A gorgeous day, way to good to be sat in doors moping around, waiting for work to begin in September! Today is a day to get out there on bikes and ride! Ok, so it's not going to be a mega ride to the seaside, not just yet anyway, but a ride is a ride, and this one we have planned to do to the countryside.
Bims (Nagging Sisters new 'Old' nickname) and I decided that although London is lovely, it's a flat route, traffic free, until London that is, and that what we needed was some hills! Yup that's right I said hills. I hate hills, but I know that to get over them (pun intended) I need to do some work on them. I really wasn't looking forward to riding up them, after last Saturdays disastrous attempt at one of the Old Boys routes that he wanted to try, I felt a little apprehensive.
So we chose our route carefully, starting off with the not so hilly of our hilly routes, and that's down to Eynsford via Shoreham. This is just such a beautiful ride, well, riding through Shoreham and Eynsford is, the roads are a lot to be desired. The A21, for instance. We cut some of that off by going through the housing estates and joining the A21 from Tuppington Lane, and then cycling up to the garage where we crossed over to cycle along the cycle path to Knockholt Station, using the trees to block our view of the dreaded road.
For some reason that little bit of road seamed a lot easier than cycling along with the traffic to the turnoff! Strange. We were making good time for a couple of old girls out for a leisurely cycle ride and we got to to roundabout in under 50 minutes, quite good for me and bims! We took the 2nd of the exits towards Shoreham, a nice little country road, hardly any traffic on these roads and of course that lovely little stream to look at. But before you get there we have a couple of smaller hills, to deal with and downhills of course, but there is one particular hill, just by the farm that I seem to fly up with hardly any effort at all. Every time I do this route, this hill surprises me. I try and think what I have done differently, to see if I was in the right gear, ready for the next hill. But nothing is out of the ordinary, only the fact that this particular hill is an easy hill! Strange!
We cycled through Shoreham and then face that nasty little hill to take us to the main road heading for Eynsford. Again the cussing started, and not just from me! "Who's idea was it to come here?" Bims said, "A couple of stupid old girls who think they are fit decided that it would be a good idea" I called back to her as I puffed and pushed and panted and cussed my way to the top!
It was a great relief to get to the top of that hill! We turned left and made our way up, yes up, to Eynsford. Thankfully those hills are not steep, they are just long. We made good progress to our lunch stop, The Plough at Eynsford, a nice grilled chicken fillet and salad for me, and two entrees for Bims, (she didn't like the mains, and being a veggie she is very particular!)
We sat and chatted and enjoyed our lunch, neither of us in a rush to get moving again, after all, this is a pleasure ride, albeit with those darn hills. Which by the way we faced more or less as soon as we left the pub! Foo Kin Hill to be exact, proper name being Crockenhill Lane!
As soon as I was on hill I could feel the burn in my legs! That's the only problem about stopping for lunch is the whole getting started again! Especially when the getting started thing has a hill as your first road! But we did it, and in fact we were quite surprised at just how quickly we 'ate up' the hill. It didn't seem as bad as it was when we first tried it! So, I guess doing hill work really does work!
But our hills didn't stop there! Oh no. we decided to have a refreshment stop in Chislehurst, the Tigers Head, which means going up the ramp! And if that isn't enough hills for the day, then once we got to the top of that we still had to ride up to Chislehurst to get to the pub!
After we had put the world to rights over our refreshment, and tried to recruit some other ladies to the cycling world we made our home. Now from here we could turn right and ride home through Petts Wood, which would leave Bims that little bit further from her home, or we could turn left and taking in the very last of the hills, that hill that always gets gasps from the PWR's everytime a group leaders mentions it, SUMMER HILL! Guess we way we chose! Yup Summer hill! What's one more hill eh?!