Forest Row Bike Club

Ride Report

Rusthall - 11th December 2016

I don’t know if you agree with me, (you’d better do), but I have always found that if one has an appointment to meet others at a certain hour, it is sensible to leave in sufficient time to arrive there. Simple. And if one lives just a mile away from the rendezvous, for example, it would be a reasonable estimate to allow, say, five minutes from the moment that one actually begins to move, to arrival time. It would, I suggest, be folly to believe that just two minutes would suffice, considering that one may have left one’s keys behind, or one’s chain needs oiling, or even that one had overlooked that one’s tyres need inflating. It would be even more bizarre to expect that if one were to leave home at, say, 0932, that one could possibly arrive at 0930. Some people, no, one person actually believes this to be achievable. Said person probably believes that it is possible to sit on a barbed wire toilet seat without saying “Ouch!”. Or to step on the wrong end of a garden rake without receiving a black eye. However, there are all sorts of people in the world, and we must accept that fact. I shall say no more. Until I do.

Graham had arrived at FR a few seconds after me, and considered it not worth crossing the road to my personal bus shelter, as the sun was too low in the sky at this time of year, and it was in shadow. So I trudged across the road to the bike shop. Sienna arrived, then Steve, I think in that order, although that is not important. We discussed at length the great issues of the day. Donald Trump, Boris Johnson’s latest gaffe, whether there really is life on Mars and Brexit. We had a tea break and then continued on global warming and the Russian athletes’ drug problem. Trex arrived at 0937 and 30 seconds. Call me a pedant if you wish. We were then able to set off up Priory Road.

We saw Ron, our club’s founder, walking his dog and called “Hallo”. His dog didn’t answer, so we called “Hallo” to Ron. Ron did.

At the top, (dunno who was puffing most, probably me), we turned left towards Wych Cross, and I spent the next half-hour or so relating to Sienna about the time when some members of the club assisted the Muscular Dystrophy charity to raise funds at the garden centre there. And so on past the A22 onto the A275. (Isn’t this interesting?). Having passed Chelwood Gate we arrived again at the A22, the very spot where Trex had previously left his DNA on the road, and I was able to a) remind him of the fact, b) try to stifle a snigger, and c) remind him of the fact again. You’ve got to hand it to Trex, he does a bloody good impression of someone who doesn’t know what the hell you are talking about.

We crossed the cattle grid, passed the point where Jane took our photos last week and crossed the other cattle grid. Next is a lengthy drop down at the end of which I claimed the Lye Green sign, not caring if I claimed another one this day. Approaching the Groombridge sign, however, Graham pretended to fluff his gears, having decided it was futile to try to beat me. I shall not mention it. And so we continued in the opposite direction to that which we normally travel, to Tunbridge Wells, up Major York’s Road to the Rusthall sign, which of course I won, and pretended with a sterling effort that I wasn’t really bothered. Insousiance would be the word which I chose to explain my emotions if I knew what it meant.

We entered the cafe, the temperature having been just slightly too cool for us to agree to sit outside. December too, amazing. The really accommodating staff encouraged us to draw two tables together, and thought they were going even further to please us by closing the blinds to keep the sun out. Never mind. They also weren’t fazed in the least when some of us ordered breakfasts which didn’t correspond exactly with the menu. A proper café.

Breakfasts came and were consumed. Sienna ordered nothing however, and explained that she didn’t need any, and in any case, it kept her from putting on any extra weight as all of we others had done. Trex proved categorically that he is a complete bastard by passing the comment that it didn’t show.

The last time that we had come to this café, Steve and I had wondered why there was a brick arch opposite, and decided to investigate after our meal stop. We forgot. So in the intervening period I had gone to look, and discovered that the arch signified the entrance to a development of almshouses. So that is it. I must investigate the history of almhouses. It may go some way to making a future ride report interesting. One never knows.

Breakfast having been finished, we continued our journey home. It being unseasonally mild, we started off quite comfortably. Trex remarked on the lack of hills, and I cautioned him to expect some pretty soon. I am accustomed to being right, unless you listen to the opinion of my ex-wife. On this occasion I was indeed right, as I knew I was, and soon we were all puffing a bit.

I can’t remember exactly where, or even vaguely where, but Trex stopped at one point to remove from the road an unfortunate squirrel, and some time later a pheasant which had been dissected, I assume, by a vehicle. Trex’s version would be that he replaced them under an adjacent hedge. My suspicion might be that he is not the near-vegetarian that he claims to be. Let’s leave it there.

Now, today being the Thursday after the ride, and the evening at that, I can’t remember another single thing about this ride, except that I parted company with my intrepid companions at the western end of Smithers Lane, from where I had a short climb and a 3-mile drop down to my home. However, I do remember twisting the top off of a bottle of beer, and thanking all of my companions for yet another very enjoyable ride.

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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