Until this morning, I hadn’t been out on my bike for 12 days and I’ve been getting progressively more frustrated about it as each day passed. Finally though, the weather perked up and I could clear a couple of hours in my diary for a ride this morning. On several different days over the last week, I’ve got the bike out and pumped the tyres up etc only to be thwarted by something or another. Not today though.
Just after 10am this morning I rolled down the street and around the corner to the traffic lights where I then proceeded to drop my chain at the first stop in the ride. Cue me clambering off the bike and the road to flick it back on cursing under my breath. About 1.5km later, I was waiting at my first roadworks traffic light followed by another one 5kms after that. So not exactly an auspicious start to the ride.
From that point however, things proceeded to get very pleasant indeed. The sun was out and shining through breaks in the tree lines and it was warming up to the point that I removed the sleeves of my jacket and “filed them” in my back pocket. I rode through Groombridge on to Hartfield then through Upper Hartield, Colemans Hatch and onto Chelwood Gate.
I stopped to take photos on Colemans Hatch road (again) to send to the Cycling Tips Competition before it finally ends: http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2010/08/what-you-missed-this-morning-photo-competition/
and whilst I was snapping away with my iPhone a bloke on Trek rode past me. A km or so later I caught up to him and chatted away for a bit until we got to Chelwood Gate, where I turned off towards Nutley. From there it was across the Ashdown Forest on Crowborough Road and back via Friars Gate and Ladies mile on the way to Groombridge.
Only a few kms later I was back in the roadworks and traffic lights on the ride into Tunbridge Wells again. None of that took any of the gloss off what was a thoroughly enjoyable ride. Perhaps not worth the wait – but great to be out on the road again. I do feel rejuvenated and am a happier camper than I was this time yesterday thanks to my blast in the countryside.
Final stats: 58.98km Time 2 hours 6 minutes. Average speed: 27.98kmh. Total climbing 630m