On September the 1st Warren and I arranged a mid-week bike ride to kick things off for the month. Warren had wangled a day off and I can usually arrange my days to suit so we arranged to meet at our usual place at 9.30am. I got there first, parked my bike and sat down on the Church Yard wall to recover a bit before Warren arrived.
Morning rides can be a bit hit and miss with me and I often try to get things organised the night before … like making up my drinks for example. Now that I was sat in Chiddingstone after a brisk 35 minutes ride to the meeting point I quite fancied a drink so I started to walk back across to my bike to get a drink …. which was the point I noticed that I’d forgot to put my drink bottles on my bike! Yes, I’d made them up the night before and I’d got them out of the fridge to put in the bike but had stupidly forgotten to do just that.
When Warren arrived a few minutes later I admitted my schoolboy error, which he thought was highly amusing.
As we didn’t have a particular route in mind for the day, I asked if he’d mind if we went back via my house in Tunbridge Wells to collect my drink bottles from my kitchen bench. It’s also that time of the year where the temperatures are starting to cool and I had cautiously ventured out in a winter jersey and was already a bit warm. Once we got back to my house I grabbed my drinks, changed my shirt and we got going again. My kids liked the unexpected arrival of Warren and I, so they were happy but I felt pretty foolish. We stopped by Wildside cycles (http://www.wildside-online.co.uk/) in Tunbridge Wells on the way out of town, who to Warren’s disgust don’t sell Colnagos.
As Warren is a strong and enthusiastic climber – I took us on a relatively hilly route and looped out through Frant and Groombridge before heading back in the direction of Chiddingstone. One of the best climbs was going up Beech Green Lane from Withyam towards Blackham. Climbing up the hills around Fordcombe village is always good too. Corseley Road behind Groombridge is another old favourite, with a very steep section at one point, where it’s not ideal to you meet a car on.
So thanks to my forgetfulness we had an unconventional route for the day – but it was still a decent 85km in the end with 1100m of climbing in nice (autumnal) weather.
I love getting out on my bike on the first day of a month, it’s always nice to get some miles in the bag right at the beginning of the month. With all the climbing I certainly needed my energy drinks, so I was pleased that we’d nipped back so I had them. I bet I don’t make that mistake again for a while.
Thanks for reading.