I was so pleased to hear from Debbie yesterday that she was going to be at Panaguas usual meeting spot for a little ride today. This is the first time I've been on my bike for ages, and a first Monday Panagua ride since school holidays started! I have taken this week off so that I too can enjoy the summer holidays and do what I want to do. And today, that is riding with my Panagua pals!
We had no leader as such, being as it is the school holidays of course our leaders have all gone away with their families, but I feel sure we could muddle through! There was a couple of routes that was being talked about, either the White Bear route or the Shampan route. It didn't matter which one they both have hills! But I am going to try to not moan about them! Hills are our friends, hills are our friends! I must remember that mantra when going up the first of the hills.
Our route was the Shampan route, so it was up hill more or less from the start of our ride! And as usual, I forgot to put my Garmin on. Lynne loves a hill, Debbie loves the challenge of a hill, Bims has this love/hate thing going on. I'm not sure how Mary-Anne feels about them, but they don't seem to bother her at all! She just flies up them "On your right" she calls out as he passes me by! Me, I will just try to remember the mantra!
We got to Downe village, me bringing up the rear, and I thought, keeping in with the title of this blog, it was a great photo opportunity! So here
|This way, no this way, I'm sure its this way! Up?|
We continued our ride down Single Street, past Downe House. We were heading for the usual Berry Street, but I will take the path, just like Billy Bunter avoiding a salad, I will be avoiding yet another hill! Lynne was also taking the path, Debbie, Bims and Mary-Anne are going down the steep hill. As I got to the end of the path I saw Debbie coming up from the hill, followed by Bims. We both pulled up a little further by a drive way while we waited for Mary-Anne and Lynne.
We waited a little longer than I thought we should have before we saw them coming up. Mary-Anne missed the right hand turn, it comes up quite quickly, and when you heading down a steep hill it's easily done! So she had just a little bit more of a climb to do to get back to the turn!
We carried on climbing up, not so steep now, but still a climb. We arrived at the road that takes us directly to the Shampan. This part of the road seems to be always covered in debris, big stones and pebbles! Why is that! I was so pleased to get to the Shampan, not only because some of it has been newly relaid, but also because just after that road is the long, long ride down to the Rose and Crown pub! Oh how I love that road! My hands relax on my bike, a big smile spreads over my face, ..... oh yes! Perfect.
But when we got to Cudham North Lane, we started along it all well and good, after all, its the way home, but then Lynne puts her hand out to make a right hand turn! What, no long winding down hill, no relaxing on my bars, wind in my hair, speed!?
She was taking us through Knockholt and Halstead! Oh well. It was different and it was a lovely road that we went down. It was winding road, a narrow road, so we went a down it a lot slower than we would have done had it been Cudham lane, or even the other road, further one! I think its called Badgers Mount, but it takes us past Knockholt train station.
We went down the A21 until we got to the Rose and Crown, "Who fancies one more hill" Quite frankly I am not sure who said it, but everyone seemed to say "Yeah why not!" Everyone, that is, except me, of course! I was going into panic mode, as the only hill that was right by u s at that time was the one I have tried running up before, with my running club! Old Hill,I think Debbie called it! Old hill indeed, and it will kill this Old Girl!
I watched all the others go up it first. I knew I was going to be slow "I will be walking up this hill" I said before we started on it. "Now get rid of the attitude straight away!" said Debbie with a smile on her face, and a waving finger! She right of course, embrace the hills!
So as I said, I saw them all go up, I started my ascent, I must of got about 10 yards and thought "Feck it!" and I got off my bike, "I am just going to have to walk it" I said to my self! I took two or three steps up the hill and then grabbed myself by the scruff of the neck, metaphorically of course, and plonked my lazy arse back on my bike! "Get yourself up that hill, you lazy mare" I said to myself.
I went up it slowly. I stopped, but didn't get off my bike. I waited till passing cars went by and then tried again. Rode some more and stopped, then rode some more and stopped. That is how I got up it! It had to be done, I had to ride the hill. I couldn't let myself be lazy any more I coudn't not attempt to do the hill! I did it, slowly, slowly but I did it! I was so pleased with myself.
I met up with the other girls and we continued on our way. There was one more hill to do, and that was the hill going into Farnborough! We didn't stop at the cafe there as Debbie had to get back to Panagua bike shop, she had left her rucksack there for safe keeping!
The bacon sandwich at the Village Cafe was most welcomed! Oh perfect. The weather was good, the ride was good and the company was good! Loved it!
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