Last night we went to Chelsfield with Steve ‘Sticky’ Bunn to assist him in his ongoing quest to track down and drink every pint of Doom Bar Beer in the country. Nine of us gathered at Bromley South, there were two folk I didn’t know, Mike, a friend of Sticky from the rugby club and Simon – Welcome to you both and we hope to see you again.
We gathered under a grey sky in light that was beginning to fade. It was immediately clear that we would not be far into this ride before we were going to need lights on our bikes. We set off soon after 7:30 and were soon heading at a pretty quick pace through Sundridge Park where I have to say the standard of car driving was really quite remarkable. At one stage an extremely impatient pair of car drivers were overtaking us in Plaistow Lane with no vision of oncoming traffic and nearly had a full head on collision with car coming up the road; quite bizarre really.
From Sundridge Park we followed Chislehurst Road past Bullers Wood School and (lovely long downhill) Chislehurst Caves. Of course as we all know if you go downhill then there has to be a corresponding uphill section. And the corresponding uphill here is Old Hill past the Imperial Arms and up to Chislehurst Common. Steve had warned that it was a hilly route; just as well Eve was in Norfolk is all I can say.
We crossed into Watts Road, with outrageous traffic calming measures and here we were overtaken by a police car with its blues and two’s going. Because of the speed humps he could not make any progress and we kept pace with him.
Cycling through Petts Wood we found ourselves at the top of the wonderful Leesons Hill. ZOOM!! All the way down past BCR Bikes to the Crays and then uphill all the way along Chelsfield Lane to the Five Bells (Purveyors of the aforementioned Doom Bar Beer).
There were a few local in the back bar but we found a group of tables and set up shop. We were soon joined by Spencer and his fan club, Spencer had been in a cyclo-cross competition at Bethlem Hospital and had done the decent thing by making sure that none of the other competitors would be traumatised by coming LAST! We heard how wonderful the weekend charity ride had been; but, funnily enough, no real stories were forthcoming – reminds me of the old adage ‘Whatever plays on tour stays on tour’
We were made most welcome in the pub. The woman behind the bar had done a Chelsfield to Brighton Cycle Ride last week-end in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. So this is definitely a cycling orientated pub and Sticky did a good job of persuading her to come out on a future ‘Wander’.
At 10 pm the usual lightweights departed leaving Sticky & Co battling to drink the pub dry by closing time.
Our ride home was uneventful and I was home by 11.20 pm.
This was a lovely evening out, very well organized, a very good route and a very nice pub. So well done and many thanks to Steve. Next week Julian is taking us to the Blacksmiths Arms at Cudham, unfortunately I can’t be with you for this or the following week because of work commitments. I look forward to your reports.
Ride Stats: 19.1 miles (10 out and 9.1 back), Average speed 10.1 mph but that does include my commute speed as well.
More pictures on the Bromley Cyclists section of Yahoo Groups (link on the right of this page) if you haven’t subscribed please do so.