Sunday, 8 November 2015

Remembrance Sunday and a ride to the Tatsfield Bus Stop with Andy...

Sunday was a far better day than Saturday (see previous post). There was no rain, but as Andy and I approached Botley Hill en route to the Tatsfield bus stop, there was fog, and while it looked rather spooky at times, it wasn't, and when we parked up the bikes and brought out the chocolate BelVita biscuits it was virtually non-existent.

Earlier, as I pedalled up Church Way – feeling a little weary it has to be said – I noticed something for the first time that's probably been there for years. In the churchyard at the top of the hill there was a flag pole flying the Union Jack. It's no big deal, I know, but there you have it; I don't recall ever seeing it before. And then, of course, it all clicked into place – it was Remembrance Sunday. Perhaps it flies every year at this time and I've simply never noticed it.

Bare trees at the green mean winter is on its way...
I pushed on towards Warlingham and when I reached the green I spied bare trees, but no sign of Andy. While winter had arrived, it was still very mild and after yesterday's rain, my gloves were still soaked through when I went to put them on this morning. Fortunately, the air was warm enough for me to leave them behind.

Checking my iphone I found a text from Andy. He'd picked up a puncture at Whyteleafe – broken glass on the road – but he was on his way and arrived around 0745hrs.

The ride to the bus stop was uneventful and when we got there we chilled out with tea and the aforementioned chocolate BelVita biscuits. They're like CoCo Pops in biscuit form – wonderful. And if, like me, you manage to drop half a biscuit in your tea, then you'll know that, in a sense, you get the feeling you're drinking chocolate-flavoured tea. Well, not quite, but let's move on.

We chatted about 'old times' and our early pre-blog rides to Westerham when we seemed to arrive there when it was still dark. This had a lot to do with meeting at 0700hrs at the top of Slines Oak Road, which is a good 15 minutes or so further on from the green. We spoke about walking to Oxted with flat tyres in the days prior to fixing punctures by the roadside (what were we thinking?) and we wondered why we no longer have the time to enjoy longer rides.

Home from home – the Tatsfield bus stop
We reminisced about a ride in April 2011 when we rode out later in the day with Andy's pal Richard and enjoyed a few pints of Harvey's Nuptial Ale (brewed to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton). Although I hasten to add that WE weren't celebrating the Royal Wedding. We were celebrating the fact that we were in the Bricklayers Arms, opposite Longford Lake in Kent, enjoying the beer and the good weather. Click here for the full story!

There were plenty of Lycra monkeys on the road. I'd never seen so many and put it down to the mild weather. Long streams of them rode south on the 269 as we headed home and might have been part of an organised ride. There were bright purple signs nailed to poles along the road indicating two alternatives for riders: left for 'fun' and right for 'all other routes' – or words to that effect.

We parted company half way along the 269 as usual and vowed to ride again next week. Ahead of me another day of lolling around doing very little, followed by a drive to Lindfield where a Remembrance Day event was taking place.

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