Sunday, 19 May 2013

Farningham - Revisited!

Hello blog lovers,

What a glorious day it has been today. The sun was shining, after the promised rains failed to arrive.  What else can you do but get out and have some fresh air.  Me and Naggy Neighbour had planned to go for a run after I came back from church and then maybe grab some lunch somewhere in a local hostelry!  But Naggining Sister called me and tempted both me and N.N. to go for a bike ride.  "Only to Shoreham, and then back again" she said.  Well, I certainly didn't fancy riding up the same hill that we have to come down "Why don't you go to Eynsford and go home that way" I asked her
"Cos I don't know how to get there" She said.

I told her to give N.N. a call and see if she wanted to do the cycle ride instead.  It's good cross training, I'm sure she will go for it.  It was all set.  Nagging Sister told N.N. that we are going for a 9.5 mile to a pub and then make our way home again. N.N. thought she could manage that. The place for lunch is the Kings Head in Shoreham Village.

We all met up outside my house, well, N.N. only had to ride over the green to me, where as N.S and her Beau had to come a couple of miles.  We all set off towards the A21.  "We are not coming home by the same route" I told them all, "We can go to Eysnford and then on to Farniningham" I explained.  I knew the way there, and I felt confident.  The only bit I may have problems with is when we get near to Swanley, I know we have to take a straight across and at another road its a left turn, but for the life of me I wasn't quite sure which one was which.  But it's not the outback, and we will get home eventually, that I am sure off.

For someone who hasn't been on a 'proper' bike ride for years, N.N. was flying up the A21 and then flew up the Halstead turn off.  I was trailing along at the back with N.s. Dan was in front of me, I think maybe catching up to N.N.!  We had a quick breather, just to regroup, as we got to the Shoreham turn off.  Then we were all ready to do the undulating ride to the next right turn that will take us down to the village.

I kept at the back, so that I can keep an eye on everyone, well that's my excuse, and it is a valid one too. The calls of 'Car up' or 'Car down' came from our small group, I thought it best to teach them a few FNRttC call signs, 1, because it is good to know these things, and 2, it makes it more of a sociable thing, knowing where everyone is, is very comforting for everyone.

We soon got to the pub, drinks ordered, lunch ordered, and chat starting about the ride so far! Everyone was having a great time, it was a totally relaxed ride so far. Here is a picture of us all.

from L to R, Dan, Nagging Sister, Naggy Neighbour and me.
Notice how we had our drinks ordered first!  It really was a lovely day, and we were all very thirsty.  A lady very kindly offered to take this picture of us all, now if I had taken it, I would have got the bikes in as well, especially my pretty pink bike!

After our lunch we headed on for part two of our ride.  Up to Eynsford. It's another little uphill section, so a nice steady plod up.  But then we do have the dips as well.  I decided to just have a bit of speed as I was getting nearer to Eynsford, and over took N.N, the other two were behind anyway.  I would wait for them at the Ford.  Dan was first to get to me, then N.S. and then N.N.

 It was about 4 ish, I knew the sun don't go down till much later these days, and it's just as well, I had forgotton to put my front light on! Very bad cyclist.  But I was hoping to be home well before sun down.  I really wanted to show them Farningham, the lovely little place me and the Old Boy went to on Wednesday.  I thought this was a little secret place, that no one knew of, and I wanted to stop here for a pint and a photo shoot. "Oh I have been here before" says Nagging Sister, "Yeah, I bring my daughter" says Dan. "And your daughter and my daughter come here as well" added Nagging Sister. Oh, so I am the only one that seems to have missed out on this pretty little place then.  Needless to say, they didn't want to stop here, they all wanted to get nearer home before stopping for our last pint.

Going through Sutton at Hone, Dan decided to take the lead!  I was hoping he wasn't going to be too far in front as we will be taking a right turn by the pub, Ship lane!  I told the girls that is what is happening, Dan was no where to be seen! He was way ahead in front of us now.  We got to the right turn and I told the girls to wait there and I will go look for Dan.  Fortuanatly Dan had a 'feeling' that we will be turning soon and just stopped a little bit up from the lane that we needed.

I was still pretty confident as to which way to get there.  And I shouted out 'Left' or 'Right' when it was needed. Mind you I had to look down at my hands to make sure I relayed the right direction.  No, I haven't got left and right written on my hands,  but it does help me to think about it.  You think at 50 years old  that sort of thing would come naturally to me, but for some reason it doesn't and never has! Weired!

There was only one bit of road that I got wrong, and I knew I would, as it looks very similar to the other road that we have to make a turn at. But I called it wrong.  Coming through Swanley, we should have gone straight over the road but I said 'Left turn'  Fortunately, when we got to the end of everybody knew where there was, all apart from me that is! And so it was easy enough to stick to the plan of getting to Crittals Corner and then up to Chislehurst.

It wasn't that long now before we were sat in the pub at Chislehurst, enjoying our last drink of the day, and a tasty bowl of olives!  After this we told Dan and N.S that we are going in the opposite direction as them, we will be going through Chislehurst and then Pettswood, where as N.S. and Dan have to negotiated Summer Hill!!

As we arrived to our road, me and Naggy noticed that the ice cream van was there, so guess what!

Naggy and my hand with ice cream!

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