I miss my cycling too much to not be able to squeeze a ride in somewhere in my marathon training! Today, I thought I would introduce my sister and her man to the delightful Wednesday Weekly Wanderers. A great 'gang' of cyclists (what do you call a collection of cyclists?). I explained to Naggining Sister and Dan, that it's only going to be a short ride and the end target is a delightful pub in Bromley North, called The Red Lion.
The start, as always, is at Bromley South Station, where upon my arrival, it seemed that everyone was there, even Nagging Sister and her man Dan (nickname yet to be formed!) There were about 10-12 keen riders, today and after all the introductions were done, and to dispel the rumours that Moosh isnt a myth and does exist (i.e. me!) the ride leader told us the route to get to the pub. The pub is literally just down the road from where we are starting from. "It's going to be a fairly flattish route" John our leader said, which seemed to please Nagging Sister and Dan. I, on the other hand, interpret that slightly differently. Its, a bit like when I go running. When ever the leaders say 'Flattish' you just know that there is a hill in there somewhere, and it's usually a 'cheeky' little blighter! But not to disillusion the newbies, I kept my 'fears' to myself.
We set off in the opposite direction of the pub we will be ending up at! A good idea, work up a thirst before getting to the pub. We turned right into Westmoreland road and then we took another right just after that. (That is the end of my navigational skills for this ride, I had forgotten to restart my Garmin, Again!) Just then we heard "Stop, stop" We all pulled to the side of the second road only, so far on this ride, to find out that the tandem the two brothers had bought back from the brink of death, was still not quite ready! The pedals had some kind of issue, Twiddlydid or Twiddllydidn't hadn't quite tighten some nuts and bolts or something (too technical for little old me) and one set of pedals were both in alignment! So they had to somehow get back home, and then they would meet us at the pub later! (on seperate bikes)
The ride, from there, was virtually incident free. Now for the little undulations. Of course there is undulations, this is Bromley, we live in a very pretty undulating place, (I keep having to impress on my self that hills are pretty, interesting and our friends!) I kept behind Nagging Sister, I remember how far behind me she was when we rode up the A21 a couple of weeks back! But the ride leader was very kind and kept the pace just perfect, (even for me, my cycle legs and derriere need more saddle time)
There were more twists and turns than a two year olds drawing of spaghetti! And with my sense of direction I could be riding to any where. I just hope we don't lose them! We were passing schools and golf courses, and going through little back alleys, and dark tunnels "Don't look at the floor Old Girl" I thought to myself as we went through the dark tunnel," you would only scream to see the 'dirt' so near your bike". What was that stuff, yuck? I just don't want to think about it. Now, on the Facebook page, John did assure us that there would be no mud and no off roads, "So it's safe to bring your best bike" he said. What he negleted to say (apart from the yucky tunnel bit) was that we would be going over an unmade road. Trying to dodge all those holes and puddles to keep my bike clean, plus keeping an eye on where we were going was, to say,....challenging!
There was another little incident on our ride, of one rider heading up the road by herself when we all had to turn left. I won't name her. We all rode to the end of the road and waited. "Who went up the road then?" I asked, and the rest of the crew said "Linda!" We continued our ride after one of the others went to reel her back in. We rode through Penge, Shirly and Beckenham, (whether it was in that order I have no idea). And now for the 'ish' part of 'flattish ride. We rode up one road, it seemed to stretch up to the heavens. "Well Old Girl" I thought to myself "You haven't been riding as much lately, so just take it slowly" I often talk to myself, it keeps me going.
We all made it up the hill! Fantastic. I really thought I would get off and walk, my legs were burning! One other rider with us (Sorry forgotten his name) said "If that is what John calls flattish I would hate to go on a hilly ride" I laughed, understandingly! We carried on a little bit longer, Nagging Sister riding just in front of me, Dan up head with the main crowd (showing off!) and then I heard a "pstssssssssssssss" The rider that had I had just spoken to pulled up. "I got a puncture" he said. I tried to call ahead to let them know, but another rider went ahead to let them know. Nagging Sister, me and Steve B stayed with the other chap and provided lights while he changed his tube.
We weren't that far from the end, and once Nagging Sister and I realised exactly where we were then we realised there was a bit more 'ish' to do! A real nasty little f....ff.....friendly hill! It's not long, but it is steep. with four of us left to find our way to the pub, which is not to far, we all started up the hill, Steve, me, puncture man and Nagging sister, in that order. Steve flew up the hill. I crashed and burned! I had to get off and try and walk up with jelly legs. Puncture man managedto ride up the hill and........Nagging Sister! Grrrrrrr.
We were about 5 minutes away now from a lovely pint of the amber nectar, and meeting up with the Old boy (His knee still not quite right, but a short ride from home to the pub is doable for him)
A great ride, and great company! Thanks all, and here is pictures of some of the WWW's
|John Wood, The Linda, and TD|
|Twiddlydid and Twiddlydidn't and Steve W|
|Erm, The WWW's|
|TD, Steve W and Mel, and another WWW|
|Me and the Old Boy|
|Nagging Sister and Dan|