Saturday, 23 January 2016

Ride aborted prior to reaching the green

As crazy days go, you don't get much crazier. Perhaps craziness has nothing to do with it. Perhaps it's just, I don't know, fate, the luck of the draw, a bad day. But either way it wasn't good. Phil had overslept as when I stepped outside into the dark, mild, morning air around 0700hrs there was no sign of him. But then he appeared. He'd overslept and hadn't made any of his signature sausage sandwiches, but it didn't matter – he'd bought cake.

There was a chance that a guy from Phil's office would join us on the ride and probably meet us on the green. But it all went to pot. My bike started to wobble about a quarter mile away and it was terminal; and what's more I'd left all my puncture repair stuff in the garage. Things weren't looking good.
Limpsfield Road around 0745hrs, Saturday 23 January 2016

Andy could have helped, until I realised that the puncture was underneath the leech already on the inner tube. I'd need a new one so we aborted the ride and because I had yet to buy the milk (we'd run out at home) we didn't even eat the cake!

I walked back along the Limpsfield Road – that's a posh name for the 269 – listening to the familiar squeak of a deflated rear tyre, until Phil arrived in the Volvo to pick me up and we drove back home. He lives across the street.

Later I walked to the nearest bike shop, chewed the fat with the sales guy, checked out some of the bikes and then bought an inner tube. As I returned home a black cat crossed my path and I had to wrack my brains about that: was it good or bad luck? I'd just have to be careful all day. Then Phil texted to say he accidentally smashed up a set of crystal wine glasses; and then I found a mirror balanced precariously on the window sill of a back bedroom.

I fixed the puncture, had lunch (soup and bread) and then drove to Sevenoaks in Kent. There's a big stately home near there called Knole. It's surrounded by desolate fields and woods and bare trees and populated with walkers and a few runners. We walked for over 50 minutes, just me, my wife and daughter, and then we came home. Tomorrow, as they say, is another day. Andy's on for a ride so if the weather holds it'll be okay.

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