I heard there was to be some sort of bike thing happening in London yesterday, DiscoRich told me that he and IllustriousLeader would be going, they would be taking the train and then they will be riding around London, traffic free! Before some other race that was happening I think! Anyway, the Old Boy had plans to do stuff and then take off for fishing, so I asked NaggyNeighbour if she fancied a ride out to London, spot of lunch, and then ride through the city. Well, who do you know that would say no, especially when they have a brand new bike to test out! So we made plans.
After parkrun in the morning we both went home, I had to do some housewifey stuff, tidy, push the shark around (that's my fabulous new vacuum by the way) and then get myself ready. I think it was about 12:30 by the time I went over the green to Naggy's house. "I'm not entirely sure of the nice quieter roads to Cator Park" I told her, "Don't worry, I know how to get to Beckenham and then between the two of us we will remember the rest" she said. I was pretty sure that once we were on the roads we will remember them and which way to turn.
We set off for Cator Park, Naggy in front of me with me following closely behind. We made our way, twisting and turning through the quieter roads of Bromley and Beckenham and we managed to get to Cator Park with no problems at. From here I know exactly where to go. We followed the WaterWay Link. Oh I forgot to say, it had started to rain! It started to rain when we were down Southborough lane, so very close to home that if it had been cold as well I am sure that we would both have called it a day, but actually at that time it felt quite refreshing, just a soft gently smattering of rain, but we still put on our jackets. Fortunately the Old Boy told me to take his pocket rocket, as I wasn't even going to take one!
The rain didn't last too long, in fact Naggy had shed her jacket when she waited for me as I had to negotiate traffic. I took mine of once we had got to Cator Park and we continued with our ride to London. We started chatting once we were on the WWL as there was no traffic to think about and were talking about things she will need for her bike, like a bike wedgie, full of stuff, like tubes, CO2 and bike leavers! An essential little pack actually! As we were heading for the Moby Dick for lunch we thought a quick ride over to Decathlon would be ideal timing actually.
The ride into London went smoothly, well, there was one tiny little hiccup, when we took the wrong road, but we soon got back to where we needed to be! At least the rain was just about holding off! I was think we were pretty lucky actually, it could have been so much worse. We found out way to the pub and chained our bikes up to the railings outside. Naggy had remembered to get a chunky lock for her bike, deffo an important part of cycling, especially when lunch is involved. We both ordered a sandwich and had a drink while we waited. A nice glass of coke for me, went down a blimmin treat, and then I ordered a beer! Seafarers it was, well, we was in the Moby Dick!
After our lunch we looked outside, there were hundreds of tiny little ripples in the river! Yup, we hadn't escaped the rain after all, we just beat it to London! So, the best thing to do.......have another drink, hope that it is just another passing shower! It didn't pass, it hung around and got worse! Back on with the coats it was and we headed home, we can do the bike shopping another time, and the ride around London, well, we shall have to try that again next year! Again Naggy was in the front with me behind. I was staying close to her, slip streaming, I am not sure it works with just one, although I wasn't right on her wheel, I don't like it when someone is that close to my back wheel so I make sure I am not that close to anyone in front of me. I had to have my usual 'comfort break' at the pub we pass by. I am sure it's in my psyche, because I hadn't even thought of it until I realised we were close by. I am just glad it's there! I guess it could We were about 2 miles away from Catford, where the Halfords is, and then the noise started on Naggys bike, a kind of flump, flump' noise. Yup, she had got a flat tyre! The 'P' word was never mentioned, but we did talk about getting all the bits and bobs that would be needed if the 'P' word occurred! She looked at her tyre and there was a piece of glass embedded in her tyre!
"What size is your tyre?" I said to Naggy, "Um, I don't know!" So I rang the Old Boy to check it out on google! Of course it's there on the tyre, and the tube that I had would fit no problem. I got out all my bits and bobs, tyre leavers, Co2 and thingy for Co2 canister. I only had the one cannister and one tube! We will not be mentioning the 'p' word again until we get home. So upended the bike and struggled to get the wheel off, thankfully she has quick release wheels, but I wasn't sure about the brake thingy, she has disc brakes and mine don't so wasn't sure if you had to 'loosen' the brakes. and of course it happened to be the back wheel too! So we had gears to sort out!
While we were trying to get the wheel off a cyclist came by "Are you ok there" he said. He looked a bit worried "Can you change a tyre" I said to him, "Well, I'm not sure really" and now I know why he looked worried, he though we might ask him to do it! "Don't worry, we got this" I said to him, and Naggy proceeded to leaver off the tyre like a professional! We changed the tube and then tried to blow the thing up! No gas! "Oh no, I've bought out an empty canister" I said to her! I took the little thing off and looked at the canister, it's fine, I realised that I had just handed it to Naggy and she just screwed it on but not tightly, to pierce the canister! Phew! Eventually we were all set to go, tyre changed in the pouring rain, and we needed no man, we can do this, we're cyclists! By then, however, the damp and chill seemed to affect my bladder, and I needed to pee again! I won't tell you where I eventually found a place to go but I was near a river!
We continued on our way and decided that we would skip Halfords and just keep on going, we I felt sure we would be fine. It was around this time that my headache had started, it was really bad, I am sure that all I needed was water and maybe I was just dehydrated! But the headache stayed with me for the rest of the ride.
Me and Naggy have done this route before, with Bims, and we met DiscoRich at the Moby Dick. On that occasion I noticed that When I was behind Naggy on the way to the Moby Dick I was right behind her all the time, even having to slow down so as not to get too close, but on the way back she was just way ahead. And yesterday wasn't any different! She just seemed to find her cycle legs and was blazing in front. I struggled to keep up with her, seriously, she was just so far in front of me. She said that she finds the journey home seems quicker! Quicker? Quicker? For a start we are heading upwards, all the time, right up to Southborough Lane, it think then it flattens out just a bit! Ok so it's not huge big steep climb out of London but there is pressure on your legs all the time!
We started to get a little fed up with the rain by the time we got to Shortlands, it wasn't feeling very pleasant, I was totally thankful for hot flushes.....I mean my power surges that kept my temperature up. I think Naggy was warmed up to, from when we had left the pub she had really cooled down. Nearly home, we took the back streets to get to Hayes Lane and then on to the A21 from there.
I was pleased to get home, and if it wasn't for that headache I would have felt terrific for doing a nice bike ride! Love my bike, and I will deffo try and do tons more!
Here's our geeky stats.
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