Forest Row Bike Club

Ride Report

To the aerodrome and back - 1st June 2008

Eight assembled in the Square; three waited at East Grinstead station; one did so in Ashurstwood. Soon the eight was reduced to seven, the result of a defect irreparable by the roadside. The seven collected the one; the eight and the three joined at Lingfield station. Whilst the one walked home, the 11 rode towards Bletchingly, with the intention of taking a mid-ride break at Redhill aerodrome. At home, the walking cyclist, having taken an early break and a fresh bicycle, cycled to the aerodrome. The 11 had become 12, the full complement.

The aerodrome café is a fine place for a break. It was warm enough to eat outside. The table was big enough to take the 12. There were light aircraft on the nearby grass. There was the companionable noise of a fast-turning propeller. Long, long ago there were Hurricane and Spitfire noises to be heard.

The chatter was engaging and illuminating. There was much to be gained from the reflections on David and Goliath, an early example of reporting from one side only. It was time to think about things from Goliath's point of view. A really unlucky strike. No mention of his family's grief. No mention of the improvement to the Philistine armour which must have resulted. There's so much more to think about.

Yet there was the return journey to make. Eleven cycled amiably on; one was under some incentive to complete the journey in a gear so low that, just before the incentive ceased to work, it as faster for him to push the bike than to pedal. We passed along roads, lanes, and paths well away from the traffic; sometimes we were additions to the cars, vans, and suchlike; when we and the drivers, no doubt, wished we weren't.

Our route included a peaceful park, through which we cycled by the stream. The path from the park took us to the noises of the airport, but we were cocooned as we followed a cycle-path, under the approach lights, to The Beehive, the relic of the original airport buildings.

Through the industrial estate, over the bridge which spans the roundabout, to Three Bridges, to Maidenbower and the quietness of the Worth Way. There was nothing to do save follow the Way, all the way home. And so we did.

Yet another companionable ride, ably led. Our complements to the leader. Seven, eight, and then 11 were led to the aerodrome. Twelve were led from there and were returned to East Grinstead and neighbouring places. What a fine ride.

Don.


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