|Charlene and Linda|
with my bike in the middle!
So, finally I thought I may be able to ride out again with some of the Panagua Ladies. Well most of them were busy doing things, and I think Mhairi and Fiona are doing something ridiculous in Ireland! A very green country, mainly because of the plenty of water that comes down! And hilly, but I've heard its a beautiful place to visit. So they are saving their legs.
It was just me and Linda and Charlene today. Charlene is an honary Panagua Lady, as she normally does her trail riding. But she is in training to ride to Brighton, a night ride, off road! So she needs some miles under her saddle! I thought as Linda has been off her bike for a while (only just going out by herself for a couple of weeks) I thought it was going to ok to meet up with her and we could poodle around!
We decided to meet up in Petts Wood as it seems central for the three of us, and it was just as well as my tyre was flat again! It deffo had a slow puncture! I nipped in to Petts Wood Autos, I spoke to John there and he fixed it for me! I can do it myself, but I would have been a bit slower, and we would be even later starting our ride! Charlene decided to have a bit of air in her tyres too, well they were set for going through the woods, she will need a firmer tyre for the road!
Eventually we were ready and we chose our route and headed off up Southborough lane. We were going through Farnborough Village and down that lovely long road Church Road. The down hills I am good at, as you know. The up hills I am still struggling with, which is why I have been doing my loops around Petts Wood, plenty of undulations in there!
We got to Shire Lane, which is quite a nasty road actually, and we crossed over it and turned into the country park! It just saves riding along any more of that road. We came out in the carpark along High Elms road. I remember the first time I took this route with Charlene, I was a lot fitter back then, Charlene was just started out on her bike! When we started the ride up to Downe we had to stop several times so Charlene could catch her breath! It was tough! I had to stop several times the first few times I did this road.
But today, oh my goodness! Today Charlene and Linda seemed to fly up there while I was left 'spinning' in the wake! I felt every single spin of those pedals! The other two had disappeared around the bends of the road. I was so hot, so sticky. I remember that I had left my water in Charlene's back pack! I had her smaller one in my bike rack (both of us had forgotten to bring water and Charlene bought two bottles of water for us) The big one didn't fit in my water cage!
Half way up there I just was coping very well! It was relentless, I had to pull over and catch breath. Then a feeling came over, one that I had recently.....while running to try and get a good parkrun time! I thought I was going to throw up! I just put my head on the handlebars of my bike and waiting for the feeling to go!
I am ashamed to say.....I walked a bit! I haven't walked my pink bike for ages!! But today I did. I guess I shouldn't beat myself up, I have been off my bike for a couple of months......Listen, I need all the excuses I can get for such an act as walking up this hill!
I eventually got to the top to find.....nobody! No Charlene and no Linda! Where were they! I waited by the tree. I just knew they wouldn't take any of the roads unless I was there. And then there they were! Coming up from where I just come from. I felt pretty good actually, because another cyclist came by and it looked like I was the first one there and I was waiting for these two!! Smug face!!
From there we went down Single Street, and the two ladies found their pace again I pedalled to try and keep up with them. We were heading for Knockholt. Linda is not that keen on Cudham Lane, unlike me! I just love flying down there, but she knew the way through Knockholt and that is where we rode to, via Berrys Green Hill! Yes there is another hill! Do I like hills!!
We eventually got on to the A21 and I finally overtook Linda (on the down hill section of course) but there was no way I could catch up to Charlene! She was waiting at the end of the road. From there we started to head for Magpie Hall Lane, but we didn't get that far! We were all a bit tired and hungry, and Charlene was feeling the heat! So we stopped of at Frankie and Bennys! I haven't been here for a while. We parked our bikes, Charlene got a table and me and Linda went to see what there was to eat and drink. While we were choosing the lovely waitress looked at us and said, "Look why don't you go sit down, I will bring some water, and you can ....breathe" She brought out the menus then collected our own water bottles and took them away. When she came back not only did she refill them, she managed to stuff some ice into mine and Charlene's drinks bottle, you know, the ones that you buy from the shop and the throw away, and stuffed loads of ice into Linda's drink, she had the proper sports bottle! Now that is just perfect! This could possible become one of our stops!
Once we were suitable re hydrated and fed we decided to go home the way that we came, up Tubbingdon Lane!
A great ride, and it was good to be back with the ladies, but it has showed me that I am still not quite up to standard quite yet! But I can't wait to see all the girls again!!
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