.
"You can be fined, you know," he replied.
"Oh," said I resolving to check out two huge weeds that had sprung up over recent weeks. Better remember to wear the old gauntlets, I thought, as we sipped tea and munched on our BelVita biscuits (chocolate chip with, apparently, apricot). You simply can't beat a BelVita biscuit.

Andy had a busy day ahead of him doing all the stuff he hadn't done yesterday so we took the photograph accompanying this post and headed for home, Andy saying goodbye yards from where we had stopped and riding off along The Ridge towards home. I carried on down the 269 towards Warlingham and then Sanderstead, enjoying the wonderful weather, which is still fantastic as I write this at 1025, breakfast eaten and ready for a drive over to Wisley.

In total this week I've cycled around 26 miles and I suppose I could have done better. I feel a trip to Westerham next week is on the cards, but let's see what the weather looks like.

I'd better check out that potential hogweed in the garden...and I can now report that it's not hogweed.

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