Sunday 25 August 2013 – Bank Holiday Weekend
At around 5 o’clock on Saturday morning of this bank holiday week-end it started to rain. At 5 am on Sunday it had rained solidly for 24 hours – not heavily, just persistent rain.
We really didn’t expect much of a turnout this morning, even one of the leaders had cried off due to feeling unwell.
At 9 am I headed out from home; mercifully the rain had stopped. It was muggy and the trees were dripping, but no actual rain.
I was first to arrive in Norman Park and was soon joined by ‘Sticky’. By 10 o’clock there were 7 of us and all more experienced cyclists so it seemed very obvious to amalgamate into one ride. Sticky kindly worked out a sensible route and agreed to lead so just after 10 we set off along Hayes Lane and up through Keston to join the Biggin Hill Road.
We continued to Biggin Hill making quite good time and then turned into Jail Lane and onto the recently renovated road surfaces which we have all complained about. The bedding in and sweeping of the loose chippings is now well advanced and surface is much improved. This cheap method of repairing roads does seem to work to an extent but I do wonder if it is just delaying the proper resurfacing job which is really what is needed and so throwing good money after bad.
We passed the Jail Inn and hereabouts I spotted another bunch of riders and once again amongst that number was Lawrence. Twice in two weeks! Coincidence?
Most of the ride to this point had been up hill as we climbed out of Bromley towards the North Downs. The up hill from Bromley is actually the back or ‘dip slope’ of the geological fault which forms the downs. The ride speed had been moderated skilfully by Sticky to take account of the wider range of abilities today, and Sticky was ever ready to ride back down the line to shepherd anyone who was straggling. Thanks Steve.
We paused for breath in Downe village and then headed to the Holwood Farm shop and cafe where we sat in the sun which was just beginning to burn off the mist. Service at table here at this establishment so much improved on the service received at some other local outlets which, in recent times, have even refused to top up a water bottle.
After Holwood we split into pairs to go this way and that to our various homes, or for me to Highbury Fields for the International Bike Polo Championships.
Great Ride. Thanks Sticky.