I guess it is so often the case that the weather dictates weather a ride is simply a good ride or a truly magnificent ride. There can be little doubt today that the weather played a major part in making the remembrance day ride such a wonderful day out.
Five riders met at Bromley South and very shortly after 10 o’clock under a bright sky we were on our way. We cycled to Orpington via Jubilee Park, passing a multitude of scouts and other youngsters who had obviuosly been involved in remembrance day parades and were now making their way to church.
In Warren Road we became aware of the sound of aero engines overhead and looking up we were greeted with the spectacle of numerous second world war aircraft flying in formation. This coincided almost exactly with the 11 o’clock hour when we paused for 2 minutes to observe the silence in respect to the fallen. It was a sombre moment with the sound of the merlin engines rolling over head, a poignant reminder of all those who gave for our today.
Having paid our respects we continued with the ride and arrived in Shoreham at about 11:30. The little aircraft museum and cafe was packed with people but we found a table and where able to enjoy a cup of tea. When we emerged from the cafe the bright sky had changed to a beautiful blue ceiling. In the bright sunshine we took a new and previously unexplored route along Water Lane and then followed the river along a narrow footpath leading to a long ascent to the ridge of the North Downs. It was a hard climb but the views were spectacular and all agreed it was well worth the effort. From here we made a slight deviation from my planned route to avoid something called Magpie Bottom which even on the map looked hideous. We made our way along the ridge to the head of the Knatts Valley Road at the Woodlands Golf Course.
The valley looked at its best in the glorious sunshine, and although there was considerable water on the road, left over from yesterday’s rain we sailed down the miles of lovely hill to Farningham were we made our way to the Lion Hotel. Once again we felt slightly let down by this pub. They had no snacks available were only prepared to offer a full meal which is not what we wanted. We decided not to stay but made our way to the Pied Bull where we enjoyed a lovely lunch.
After lunch we set off for the return ride still bathed in gloriously sunshine. In the wonderfully named Sparepenny Lane we passed the memorial to Flt Lt James Paterson. Just before Eynsford we turned into Crockenhill Lane and made our way up the long climb back into London.
One rider peeled away to go and watch Swansea v Arsenal in a pub (Arsenal fan so I guess he was disappointed with the outcome) We arrived at Bromley South at the fag end of the day as the sun cast it’s final rays before dipping into dusk.
We called our good-byes and headed for our homes for a well deserved bath and Sunday dinner. Bliss!
I didn’t have a computer with me today so I’m guessing about 35 miles at around 10 mph.