Forest Row Bike Club

Ride Report

Ringmer - 26th February 2017

The forecast predicted dark clouds, plenty of wind, but no rain. I was surprised, therefore, to have to don my rain jacket in Ashurst Wood due to heavy drizzle, before I’d even arrived in FR. I sat down in my bus shelter again, and was removing said jacket, when I noticed Graham had just arrived. I trudged across the road, and we discussed the prospects of more rain. Graham had heard from Martha. She wasn’t coming today. Steve was off skiing this week, and there was no sign of Sienna. Lo! and behold! Trex appeared, and only just under 5 minutes late. And after his magnificent failure to arrive exactly on time by only 50 seconds last week. Recidivist is perhaps the term I am looking for.

Mind you, I’ll say this for the guy. He had constructed a device for keeping his Garmin attached to his bike at the correct distance and at the exact angle for him to be able to see it. It put me in mind of a lance, it was almost that long. I prepared myself for a spot of jousting later on in the ride.

As it turned out, the ride was comparatively uneventful. We climbed Priory Road, descended Twyford Lane, over the ford, and up again along Birchgrove Lane. At some point during this time, Trex enquired if I had ridden to FR, or if I had brought my car there. His expression changed somewhat on learning that my car was at home, and shortly afterwards told us that he would probably have to leave the ride early. Some domestic arrangements, he muttered. I suspect that I have been too easy on him recently, giving him free lifts up Wall Hill most weeks. Now his legs seem to be a bit skinnier, and unable to cope with the climb. Poor wretch.

Unsurprisingly, at the next junction, he pretended to make a phone call, after which he mouthed that he was desperately needed back at home, and he would have to speed off there immediately. And then he was gone. Had I known it would be that easy to encourage his absence, I would have used that trick weeks ago. From then on, it was a very pleasant day.

Graham and I ploughed on together, me chatting relentlessly and Graham pretending to listen. We passed a very a nice young man standing with his bike at the side of the road. His back wheel had suffered a puncture, and his Dad and he had both tried to remove the tyre to no avail. Strange. We did offer to try, as his Dad had continued his ride alone, though he explained that his Mum was on her way to pick him up already, but thanks anyway.

No such situation for Graham. He too had a puncture a bit later, front wheel this time, and he was able to remove his tyre and replace it without tyre levers. I was his willing helper, and due to the fact that he had kept his gloves on throughout, I enquired of him why it was that he had had the puncture, but it was me who was covered in s**t. Come uppance was quick, however, when he lifted his front forks out of a half inch thick layer of manure, which he then had to dig out of his dropouts. Ha ha.

We had a long discussion over lunch, Graham having asked me for my opinion on a political matter. Now Graham is mistakenly of a different political view from me. Or was. I have to hand it to the guy. He put his points across with vigour, but in the end he admitted to me that my arguments were far more reasoned than his, and that consequently, he would do a volte face, and change his view completely. Stout chap.

On our return towards home, we were greatly assisted by a tail wind for most of the way. I was beginning to tire, however, so in reward for Graham’s magnanimous attitude in the café, I allowed him to believe that he had beaten me to all the village signs fairly and squarely. It was only fair dos.

We parted company at FR, and I thought about stopping to don my rain jacket again at the bottom of Wall Hill as the drizzle had recommenced. I thought ‘What the h***?’ though, I was nearly home, so I just ploughed on.

I did have one more task to perform that evening, apart from making my dinner. I had to visit PC World to buy a new keyboard. It was fortunately open late, as I had discovered that it is nearly impossible to type with keys covered in the partially solidified remains of a spilled glass of port from a couple of nights ago.

Nevertheless, it was brilliant knowing that I didn’t have to get up early in the morning, or any morning ever again. And also the boiler man is coming to stop me shivering indoors.

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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