Monday, 28 December 2015

The day after the day after Boxing Day...

While the day after Boxing Day was wet, the day after the day after Boxing Day – a further dilution of the Christmas spirit – was wonderful. The roads were dry and the sky was simply amazing, as you can see by examining the photograph accompanying this post.

Ellenbridge Road around 0735hrs, 28th December 2015
I was out of milk. It meant buying one of those huge plastic jerry cans of the stuff from the Co-op and then humping it all the way to the Tatsfield Bus Stop along with the already cumbersome flask of hot water. To be honest, it didn't feel any different, although I felt my riding was sluggish due to a late night. Not late in the sense of being out on the razz or indulging in party excess, just chatting in bed until 0013hrs.

Leaving the house mildly late at around 0735hrs I headed for the green where I met Andy and we rode to the Tatsfield Bus Stop (now our regular destination). I've resolved to get back to riding to Westerham in the New Year, but seeing is believing as the reason for our adherence to the Tatsfield Bus Stop is time and convenience.

At the bus stop we had tea and BelVita biscuits – our staple cycling diet – and, among other things, chatted about the differences between the cars we drove 'in our youth' and the cars of modern times. Today's cars, for instance, don't have 'chokes' or doors that lock individually using a key or that laborious process of pushing down the locks on all the doors from the inside before the driver leaves the vehicle and locks his own door. Yes, folks, these were the days when it was possible to lock yourself out of your car, having left the keys inside!

There are many things you no longer see on 'new' cars: metal bumpers, cassette recorders, push-button radios, big steering wheels (to compensate, perhaps, for the lack of power steering) and I'd like to say 'the list is endless', but I'm sitting here trying to remember all the things we mentioned as we sat at the Tatsfield Bus Stop in the continuing mild weather.

We also discussed our once heroic idea of riding all the big hills in the area: Succombs, Titsey, White Lane, the hill leading to Knockholt and, of course, Westerham's hill – the one that ruins the ride when it suddenly dawns on us that we have to deal with it. One day we should incorporate all the big hills in one ride, we agreed, but something tells me it won't be happening, not for a while at least as we're firmly committed to the good old Tatsfield Bus Stop.

Andy and I parted at Warlingham Green vowing to be back on Saturday, the day after New Year's Day for what would be the first ride of the year.

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