Hello blog lovers,
Well the jubilee celebration have been rained on but that didn't stop the parties from happening. Yesterday I was dancing in the street in my raincoat to a band covered over by a gazebo with the speakers and amps in plastic bags! We are British and we will celebrate!
I am afraid I am a bit of a fair weather cyclists. I am not so bad that I don't go out in the winter, and I don't rush for cover if the rain starts while I am out riding. But the whole getting ready while the rain is coming down, well, that's a different kettle of fish.
But this morning, the sun was shining. We even set our alarm to get up early, because the forecast did say it will rain in the afternoon. We wanted to do a fairly long ride today,30 miles was the number of miles mentioned, and it seems the only time that will happen this jubilee time will be early morning!
So we were up at 7 (ok,it might not be early for some of you guys, but on a bank holiday, this is bloomin early) We had our porridge and a cuppa. The Old Boy did vaguely tell me last night the route that will be taking, but for some reason, when he mentioned Ide Hill I seemed to have glazed over and can't remember where he said. I knew we were heading for Halstead, so that's where I focused on when we were all set and out on the road.
We went through the ally way, I must remember not to come this way, it's just full of dogs crap! And really, it is only for pedestrians! Then straight on to the A21 and up towards Halstead. Fairly standard so far. But not as fast as I did it a few weeks ago! We reached the roundabout in about 43 minutes, five minutes later that my pb for this point! Oh well. It's not a race, I have another 23 miles to ride today, so I won't go too mad. Plus the route the OB mentioned last night was slowly filtering through, huge hills, and "You can swear all you like at me, I will forgive you" statement, from the OB. Which can only mean one thing. There is going to be one hell of a hill to climb!
The hill in question is Sundridge hill! I remember trying to ride up this one last year! It was horrendous! I must have stopped about five times and gave up and walked up it, with the Old boy giving plenty of "Get on and peddle up" Yeah right. But that was back then, and this is now! I am stronger, I am fitter, I am inches smaller (that's from my arms, bust, waist, legs and knees by the way, not in height) I should be able to at least 'give it a good go!
After the lovely long ride down the hill, my thoughts were on the next section. I know this is going to hurt! I tried my hardest. I had to stop just as we started up it, to take off my 'sauna jacket' This hill is really going to hurt! So now, head down and just get through it as best as I can. It was hard, it was bloomin hard! And it HURT. I managed only about 3 quarters of the way before I had to yell out to the OB that I was going to stop! "No, keep going, we are nearly at the top" he yelled back. I peddled on for just a tad more before I thought enough is enough! I pulled into someones drive and just caught my breath. Yes I was disappointed in myself, but when I think about how far I have come since the last time I attempted this hill, then, actually, its not that bad!
After a few minutes I was back on my bike and continuing on the upward direction, wondering "Just how flipping long is this hill!" Then I saw it, the view that put a smile on my face on the last visit here!. It means the top of the hill, and the loo! this is the view.
After the loo stop the Old Boy mentioned a coffee but we continued on our way. I was thinking we were going down the hill on right, but we were actually turning left and going up more hills! I know he said hill training, but flipping Nora!! Is he trying to kill me off!
We are going to Otford, I can recall him saying that, in my hazy thoughts as I looked up the hill, then on to Shoreham. Now there is a couple of lovely pubs in Shoreham! It may be a tad early for the pubs! But there is a tea room just by the station. Maybe that is where we will grab a cuppa at least!
It's all down hill from here, at least till Otford, then there is that nasty little blighter of a hill that catches you out! I made this hill, in fact I made all other hills, but I am jumping ahead (yes there is still more to read!)
We arrived at Shoreham to find that the tea room was closed! I suppose being as its the jubilee bank holiday, they can be forgiven! By now, however, I was getting desperate for a cuppa, after tackling that huge hill, and over twenty miles into our ride, and still another ten miles or so to cover, I was looking for some refreshment!
Onwards then to Eynsford, lets see what they have to offer! Nothing! The pub/restaurant was not quite opened! Oh no! We had a small break here, looking at the fish in the little river, then continued our journey, homeward bound now. The weather kept on threatening to rain, but so far it has been very kind to us! Lets hope it stays that way till we get home.
I only know one way home from here, and that's up 'Foo king' hill! Do I not like hills! And still no cup of tea or coffee, just a swig of water from the now dusty water bottle on the bike! Off up the hill! I wasn't looking forward to it, I didn't even know if I could manage the whole of the hill or if I would stop and take a breather!
"Put your head down, Old Girl" I said to myself, "and just do your best" I didn't stop! I peddled on and on, until the OB said "Hang on a bit" just as we got to the bridge over the M25. We wanted to watch a hawk hovering, looking for his breakfast! I knew how it felt. The porridge I had earlier had certainly been burned up by now. Our official stop though was going to be the Tigers Head in Chislehurst! just a mere 35 miles after we set out!
When we reached the Tigers head we were still too early, it was only 11:50 a.m. We had 10 minutes before the pub opened! But we sat in the garden and waited! Then, A lovely thick juicy burger and a pint of lager! Rewards come to those who wait!
Suitable refreshed and stuffed we headed on home. A nice round 40 miles today! But wait! "Do you fancy another pint down at the George" Says the Old Boy. "Before I realised what I was saying I had agreed. so another 8 miles later, and an extra pint of beer inside us we finally made it home! 45.17 miles.
Just as we were putting our bikes away the rain started! And looking out side now, it is still raining! Some fours hours later! A good day, a hard day, and the last day of our jubilee celebrations!