Well, I am with them again! The lovely ladies of Panagua. We did look a colourful bunch, but we sooo clashed! Two of the ladies were in bright orange Panagua jerseys with three of us in bright pink and Debbie was in black and red! Now if I was to tell you what bikes there were all on, well, I don't know! Except what Mhairi was riding as she told us later on! Darn it, I can't even remember that! What a girly thing to notice! But that's what I love about riding with the girls, I can say stuff like that and not get 'that look'!
So there were eight(?) of us, Bims, I finally got her out of the gym, Debbie, who has been riding before with the ladies, but not for a while. Then there was Mhairi, Sian and I have completely forgotten the others. We met at the cafe near the Panagua shop, The Village Cafe.
After pit stops, we were ready, now do I mention that one of the ladies dropped her glove in the only puddle that was around for a mile? No, I won't, but I expect it was feeling a tad cold when she put it on! We set off with Mhairi leading and the other Panagua lady (oh, what is her name!?) riding at the back, we got on our way. I didn't know which way we were going, but I was expecting to go up, up, up!
I was quite pleased, therefore, when we then turned right instead! I think I did hear something about West Wickham, but I have no idea in what direction that is! I think I should start paying more attention to where I am being led to, either with The Old Boy, the Breeze ladies now with the Panagua ladies! Too long being a passenger!
We had our first encounter with the hills more or less as soon as we turned right....but it was down hill! Perfect, I do like a down hill. We all snaked out way way through Hayes village, past the lovely kebab shop......so I've been told......well it looks nice.....ok so I've been in there quite a few times! It didn't seem that long before we were winding our way into the country lanes.
It always amazes me just how close to these country lanes we are. Fields and farms smells fill the air with some strong aromas! Something that Bims likes, she likes the smell of stables, horse poo! Peculiar woman! So she was in her element! We rode down Nash lane and caught up with the faster ladies who were waiting just opposite the dog training centre.
We split into two groups, the more faster ladies all with the other Panagua jersery clad lady, I think they were going to find some more hills, but definitely more miles, and we, me, Bims and Mhairi, were heading up to a place that me and the Old Boy have cycled before. The road was a hill, but a doable and chatable hill! There were a couple of bits that had me huffing and puffing a bit, which was handy for the other two as they could hear me behind them! Those spin classes at definitely working for Bims!
We rode at a nice easy leisurely pace all the way up to Botley Hill, one of the Old Boys favourite solo routes that he does, but when we ride it, its one of his leisurely rides! We took a quick break there, at the top and then decided to go back, more or less the way we came, rather than turn right to head into Wallingham. The country style roads were much more appealing than traffic and buildings!
Of course the ride back is all down hill! Mhairi gave Bims the lead, she wanted to ride at the back for a bit so she could just watch. It's good to see how people are when they are on the roads. It's a bit like me when I lead my group running, I lead from the back most of the time, just so that I can see how people are coping, and maybe offer advice at technique and things.
We took the left hand road when we got to the road that we came down, we were going to ride past another lovely pub, The White Bear, another spot that me and the Old Boy use on the odd occasion. We were soon riding back up Nash lane, and heading on through to Hayes Village. Of course there is that cheeky little blighter of a hill to conquer, why does it seem to be steeper on the way up!? Once at the top we then on to the cafe stop for some lunch and coffee.
A lovely ride, with great company. Mhairi had to virtually neck down her coffee as she had another cycling activity that she needed to be at. Me and Bims had our lunch and then came out of the cafe. Well, what do you know, we saw the pub opposite and decided that it was a perfectly decent time, so we stopped for another, cooling refreshment before heading back home! Perfect day!
Mind you, I do wonder if the Old Boy has 'got' to Mhairi, as she was saying that me and Bims should get a goal, an event of some sort! I guess if there are any nice and easy rides for the S.A.S. crew then I think me and Bims could put our names down....S.A.S.....Slow And Steady!
Geeky stats. It's missing some parts, because as per usual I forgot to turn it off when I needed to and then back on when we started riding. But it's more or less the ride, with a couple of miles extra for the ride home!
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