‘Twas a dark and stormy night, with rain lashing down and the car display telling me it was only 13 C outside. Only 2 replies on the forum, and I’d already had one text from ‘Guaca’ telling me he was now stuck at work, would ‘Roadmole’ make it ???
No, came the text message at 7.30pm as I waited at the garage, on my own 🙁
But then, just as I was preparing for a solitary outing, with the rain gone and the evening sunshine lighting up the west, JonV rolled up looking for the ride.
He was happy to hand navigational duties to me (he’ll learn), so we headed off East towards Bocketts, via some of the ‘off path’ tracks, before crossing the A246 and then up Alsation to Stane Street and beyond.
I set a leisurely pace, not wanting to seem inhospitable to Jon as this was only his second Moles ride 😉 (I certainly don’t want to see any comments suggesting that a leisurely pace is the only one I have)
We tackled Life on Mars the wrong way (grr), then headed back to Chainbreaker before tackling the High Ashurst climb. I spun out, and Jon made another 10 yards before suffering a similar fate. Fair play, he went back down a few yards and tried a different line and cleared it, continuing to the top of the hill.
Inspired by this example, I pushed over the tricky bits before remounting and trying to overtake Jon whilst pretending I’d cleared it too.
We headed along the road past the Smith & Western then off to China Pig. By now it had turned into a fantastic evening with a great sunset. There were no damp patches from the earlier rain (maybe it was worse in West London than on the North Downs?), and the dust had been nicely damped down. China Pig was in excellent nick as we headed off.
My comedy moment occurred at the start when I misjudged the gap between the trees and my Atlas AM bars, and ‘pin-balled’ off the two tree trunks. Jon’s occurred when his helmet light bracket slipped and all he could see was his brightly lit front wheel.
We climbed back up Stane Street, before heading across Mickleham Gallops past the top of Chainbreaker and heading down Life on Mars the right way (hurrah). Another comedy moment occurred as my wide bars again clipped the tree, before we headed off down a very overgrown Alsation at dangerous speeds. A final saunter back past Bocketts saw us reach the garage at ‘Cowboy Time’, just over 2 hours after we’d set out.
No idea on the mileage, but it was a fine end to the evening after an unpromising start. On the way home the car display was now showing a balmy 18 C.
Thanks for the company, Jon.