Saturday, 23 April 2011

A Storm Chasing Pleasure Bike Ride! (?)

Hello blog lovers.

Today me and the Old Boy went for our longest bike ride so far! It was going to be a nice leisurely paced ride, to our lunch date, and the then back home via a slightly different route. Our destination was Penshurst, lunch at the Leicester Arms, and the a leisurely ride back. Or so i thought!

The Old Boy did warn me that it was going to be quite a hard slog to get up the hills on the way there, but once at the top, it will be all down hill for quite some time to Penshurst. And believe me it was a hard hard slog up hill.

But, give the Old Boy his dues, it was a very pleasurable ride after we rode up SUNDRIDGE HILL. My mad keen cyclist friend did actually put me off trying this route way back in January or February when we thought about doing it, and now I know why! It was horrendous! And I did stop on this route, much to the Old Boys disgust. "I thought you were a cyclist?" he was saying, and he was tutting as he was riding next to me. So infuriating!

but here is a picture of me at the top of the hill, pointing to a place where we will be heading, you will not its all down hill!

But I will keep this short and then you can all look at the geeky stats to see where I had slowed down and stuff, and then check out the elevations to know why I was going so slow! Any way, we got to our lunch date, and when I looked at the menu sausage and mash just jumped right out at me, and I thought, "Oh yes, that's for me" So I let the Old Boy order our food, while I went and got us a table outside in the sun.

Lunch came out, my sausage and mash, and the Old Boys salad, looking very tasty indeed, and I am thinking that maybe I should have went for the healthy touch too, mmmm, but still, I ate most of my lunch, and the Old Boy had his Mediterranean salad.....with chips!

I really did wish I went for the healthy touch! Sausage and mash was laying heavy on my tummy! but I know that it will hold me in good stead, because we now have the journey home! And there is still a hill similar to the one that we rode up this morning to deal with!

As we were on route the Old Boy did change it slightly and decided not to go into Tonbridge, only to go out again. But the path that he chose was a footpath that went across the weald. It was, shall we say an experience! It was a very thin, off the beaton track path, that took us through some lovely bluebell woods. But obviously it really wasn't meant for cyclists. The gates were not even people friendly, let alone people with bikes! It was just so lovely though, and seeing some very curious cows just made me laugh, He is the picture of these curious cows, and no, it' is not a 'wheres wally type of picture, I am the only one wearing a cycle helmet!

So, as I am trying to keep this short, the hill, the monstrous monotonous hill was soon upon us. The 30 miles that I had already done, and the sausage and mash lunch, was really telling! The Old Boy going on and on about picking up the pace. I had to give up and walk some of the way. It was just too much for me. Then he starts going on about how I am not going to get to Brighton! Well, by then I had had just about enough. I got angry, screaming at the hill, telling the Old Boy that I would get to Brighton, no matter what!!! I will make it. It was horrible. I was not enjoying this part of the ride at all.

The Old Boy said "Look, only another quarter of a mile, are you going to ride it or walk it" I just screamed at loud as I attacked the hill. Tears were prickling my eyes, I was fed up, I was angry, and I was glad the Old Boy was behind me and cant see my face and the tears which were threaten to fall.

Finally done it. We got to the top, and I did cycle the last quoter of a mile. But I was spitting feathers by this time and I had run out of water on the way to Penshurst! But I did have a blackcurrent juice in my backpack, which I swilled back in about five seconds!

A bit further on we stopped at a local supermarket and grabbed a bottle of water each and a chocolate icecream.

Only eight miles to go before we get to Eynesford, and then we can have a pint of lager before continuing our Journey home. But as we started on a way, the weather changed. It dropped in temperature, (which I was quite pleased about) but the sky darkened and it became quite muggy! We got to the Pub and it really as quite a dramatic sky and the storm was building up.

After our pint at Eynesford, listening the thunder and watching the fork lightening in the distance we decided that we have a chase on our hands, and try and see if we can get back before it got to us. Here is a couple of pictures of the storm 'brewing'

We were just getting to Orpington when the rain started! Just two more miles and we would have made it home. We sheltered under a tree, at the beginning of Poverest Road, but then we decided, lets just go for it. We are wet anyway, lets see who will look the wettest when we get home!!

Dirty, wet and thoroughly pleased with myself that I rode to Penshurst, and back again, we got in and had a very well earned cup of tea!

Geek stats for you.

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