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Forest Row Bike Club

 

 

Ride Report

 

Oxted & 3 Counties: 21 October

Another autumnal ride (and some news)

Some of us waited in Ashurstwood, by the bus-stop.  An elderly lady, left the bus slowly, and walked the few steps towards us.  She wondered where we were going.  She had cycled when she was much younger.  The beginnings of a conversation?  Alas, no.  The enlarged group was ready to leave.  No time.  And so the opportunity was lost. 

Instead, we began our ride.  We cycled through the village and down the slope, into the cold air.  Stand on the pedals, work the legs, take the bike and the legs up the slope.  And so we continued on a three-county ride, East and West Sussex, and Surrey.  Old Surrey Hall, Dormansland, St Piers, through the autumn countryside.  We felt the difference between the direct sunlight and the shade. 

And so we cycled amiably through what could have been deepest Surrey.  Yet it wasn’t.  The main roads were not all that far away, but they just as well could have been.  We cycled along familiar by-roads.  We passed the old, old elm tree which is so old that it is propped up, in the grounds of a church.  The light, the prospect of warmth – where else should we have been.

The short route or the roundabout one into Oxted?  Of course we choose the roundabout one.  Of course.  And it was as well that we did because as we climbed a short hill we could have been in the Chilterns.  Chesnuts, the light streaming through the trees.  And the hill was steep enough to slow us so that we had additional time to enjoy, though it was necessary to lift the head to do so.

Breakfast by the window in the supermarket café.  Big breakfasts for some.  For others, including an elderly couple, it  was lunch-time.  It was easy to imagine that the couple, or couples like them, instead of cooking a Sunday lunch, ate out in the café.

And the news, you ask; what about the news?  As we were leaving we heard about an annual hill-climb which was taking place that very day.  The climb was close by.  Now whilst there was no time to take in the climb, one elderly gentleman could not ignore the news.  At home, the climb was identified.  It is one to be tackled.  An elderly gentleman has to do what an elderly gentleman has to do. 

 Don

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