Hello Blog Lovers!
It's Saturday, the sun is shining, kind of, and we have nothing to do! No cars to fix, no shopping to do, no holidays to chillax on, so lets go to Yalding! Yay!!.......Of course there is some horrendous hills involved!
We asked Nagging Sister to see if she wanted to come along with her beau. After all, they do need to do tons of saddle time to get ready for the L2B this year! Unfortunately only Nagging Sister could make it. But she liked the sound of Yalding, (apparently it didn't sound that far!) We did tell her that it was about 30 miles away. I think she heard 'It's a 30 mile round trip' Oh well, surprises are good, right? And besides there's always the train back
We met Nagging Sister at the bus garage on the A21. The first thing that the Old Boy did was to check out her tyres! Flat as pancakes! So he gave them a little pump up with the tiny pump that she had with her. Just enough to get to the garage a little further up the A21. Her tyres, by the way, were only half inflated!!
I am still not quite 'match fit' (at least I hope its that reason!) when it comes to riding my bike, or maybe it's because I am still getting used to my new ride and cleats! (My confidence with both is going higher by the way) Riding up to the garage N.S. was in front of me, pulling away. Earlier this year I remember having to wait at the traffic lights at Locksbottom for her to get there. But now, here she is zooming in front. The Old Boy was behind me, I could here him chuckling away!
After putting the right amount of air in her tyres we continued on our way. We were going through Shoreham village, but not stopping! This is going to be toughie! "Stay in your cleats Old Girl" I thought to myself, "No need to unclip, nothing to see here" as we sped pass the Kings Head, one of our usual stops for refreshments, and we rode on over the little river.
From here we turned right. Usually we turn left towards Eynsford. It looks all up hill! And it is up hill! Oh well, we knew it wasn't going to be Holland-esque ride today! I do need the practise thats for sure (just watching N.S. pull away from up the A21 proves that!) I have a couple of big rides coming up in the next few weeks! And if there is one thing the Old Boy is good at, its finding nice hills to ride up!
It's a steady old plod, up hill! Up more hills, and still more hills! There was a couple of tiny little dips, but they were soon replaced by more ups. Both me and NS resorted to getting off our bikes and walking up, on more that one occasion. The Old Boy seemed to be on top form, getting up the hills as if he were on a motorbike! The weather started to turn as well. There were drops of rain in the air. I kept hoping that it won't come to anything more than that!
We cycled through Kemsing and Seal. The hills seemed to be relentless! I knew, from the time before, what to expect, but listening to NS, as she pedalled up the hills made me smile! I was like that the last time I did this route. In fact, I think it was in one of my blackest moods on a cycle ride, (apart from the time trying to get up Bitchling Deacon with the Fridays) it was a hard slog. Even though I walked some of these hills, I seemed to remember it being a lot harder last time! Strange, very strange!
The next little village was just a little further along. But we had to stop! The rain really started to come down quite a bit, and it was time to get our jackets on! There were some other cyclists going the other way, and I heard them saying, "We should have stayed in the pub" They had stopped as well, to put on their wets. "What pub, where is that" I said to them, "It's just down there, around the corning, about 300 yards they said "Oh perfect! that is where we shall hold up until the rain goes". I thought
We had a lovely lunch there, the Plough at Ivy hatch, a tad expensive, but very nice BLT, with chips for me and the Old Boy, Nagging Sister had a cheese and onion ciabata with tomato soup. I had a pudding as well! A lovely lemon tart! Very nice!......Well, I thought I had earned it!
The rain eventually passed and was just left with a slight drizzle! We kept our raincoats on. Try to at least keep our bottoms dry (without success I might add) and we continued our journey to Yalding. Of course, me being me, I forgot to switch on my Garmin again, and I think we had travelled for a good 4 or 5 miles before I realised that, so my Geeky stats will look like I 'flew' across the landscape! But I remember seeing the sign for Plaxtol, so we must have gone through there.
Now this is the sweeties, the rewards for those nasty hills. A nice flat route for the rest of the ride to Yalding. We said to Nagging Sister that there is a train station at Yalding, if she didn't want to do the ride back. It seemed that his put more spin in her pedals as she kept up with the Old Boy. You could hear her say "Yay, its the train station" and she spotted the direction sign, and then a couple of minutes later say "Hey, there's the station, why is he going past it?" "Just keep going" I said to her, "You will like what is at the end"
Just a little further on is another pub, I think its called the Blue Anchor. That is a finale destination. She soon stopped moaning and groaning when she saw it. We had a drink there, and sat out side. Then the rain came again! We moved ourselves under shelter and we all decided that getting the train home would be a good idea just about now.
So after our drinks we headed off to Paddock wood train station. The thought of getting home on a nice warm train seemed to have given NS even more of a boost than before, as she flew up the road, over the hump bridge and on towards Paddock Wood. I had forgotten to start my Garmin again, such a scatter brain at times, but when we got to the very busy fast road, which I can't remember what its called, the Old Boy decided that he was going to ride home after all. He pointed me and NS in the direction of Paddock wood and we continued to the station.
A very nice little plod out c.30 ish miles, very wet and dirty miles! Me, Nagging Sister and the Old Boy had earned our stripes today! More so the Old Boy though, with the whole journey riding back home!
So geeky stats for you