Fri 31 May 2013
A hearty thanks to Tessa for organising a lovely evening out at the Aladdin Restaurant in Brick Lane.
This ride would usually happen on a Friday 13th. Strangely in 2013 there is only one such occurrence on 13 December and this seemed an awful long time to wait for a curry and so the month of May having 5 Fridays in the month was considered a sufficiently good reason to arrange a curry ride.
We were very pleased to welcome some new comers – Mark, Jannet and Dave; and others who we don’t see very often Lindsey, Michael and Steve Healey.
At 7.30pm the ride departed from Bromley South to the second pick-up point at Catford and then onwards over Peckham Rye and up the Surrey Canal Towpath to Tower Bridge where we were held up by a long traffic queue because the bridge had been opened.
The bridge is actually opened quite frequently; several times a week, but unless you are a regular in the area it is quite rare to see the huge bascules raised to allow tall shipping passage to and from the more central parts of London. Unfortunately I wasn’t with the ride at this point, so no picture.
After picking up a ‘healthy’ supply of alcoholic beverages in a Tesco Local, the ride arrived at the restaurant just before 9 pm. The bike locking up ritual dealt with, the hungry riders were shown to a reserved table on the ground floor. We were 12+1 in number which bearing in mind the absence of some key members (Eve, Spencer, Sticky, Paul & Steve Hardy) was a very respectable attendance.
The friendly, attentive and efficient staff soon had a copious supply of poppadums placed before us and we were getting stuck in to choosing our meals. Our waiter who I think introduced himself as Ahmed recommended we have the selection of starters to share amongst ourselves, this included two trays with vegetarian choices so all were satisfied. It wasn’t long before platters of delicious bhajis, kebabs, and other nameless delicacies were set out for us.
Of course as cyclists the usual restrictions on what one can eat can be totally disregarded; we all got stuck in. We washed this fine fare down with copious quantities of beer and rose wine (coke for the non drinkers).
In the meantime Ahmed took our order for mains. I must say I was amazed how he kept tally of everything.
The main courses was served piping hot – and in some cases spicy hot too – and delicious. We were most impressed with Ahmed’s accuracy of recall with the orders – not a single serving was wrong, and he was serving lord knows how may other tables too.
It must have been 11.30pm when we eventually departed to recover the bikes and start the journey to Bromley. Brick Lane was absolutely heaving. There were folk everywhere; waiting to enter clubs and pubs, other folk just sitting, lovers canoodling, it was a very happy place full of happy people including happy us.
Steve W led us back to Bromley; Michael entertained us with his ‘in bike’ stereo system. The Rye at Peckham (scene of carnage after the last Brick Lane ride) was still going strong as we passed but despite one or two muted protests the very sensible Tessa led us straight past and onwards.
We paused briefly outside the Ivy House in Stuart Road to admire our investment, before pressing on.
In Catford Jannet peeled away to head towards her home. The rest of us piled down the Waterlink Way and then to Beckenham where Lindsey turned towards Hayes.
I departedjust before Shortlands and got indoors just after 1 am.
Tessa once again thank you for a lovely evening!