I had completely forgotten that I had told Bims that I wasn't taking toddler group this week, which of course means that I have a whole free day to do what I want to, as long as I am back for the 3:30 school run. She called me last night to 'make plans' of course that means 'which hills shall we ride up'.
So we made plans, we were going to head up to Botley Farm Inn for a lunch stop and then back the same way, which is the best bit, you will see why as you read on. So I got up, bright and early! Too bright and early! I looked at my clock and it said 10 past, so I jumped out of bed, into the shower and washed my hair, and washed a new day into my soul.
Back into my room and then I noticed that the clock said 7:30! I was up an hour early! Even the Old Boy was still in the house! Still, I was all nice and clean and refreshed and wanting all that today was going to throw at me. Then I saw it! The rain! That horrible, wishy washy, 'don't know whether to be heavy mist or power shower' type of rain.
I quickly text Bims, just in case she hadn't noticed. Of course she had! "It's fine, its going to be over when we meet up, IT'S STILL HAPPENING" she said! I carried on getting ready, hair dried, and straightened, why, I don't know, it's just going to get all frizzy in the rain! As you can tell, I am procrastinating! It's my most favourite thing to do........just before exercises. It's something I do a lot of when I run or ride solo, or even when I'm with just Bims. I even do it when I write my blogs!
Anyway, it stopped raining so I was out of the door ready for the ride, and also.....I was quite looking forward to it! Weirdly! It's all hills, I hate hills, but it is such a lovely route!
I met Bims at Trinity Church and I took the lead, as she wasn't quite sure of where we were going. She couldn't even remember doing Nash Lane with Mhairi when she came on her first ride with the Panagua ladies! It's going to be a slow tough ride for my lunch today!
We got to Fox Lane in Keston. Don't go being fooled by a pretty name this is a beast of a road. Did you see what I did there, ....fox......beast....anyway, Fox Lane is in fact....a cliff with tarmac on it! People actually get nose bleeds trying to walk up it, but there is no need for us to worry, we were going down it! I am sure I will remember another way back so that we don't have to ride back up here! "Oh I love this hill, we are so going to do this on the way back, ay Moosh" she said to me. "What, I was planning on going....."
"No, no, we are coming home this way! We can do this,"
And so my original plan gone out of the window, if I had any windows on my bike! After we got to Nash Lane, it was then we started to the climbing. It's not steep, but it just goes on and on and on and on, all the way to Botley Farm Inn, our lunch stop! The route threw in a coupe of down sections, just to keep you sweet, remind you of the good times, of why you like cycling, but mainly its all up hill.
"This is a really lovely route" said Bims
"It actually is" I said as I looked around the beautiful country side we are riding through as if I was seeing it all again for the first time.
"Why haven't you taken me here before?" she said as looked around.
"Maybe because I hate hills, its too far and it's hills and did I tell you I HATE HILLS.." I thought... but actually said "I have told you about it before"
It really is beautiful scenery around us, and we just had to stop for a photo shoot (thank goodness!) here, take a look.
Just that little break helped give the legs a little boost and we continued on our way, pedalling towards our lunch. Up, up and up of course! I was so pleased when we finally got to the road where the pub is! We turned right and cycled on up, yes I thought we had reached the highest point but there was one last little flurry of undulations before we got to the pub!
|Sunday Roast anyone!|
We got to the pub about 11;40, Bims and I just looked around at the place. There were sheep in the garden, I just hoped Sunday Roast wasn't locally sourced lamb (that's a bit too local) but again the scenery was just spectacular! So worth while the ride up to see this. We went inside to order lunch, we were about 15 minutes early but that was fine, I was quite ravenous! But when we tried to order they said it was too early! We had to wait until 12 to put in our order!
But the wait was worth it! This is our lunch, Bims had soup....soup! Who has flippin soup after a flippin hike up a mountain on a bike!? Mine is the chicken and bacon club sandwich! It was tasty!
|Lunch! Club sarnie for me!|
After we went back, exactly the same way that we came. Blink and you would miss all those lovely down hills that I was so looking forward to. All that hard work of getting up them was now going past me in a flash "Oh wow, we're here already" Bims exclaimed in surprise when we got to Layams! It was that quick! The other roads went by just as quick.
But of course there is that beast of a hill to do! Fox lane! It's awful. I wanted to quit just looking at it, let alone trying to ride up it! Bims went first, she has stronger legs than me, and I knew she would just attempt every flippin centimetre of this hill! Bims started up the hill, with me behind her, I stopped half way up the first section of the hill with Bims stopping just a little further on!
There were cars behind us and we let them go by before we got back to riding up the cliff! The next section is the steepest and curviest part of the road. I saw Bims going for it I tried but I just couldn't do it. Cars were now behind me and coming down from the top! There is not going to be enough room for all three of us on this bit of road! So I had to get off and walk it while the two vehicles inched by each other behind me!
Of course I couldn't get back on and ride up it and carried on walking. I saw Bims just a little further ahead, stopped! She was looking back at me and telling me to get on and ride. "Yeah, that's going to happen!" I thought. I walked up to her and caught my breath. "Now we shall do this last bit all the way to the top, no stopping!" she said.
Do you know, we flipping did it! We got to the top opposite the pub we were going to pop in to, we rode that last bit and popped out the top looking suitable knackered, like we had just rode the whole lot! Flipping pity nobody was there to see us!
We stopped in the Greyhound for a refreshment before making our way back to our homes. I chose the road that goes towards Hayes, Bims went on through there while I took Barnet Wood lane!
A great ride today, flipping tough! but so pretty!
I forgot to bring the Old Boys Garmin, so I just plotted out the route, just in case you want to see how far it is, for your own records of course!
Botley Hill Farm Inn on plotaroute.com