Forest Row Bike Club

Ride Report

Not Balcombe but Tonbridge 26th April 2009

Prelude: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Graham, myself and A.N.Other went to Belgium to take part in a randonnée organised by the Ghent Police. We arrived in good time to have a ride in the late afternoon sunshine along one of the several canal-side paths near the town. The weather remained great for the main ride on the Thursday, and although it was 90 miles in total, we all found it easier than we'd expected, leaving us with enough energy (just) for a short ride on the Friday before the ferry home.

On Saturday, back in England, it was required that I fulfill my promise to go to Wych Cross. There I had to ride an exercise bike for half an hour in aid of the Parkinson's Disease Society, an event which Ron had agreed to invite some of us to partake in. Graham had done his stint on the previous Monday. Ron had done his turn too. Martha had agreed to do her's on the Saturday morning, me in the afternoon. So, having completed my task, and being somewhat tired, I popped into Sainsbury's to get something for my supper. I couldn't get out of my car due to a combination of old age, fatigue and the sun shining through the window. Chadwick The Younger interrupted his trolley-collecting duties to come over and chat, the final outcome of which was that we would meet the following morning at the end of his road, on the way to the Sunday ride. So, an early night and a good sleep later, I duly arrived at the meeting point. Nobody! A short wait and a phone call to his mobile was enough - no answer, and he wasn't there. I pedalled on to Forest Row.

Seated in a row on the wall were, left to right, Kate, Ron, Steve and Zoë. I couldn't resist. I named them in turn, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil and Evil. Zoë didn't deserve the epithet, but accepted it graciously. That made me wish I hadn't been so rude to her.

Graham was also standing nearby, and we said hallo again after spending the previous Wednesday to Friday together. OK, we did share a room, but don't believe any of the malicious rumours that he is trying to spread around about my snoring, (I don't), about the beds being mysteriously pushed closer together during the night, (not me), and about him discovering that my torso is more attractive to women than his (true, of course).

Anyway, The Terrible Twins soon arrived too, Martha and Jane. No Tony and Val, no Dave, no Gordon, no Don and Christa, no Andrew, no Peter, no Paul. (It's at times like this that you wonder if old age has made you forget anyone. Apologies all round). Anyway, they've all doubtless got their reasons, which I had better receive in writing very soon, or else.

Tonbridge being the chosen venue, some decided to take the Forest Way, others the road. I preferred the road, but due to Graham's incessant talking, I soon realised that we had followed the others along the track. Realisation occurred just in time to take a detour onto the road, and not stopping to take a breath, Graham followed me. All were re-united at Withyham. (Sorry, I'm not sure if that's the right spelling, but I can't be fagged to get my map out and have a look. No marks for professionalism).

The air temperature not being high, there was a nip in the air during the spells when the sun wasn't out, but it was out often enough, and huge fluffy white clouds were filling about half of the sky. The bluebells were out, as well as quite a few other anonymous (at least to me) wild flowers. Everything looks lovelier in the sunshine, except Ron, and it was a joy to be alive.

D'you know what? I can't remember the route we took. I suppose I could if I applied my usual diligence to the task, but lethargy rules at the moment. Sorry.

I do know we went to Penshurst, and then along that super dedicated cycle path through the estate, up over the hill, whizz down to the road, then off again along the path, through the woods and eventually through the park past the lake with all the ducks and geese into the back of the town, and finally onto the main road where you nip across the junction to the café by the roundabout.

I also remember resisting a huge meal and opting for beans on non-buttered toast, even though I could have gone for the full monty breakfast. Unfortunately, most mortals have not got the constitution of Graham, who can eat what he likes and still not put on an ounce. However, having a massive charisma is recompense enough for me, together with my innate modesty, of course.

Ron took his leave after only a cup of coffee, as he had to get back and look after Benny, his lovely young King Charles spaniel. And then, too, Steve and Zoë jumped ship as they wanted to get back to watch the F1 Grand Prix on the telly, which was taking place somewhere in the Middle East. I'm not a fan, but having read about it subsequently (5 syllable word), I realise it was so exciting that they are forgiven.

Out into the fresh air the remainder of us went, unlocked our bikes, and meandered off in a new direction towards home. Again, this aged brain cannot at the moment recall the exact route, but it was more of the same, ups, downs, spring flowers, Graham talking, until there were only The Lovely Kate, The Lovely Me, and Graham sitting outside Java and Jazz in the sunshine drinking oceans of coffee before the short ride along the Forest Way back to our respective homes. Another lovely day.........


If you took part in a ride, why not write a report? The more florid the language, the more inflated the hyperbole, the more tumescent the innuendo, the greater your chance of winning the FRBC Prize for Original Plagiarism.

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