Forest Row Bike Club

Ride Report

Stanmore - 25th September 2016

On Friday I tried to lift a weight which was a bit too heavy for me. (So I told Martha to get up on her own. Ha, ha). I felt a rib do something funny, tore a muscle in my left arm and cut the skin of that forearm, before slipping on some mud and landing on my petite derrière. Woe, woe. So having taken things a little easy yesterday, I was relieved to wake up this morning to discover that I only felt horrendous. I allowed myself the luxury of driving to FR.

I had only just removed my bike from my car, when the lovely Jane and the lovely said Martha arrived, and I helped myself to a couple of snogs. They were going out with Simon, the one other member of The Wealden who hadn’t gone away somewhere else, I forget where they said. That would’ve involved listening, after all. We all went round to the front of the bike shop, to meet Graham and Steve, and ages later, Trex, with a brand new excuse from his book of reasons to be late, Part 26.

On previous weeks, well all of them when Trex comes, he and I have exchanged polite text messages to divine if the other intends to be there that particular week. Normally these include all the preliminary politenesses etc., but this morning, like a couple who have been married for a while, we cut to the chase. My message asked Coming? His reply - Yes. All we needed to know. Job done.

Any grammar swots amongst my myriad reading admirers may be wondering why I no longer use quotation marks. It is because Graham would have to use a convoluted procedure to change this format into the one he uses, and is a right pain to do. So there.

By about 300 yards up the incline of Priory Road it dawned on me that today was not going to be one of my oomphest of days. In between gasps, I explained to Steve that my Garmin, the extraordinarily expensive device which instructs me which way to carry out the ride of the day, had been behaving worse than a class full of degenerate teenagers. I thought that I may have solved the problem, but we shall see. Steve, one of the politest people I know, appeared to listen all the way to the top of the hill.

Any doubts we’d had about the weather today were quickly dispelled, as we had all warmed up a bit from our climb, and soon afterwards loads of blue bits appeared in the sky. Eight legs poked out from four pairs of shorts, and we collectively decided that we had all made the correct sartorial decision today.

My Garmin was working splendidly, so I was a bit miffed when at a junction I misread it, and Trex took full advantage in the p***-taking stakes. I got my own back when a mile or so outside Walstead, Trex showed how childish he really is by forging ahead to claim the sign for that village. There isn’t one!!! Oh joy.

The normal vicissitudes (don’t worry, I made it up), of FRBC riding continued, and before I knew it, we had arrived at the foot of the dreaded Ditchling Beacon. Having stopped to remove a layer in preparation, I noticed that the other three had snuck away, and left me to graunch up on my own, in bottom gear of course. After an interminable 1172 pushes down on my pedals, (yes, it’s true), I peered through the red mist to see the admirable Graham waiting for me, the other two having continued. Only a hundred or so yards further on, what did I espy, but Trex with his bike upside down, adjusting something or other with the portable workshop which he carries around with him. Broken cable? He’ll whip a new one in for you. Bottom bracket fallen to bits? New one in in a jiffy. Emergency caesarean? You never know. In any case, whatever it was, we were soon sitting down in the sunshine outside the cafe, having our breakfasts delivered to our table. Bliss.

I took the opportunity to repeat the trauma of all my injuries, when Steve pulled up a sleeve to display an enormous bruise. I thought he must have been wrestling a bison, but it was actually caused by losing a fight with a squirrel. Ask Steve, I am not making this up. I continued to discuss every subject under the sun while the others pretended to listen, and soon we were on our way.

Yippee! The wind was now strongly at our backs, and we took full advantage all the way to Lewes, where Trex took obvious delight in repeating to me a couple of pieces of local information I had imparted on a previous visit to the town, definitely not more than once only. Now, if you stand up on your pedals, you can just about see over the wall into Pells Pool, which I caught Trex doing. He explained that he was just seeing if the pool was still open at this time of year, honest. I confirmed that it was by doing the same, for research purposes only.

Just past there, we had to cross that footbridge over the River Ouse, where we watched half a dozen Grey Mullet flicking their tails back and forth, looking very tasty. Steve explained that tasty they may be, but are notoriously cautious about taking any bait, and hence do not grace many dining tables.

A few yards further on, we passed through the park where loads of families were enjoying the swings and roundabouts, and many youngsters were playing organised football games, including a couple of girls teams. Good for them all.

Happily the wind continued to give us a substantial push all the way to Isfield, where Trex inadvisedly tried to beat us all to the sign, misjudged it hopelessly, Graham winning easily. He was to make exactly the same mistake later, approaching Coleman’s Hatch. How enjoyable.

Before that, though, we had to negotiate Martha’s favourite lane, Down Street, which seems to climb steadily upwards for ever, especially if you are tired towards the end of a ride. We made it eventually of course, and Steve was expecting a reward of one of Trex’s jelly babies which he habitually carries. No luck, he is trying to give them up.

Up and over Wych Cross, and we were back in the car park in FR, where Steve and Graham left us, and I was able to give Trex a lift back up Wall Hill to his house. I meandered home to a welcome glass of beer. And another glass of beer. Sleep well All.

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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