Sunday, 20 March 2016

Down and out at the Tatsfield Bus Stop...

There are two 'slow ways' to the Tatsfield Bus Stop. Two slow ways to the churchyard and the village and, if you like, two slow ways to anywhere. In the case of our regular cycling, there's a choice of turning left off of the 269 or right. Normally, we opt for the former and wind our way around the country lanes, down Hesiers Hill and then up Beddlestead Lane – a long, torturous incline – until we emerge on Clarks Lane.

Down and out at the Tatsfield Bus Stop? Not really. Just pretending to be asleep. We needed a different image.
To go the 'other slow way' we turn right on to Slines Oak Road and follow the route we normally take to Godstone Green, a route far less travelled mainly because of gear problems that persist to this day (and still need fixing). In fact, the last time we rode through leafy Woldingham and the golf course was about a year ago. I remember it clearly because it was snowing and I took a load of photos. We stopped, if I recall, at the car park halfway along the Ridge. See Twats of the Antarctic.

So Andy suggested turning right off the 269 and we sailed down Slines Oak Road, hung a left and then a right across a patch of 'off road' track, which was full of mud and puddles, and through Woldingham, a place that's jam-packed with well-heeled people who are a little exposed during the winter months by the bare trees, which give passers-by – especially cyclists – a good view of huge gardens with massive houses and gatehouses and loads of space.

The weather was fine, although there were signs that there might have been overnight rain – wet roads here and there. It was certainly not cold, even if it was still 'gloves' weather. The gloves stay on until at least May.

Normally I find this particular ride hard going – normally when we reach the golf course I start moaning – but not today. I did remark to Andy as we turned left on to the Ridge that it was a tougher ride that the other slow way. He agreed and we continued along the Ridge, past some huge houses, including Al Fayed's mansion. Is he still living there? I don't know, possibly not, but just past his gaff there's a short incline and then it's pretty smooth all the way to the bus stop. By the way, when I said I normally moan as I go through the golf course, I don't mean that I really moan, in a whingeing, irritating manner; I merely mention that it's not my favourite part of the ride. I thought I'd mention that in case you all thought I was a pain in the arse. I'm not, although Andy might beg to differ.

So we were headed towards the bus stop and all was good with the world. The weather was holding out and it was soon time for tea and biscuits. There were Lycra Monkeys around, quite a lot them, shouting 'Gravel!' and 'Car!' whenever the fancy took them; and Andy and I were just sitting there chatting – about pensions. Yeah, you heard correctly. We were talking like Lycra monkeys.What is it with some of the monkeys? They've taken to wearing luminous over shoes and matching gloves. Why? Well it's quite obvious, innit? Visibility.

"Why don't they just buy some lights?" asked Andy as we headed towards Botley Hill.

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