Forest Row Bike Club

Ride Report

Heathfield - 5th February 2017

Last week, having waited half an age for someone to turn up, I thought that this week I would do the decent thing and explain to him the meaning of life. Now obviously, past experience has proved that a gentle, friendly explanation is as nought. More robust measures were called for. Therefore, on parting at the end of that ride, I reminded the transgressor that this week, as a special treat, we were going to meet outside the bike shop at 0930 hrs. I emphasised each number of that time with a substantial blow to his nose with my fist, thus. “Don’t forget, next week we are meeting at 0, punch, 9, punch, 3, punch, 0, punch, hours, punch, precisely, punch”. The blood trickled and my point was made. So this week I was delighted that he arrived earlier than is his custom, at 20 to 10. This time he was dressed in long tights after his misjudgement from the previous Sunday.

I had come to FR in my car. This being my first official day of retirement, I had slept splendidly, and thus had allowed sufficient time on arrival to clean my bike thoroughly, give it a full service, go for a walk around the town, peruse the bike shop window and have 40 winks in the car park. That is the difference between myself and the other person.

Graham arrived, then Sienna arrived ages before he who was last to arrive, and she boasted that her bike was as pristine as mine. Being a world class pedant, I brought to her attention some dirt which lingered thereupon, and she replied “Well, it wasn’t me who cleaned it”. Well, really.

Martha was off to South Africa next day, and could be excused, so Graham, Sienna, Trex and myself made off towards the Ashdown, where we were to meet Steve. Sienna was going really well up Shepherds Hill, obviously keen to meet Steve. And there he was, resplendent on his best bike, which he explained he had brought in view of all the hills on the way to Heathfield. Wise move.

Martha was off to South Africa next day, and could be excused, so Graham, Sienna, Trex and myself made off towards the Ashdown, where we were to meet Steve. Sienna was going really well up Shepherds Hill, obviously keen to meet Steve. And there he was, resplendent on his best bike, which he explained he had brought in view of all the hills on the way to Heathfield. Wise move.

Another memory I have is of Graham mopping up all the village signs, one after another. However, I did manage to win both the downhill rolling races, which as is well known, count double points. Huh! Trex was tiring, and sought attention by pretending to have a rear wheel puncture. No sign of a hole in either his inner tube or tyre could be found. Very sad.

We were admirably served by the chap in the café, and he did well, as he explained to us that during the renovations he undertook about a year ago, he suffered a slipped disc which he still suffers with, and still wears a back support. Best wishes to him.

We had sat in the warm for the best part of two hours, and I nearly had to stop and take a breath, but it was time to leave. There was a Northerly wind which had assisted us here, but now it penetrated our bones. Fortunately(?) there were still plenty of hills to work our way up, and we almost thawed out. The sky became a foreboding dark grey for a time too, but we were lucky to escape being rained on. There were one or two whinges about the hills, but Graham reminded us, well me actually, that I had asked for it the previous week, by complaining the ride was too flat. Doesn’t he know what a joke is?

Some way later, we had to dip down under a railway bridge, and today there was a huge puddle straddling the road. Graham had already swum across it, and had his camera ready to take a photo of Sienna and myself careering through it, a target for Caption Corner perhaps.

Mayfield and Rotherfield came and went, followed by curiously enough, nestling in a hollow, a much smaller Heathfield, then Eridge and Groombridge. At this point legs were becoming drained, and Trex and Sienna left us to take the Forest Way home. I promised to take Trex up Wall Hill if he waited at my car in the car park, and I would even give him a small discount. Then Steve discovered a slow puncture in his back tyre. It says a lot about the man when compared with others, that he declared it to be no matter, he would just pump it up and carry on. We said goodbye to Steve at Hartfield, and it is there that I think I saw Graham swallow a handful of drugs, and from there on, try as I might, I couldn’t catch him up. I pulled up wheezing in Forest Row, where Graham was going to turn off. Just then Sienna arrived, and had only just left Trex. He wasn’t at my car, so figuring that he had just departed, I drove up Wall Hill ready to see a gaunt figure pushing a bike towards his home. Not a sausage. I drove back down the hill, peering under all the hedgerows, and finally, arriving back in Forest Row, there he was, full of tea from one of his mates. Well, nobody has a higher opinion of me than I do, but even I couldn’t believe the compliments showered upon me as he begged me for a lift. Outside his house, I refused to give his bike back until he returned from indoors with his cheque book. It is sad to see a grown man cry.

Having stuffed said cheque in my pocket, I sped home to a hot dinner and a cheeky little French number. In a bottle, of course.

John


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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