Well this time last year me and the Old Boy started the ball rolling on the ole married life road! 28 years ago we were saying vows, in front of our family, and then having a party to celebrate! So how do we celebrate this occasion! With a mega bike ride of course!
45 miles, of pleasurable bike riding, well,thats what the Old Boy calls today's bike ride! He told me he kept some of the really big hills out of todays ride. Well I am so glad he did! Because even on some of the hills that we couldn't avoid I was having walk up! It was supposed to be a fun ride today after all! I am having a jolly fun bike ride, I will not be swearing my head off as I try to go up hills. If I can't get up them then I will walk! Simples!
Out route is going through Fickleshole again. And we are going to be riding the route that he did last Saturday, only in the opposite direction. Which, he says is mainly down hill! Well that only says to me that it really is going to be a lovely enjoyable time. Not only that, he has promised me lunch somewhere on route!
We were going to be starting out at 8 this morning, a lay in seemed more important to us though. We eventually got out about twenty to eleven! Plenty of time to get in 50 miles, before a lovely curry this evening to finish off our celebrations! I think even our big son will be joining us.
Well back to the ride. The ride to Fickleshole is an uphill part of the route! I know, because I have done it before! Twice! Only this time we are not stopping, we are flying on past here and then heading for Walingham. I have never heard of this place before! The Old Boy has, he came through here on his solo ride. He also tried to take me up that way the last time we went to Fickleshole! I wished I had listened to him, as from where we were when he suggested it, I am sure it would have been all down hill!
So there we were, riding along the route that the Old took, but in reverse, and I was walking up the next nasty bit of hill. The Old Boy just flew up it. After a little further it flattened out a bit for me to get on and ride some more. I saw the OB waiting for me at the top. As I rode up along side he he suddenly clapped his hands, and from behind a six fence and dog jumped up, held on to the top of the fence with his two front paws and barked at me! I nearly jumped out of my skin! The OB thought this was funny, (the dog had already done the same to him!)
We were now at Walingham and riding up along hills. Hills that seem to go down on either side of us, on the left and the right, yet I was riding up and up, along a ridge. I am guessing that is why there is a road called the ride, which we just had a look at before carrying on our journey. It was a great photo opportunity here, I just had to take some of the lovely views, and also a picture of a carved tree. These carvings are in several locations and they let people know they are entering a special place!
|One of the carvings around this parts.|
|View from the top of the ridge|
"It's only a few miles to Brastead" the OB said, "we can stop there for a coffee if you want" If I want, if I want! Of course I want! Ninety six degrees is the name of the coffee shop that we stopped out, favoured by many cyclists I believe. A nice bit of cake and a coffee! Lovely.
|A Welcome stop!|
After our coffee, and after the Old Boy realised what the time was, he suggested that we ride on through to Shoreham and have a sandwich at the Kings Head! Now it was mainly down hill, but there was a some 'humps' to go over. But my legs were getting tired. I am old you know! Well, thats my excuse anyway!
It seemed to me to be a long way to Shoreham, I just couldn't figure out how we were going to get there from where we were. I should pay more attention when I am riding about really, just in case I have to navigate to these places by myself at any time! As we were riding along the OB pointed out the vineyards that we were passing. Me and my eldest daughter was talking about British wines, and how I for one didn't know of any. But the OB had said that we do actually have vineyards in Britain, and it just so happens that we were now passing them by, Here, take a look for yourselves,
|The Vineyard we passed|
But I was so pleased to see the Shoreham sign!
We came into Shoreham from a different road, but I just knew where there pub was. We stopped here for a BLT for me and a tuna may sarnie for him. Then it was back to the bike riding. We were going up to Eynsford and then through Eynsford and head for Dartford way. But again we were going to go a different way home. new territory for us both.
It is good to explore about, we still had plenty of time left before we had to get back, rest up, clean up and get out to finish our celebrations with a delicious curry. In fact we had quite a bit of time left and we ended up going to the Five Arches, having a 15 minute break, just watching all the dogs, ducks and kids playing in the river there.
We rode through the park and along some roads which looked familiar. I then realised where I was. I was in Bexley! We carried on riding through here, up more hills, and heading for our last stop for todays ride, The Tigers Head! I knew where I was now! If the OB felt the 'need for speed' and sped off, then I knew were to go! But I also knew that there was just the last of the hills to get over today, they hills going up to Chiselhurst!
After a pint here we made our way home. Out of the gate of the pub another two cyclists followed us behind. The were all set to be going in the same direction as us. She kept me talking, her partner got on his bike and then they were both off! I think they saw the traffic coming and timed it just right that they got off first and that I had to wait for the traffic to pass. I tried to catch them up as they rode on towards Pettswood! "Come on Old Girl, don't embarrass me, catch them up" The OB teased. We caught up with them at the junction, but again they got off first leaving me to wait for the traffic to pass.
I tried to catch them up as we headed for the newly built bridge. They will have to slow down there! I managed to catch them up just before we had to cross the bridge. I was quite pleased with that. We got off our bikes to cross over the bridge, we had to, there was a motorbike trying to come the other way!
Again the couple had the pole position, they got off first as I had to wait for the people to step aside so that I could walk past them with my bike! I nearly caught up with them as they neared the roundabout. If they turn right at this roundabout I have a great chance of cathing them and overtaking them. But they went straight on as me and the OB made our way home.
A very enjoyable ride today, exhausting, but almost fun!
My geeky stats, I remembered to switch on and off and on again at the official stops, although I did forget to switch it off when we took our fifteen minute break at Five Arches!
And just a couple more pictures from todays ride
|See I did get to the top, Its me!!|
|Me at the Five Arches|
|The Old Boy at the five Arches.|