What a lovely day it was today! The sun was shining brightly, it was warm and the afternoon promised a beautiful time to be had by all. So the Old Boy planned a nice route, taking in lunch somewhere, half way through. My type of riding.
Because we set off late due to stuff happening, we loaded the bikes in the car to take us to our starting point, Penshurst Station. His plan was to get to Cowden for lunch, and then head off in a different direction, to try and find this Kent Ramblers path, from Bassests farm, for a future expedition on foot! We were going to be cycling through two counties, Kent and sussex! But fortunately, we are only going to be touching on the outskirts, and then back again! Somewhere next this area is a place where you can put one foot, in one county, one foot in another county and then lean over and touch yet another county! Kent, Sussex and Surry all meet somewhere here. And then we will get back to the station where our car is parked. That was his plan, anyway.
What I don't think he figured on is me! Since I have not done as much cycling as I did last year, by fitness has really hit rock bottom! It's like starting out all over again. I think I will need to get out and do cycle rides to Farnborough Village and back, for a few weeks to get my fitness back. Just getting up the slightest incline was totally torture for me! I was sweating and puffing out my back side! Unfortunately for me, this beautiful area is the most undulating place I know!
There were short hills, long hills, steep hills, tiny hills, the were long gradual hills and there were short steeper ones! I was really going to earn my lunch! I was so glad when I saw the sign for Cowden! Because that was our planned lunch stop! We had 10 mins to get the bikes through to the back garden and order lunch before the 14:30 deadline! We made it!! Look what we ordered! It was most delicious indeed!
|A lovely ploughmans lunch!|
We had a photo opportunity before our lunch stop, it was at Mark Beech. There was a lovely church there which we walked around. Here are some of the pictures of it as well as a couple of others from The Fountain at Cowden where we had our lunch.
|The church at Mark Beech|
|In the doorway|
|They like cyclists here!|
|A great stop for lunch here!|
After lunch, and with a very fully tummy, we continued our journey to find Bassests Farm, and the footpath that we will do one day on foot. There were more hills, and of course I was finding each one a huge struggle, The 'energy' I had put into my tank, (my tummy) I was hoping was going to stay there! I really do not like hills! All the little and the large undulating, steep and not so steep hills were beginning to GET ON MY FECKING NERVES! I was getting annoyed that I just couldn't get up them, and I was beginning to get tired. To cheer me up a bit the Old Boy kept up with the banter, which ended up as "Cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese" as we discussed our lunch that we had! It did make me smile, didn't make the hills any easier to get up though!
The Old Boy noticed that the time was getting on and we had to get back to our car while it was still light as we didn't bring our lights with us. He decided to go back the way we had came and get to Penshurst station via a slightly different route.
Of course this was also littered with hills. But the scenery was just fabulous, the sun was shining, it was still very warm, and at least I a able to be able to peddle my bike! We packed the bikes back into the car and headed off to look for that path.
Yes it was a tough ride for me, the Old Boy was in his element however, he thrives on hills, downhills as well as the up hills. But one good thing that I have noticed is that I can apply my brakes now and I slow down on the hills so that I can go slower around the bends, my hands seem to be coping with them so far. I am feeling good about this new upgrade on the B-iatch, I am feeling positive! I feel as if a scouse brow for her will not be necessary!
Oh and we finally found the footpath that he read about, and we took a quick walk up there, I had to take a picture of this fabulous house! Truly stunning!
|Such a beautiful old, old house!|
Look at those timbers.
Geeky stats for todays ride. This is from the Old Boys Garmin, I didn't take mine, as I always forget to switch it on and off when we makes stops! Just look at all those undulations!