Forest Row Bike Club

Ride Report

Holmes Hill - 23rd October 2016

I awoke to a very misty morning. I had been listening in that sort of half-sleep to the radio weather forecast which assured me that it would soon be sunny. Being of a certain age, and therefore experienced in this sort of thing, I felt that this was true, and I’m glad to say I was right. (I’m always glad when I’m right, aren’t you?).

I had to go to work later in the day, so I rode to FR knowing that I would only be able to go part of the way to wherever they were bound. I negotiated the road works at Ashurst Wood, and descended Wall Hill to the bike shop. It had turned out, as promised, to be a lovely morning, and I sat in the bus shelter opposite, soaking up the autumn sunshine.

I hadn’t been there long, when a luscious lovely approached me asking if I was waiting for the Forest Row Cycling Club. Well of course I was, and it wasn’t more than a few moments before Peter arrived. I was trying desperately to remember some of my old chat-up lines when Martha arrived to interrupt me, and then Steve and Graham. Guess who was last. Of course, it was Trex.

I berated Graham for not updating the website with the latest information, and I had to go very red when he pointed out that he had. It was me who had misread it. Bugger! Holmes Hill had been abandoned last week because no-one had turned up. We were going there this week instead.

D’you recall the trouble I had with my Garmin? I bloody do. I eventually sent it off to a repairer recommended by Graham. All went smoothly. The service was excellent. The repair was done swiftly and reasonably, and the said Garmin was delivered by courier to my home. Aha!, I thought. Why don’t I take it to work and test it out on a train journey? Arriving at work the same day, I popped it in my pocket on leaving my car, and walked the short distance to the station. On leaving to meet my first train, I put on my jacket, and half-way to London realised that the pesky thing was nowhere to be found. I had all my bags out, retraced my steps when I got back to Horsham, searched in, on, all round and under my car when I was ready to go home. Mystery! On the third of my subsequent 3 days off, having abandoned all hope, I forked out one arm and one leg to replace the blighter. On the fourth day I returned to work to be confronted by 1) An enormous bloke who enquired if I would prefer to return his jacket in exchange for not having my nose broken, and 2) Another bloke who handed me my own jacket containing my Garmin in the pocket, and the words, “Good job I got it back to you before you bought another one, eh?”. Isn’t life fun sometimes?

Peter went off to do his own ride, and the rest of us began ours. Sienna, for that is her name, gamely decided that we others were not honed racing machines as she had feared, so she may be safe trying to keep up with us for part of today’s ride at least.

We went via Hartfield, Withyham and Ladies’ Mile to Mott’s Mill. Steve had told me a couple of weeks ago that he and Graham had gone there previously and seen a number of Guy Fawkes mannequins positioned about the hamlet. I had subsequently driven there and seen a few of them myself. Most impressive.

Sienna seemed not to have the slightest problem with the first hill up to Coleman’s Hatch, and then the whizz down to Hartfield. The rise up to Ladies’ Mile was no trouble for her either. But alas, on reaching that short tester just after Mott’s Mill, Sienna’s breathing became quieter. Well, not quieter actually, just further behind. We only had to wait a few moments, however, before she appeared, pushing her bike, and blood running from a cut on her shin. Graham’s chest pushed itself out. So did Steve’s and so did mine. Then we all stood looking blank. But Trex the Knight in Shining Armour twisted his imaginary moustache, rummaged in his bag of innumerable goodies, and produced a professional surgeon’s emergency operating kit with instruction manual. In no time at all, Sienna’s shin was disinfected, anaesthetised, sutured, bandaged, kissed better and we were all on our way. Another life saved, but all in a day’s work for Trex.

Sienna gets bandaged with insulating tape and old rags by Dr RexWe pressed on past Eridge Station, over the A26 and wooshed down to that junction where you go under the railway bridge and up the short climb past the enchanting mill pond over the wall.

Martha and I never got to see the mill pond today though, as we both had to retrace our steps home early. Sienna felt optimistic enough to continue, as long as she had the big, strong, hunky Trex to look after her.

So we two turned for home, wishing the others a lovely ride. If our own was anything to go by, I’m sure they did, as we meandered off, the sun on our backs. Happily, it was also on all the trees, bushes and shrubs, bringing out their dazzling autumn yellows, browns and vivid reds. It really was a super day’s riding, if short, and left a zing in the air as I later drove to work.

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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