Wednesday, 19 March 2008

It's Transport Day!

This is me, on thebottom, looking rather fetching in my cycle hat, best be safe that sorry I say and the picture on the top is nagging sister, looking bloomin' glamourous!! Best look glamourous than like a nerd is my sisters motto! She even has proper bicycle clips!

Bikes to be exact! Nagging sister and I will ride our bikes, all through the gorgeous green woods on to roads back into woods, and pass the bored, forever eating, sheep.
Sounds good doesn’t it. It sounds so simple, a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours? Already exhausted from the ride up to the school with the forever complaining young girl, I start towards our pre-arranged meeting point. Its cold, I didn’t put my leather jacket on, (Well unless you are riding a motor bike, it doesn’t give the same impact!) and I have just a warm woolly fleece, those worn out jogging bottoms and gloves on.

I arrive at the pre-arranged place, looking as if I had just finished our mega bike ride already, but no nagging sister. I look at my watch, I am ten minutes early. I should have gone home to get some cash first, then we could have stopped off for quick pint of lager half way round! I am starting to feel the cold again now, so I just start to move my legs and arms around, trying not to look like some demented person trying to flag down all the traffic, which seems to have built up. I can’t believe that I have just come off this road, Its really quite scary to think of me riding next to this traffic. But not to think about that now. Fifteen minutes later nagging sister has arrived, by now I don’t care what I look like I am freezing and wanting to get on with the cycle route. I remembered I had bought my camera along, and quickly get a picture of nagging sister, this is the first time I have seen her looking in pain. She does have a huge hill to ride up first off to meet me, no warm up roads first., (I try not to snigger at that, unsuccessfully) ‘I have been here ages’ I tell puffed out nagging sister, she tries to talk to me but instead just smiles. How comes she can still smile when she is puffed out, I just grimace and frown and sweat! Before we set off we decided to take pictures of each other ‘before’ the ride, then we will get one ‘after’ .

Off we go, down the road and on to the country park. The sun is shining, even though it is still freezing out here, and the birds are tweeting all around. Dogs and their owners are all over the place, it really is a pleasant ride! So far. But then! Oh there always has to be a but then, doesn’t there. The path that we need to go on seems to have disappeared under tons of wet, sticky, make you fall of your bike, mud! ‘Just stick to the side of the puddles’ says nagging sister to me, with her big fat wheels on her bike. I on the other hand have very thin wheels, it’s the only thin thing about me! Mind you talking of that, I have lost weight, Yippee,!!! I was **stone and now I am ** stone 10 ½ pounds ( I will let you know at the end of May, my exact weight, but for now, just losing those couple of pounds has put a smile on my face. Anyway I have gone of track. Very apt, that saying, because the track that we were riding on is in fact one huge mud bath. I can imagine getting all mud stuck up in my mud guards, maybe even getting stuck half way through a particularly muddy section. But this is me, the old girl on her bike, and of course I did get stuck half way through the muddy mire. But I didn’t embarrass myself completely, (I didn’t fall off into the mud) I did however have to get off my bike and try and manoeuvre a way through the sticky stuff, with nagging sister laughing at me, in her usual helpful way.

We eventually got to the bit that I was looking forward to, the roads. I like riding on the roads, ok so I don’t like it when the cars are on there too, but at least there is any mud. Here we are looking absolutely glamorous, me with my skid lid on, and jogging bottoms stuffed into my stripy black and white socks, and nagging sister……darn it, she does look glamorous! Why don’t I look like that, I must nag her to get a skid lid too, for safety reasons only of course, you must always ride your bike on the road with your cycle helmet firmly on your head.

Down the lovely tarmac roads, with nagging sister behind asking all the time, when do we go back to the woods. ‘I’m sure its just a little further down this road’ I shout back to her, ‘Its not far’ I can’t really remember it being this far, mind, but still it’s a lovely clean, almost traffic free road, what’s the worry. But come across the public byway we did. ‘Here it is’ I shout to nagging sister, but she already spotted it and was heading in that direction. ‘This is where we saw those dog walkers and got the map’ says nagging sister, the map that I forgot to bring with us. Maybe I should have gone home after all, pick up the map and get money for a lager. Too late now to think of niceties like that.

By now my legs were aching, my hands were freezing, but, the mud on my bike had fallen off. I was not looking forward to going back to the ‘Countryside’ as nagging, sister calls it.

We decide to go a different route to the one that we went before. Neither of us was in any hurry to get anywhere anyway, there is only housework and more housework when we get home, so why not. Off we trundle into the countryside, splashing through mud! Oh how I hate……….mud! I am seriously thinking that I would rather jog the whole of that stretch of path again then go through this. But onwards and…..upwards! Upwards,do woods never go down! Have you ever peddled a road bike, up hill in thick gooey mud? Its awful, its slow, its hard. I don’t like it. Nagging sister is flying off up the gooey slope, with her big fat bike wheels, ‘well at least something is fat about her‘, I mumbled to myself. ‘Which way?’ she says to me. I don’t have a clue, I'd forgotten to bring the map, I remembered my keys, by camera, my hat, my gloves, my empty water bottle! Oh no, not even water to drink. Luckily nagging sister bought some along.

We reach a part of the path where a road runs beside it, quite a busy road. I hope we can go on there. Nagging sister is still leading, and she takes the path that runs parallel to the road. Oh good, we might go on there, I’m thinking to myself. Then I let out a scream, the path is really muddy, there are tree roots and tree stumps all over the place and my bike slips from under me. I managed to stay upright but the scream made nagging sister turn around and then promptly fall off her bike. Now it was my turn to ‘pee my pants’ Oh how happy I felt right then. Did I rush off my bike to help nagging sister as she struggled to get up from under her bike, no, I just sat astride mine and laughed.

We did ride on to the road eventually, but it wasn’t where we thought we were. In fact we had no idea where we were. ‘Lets just turn left and see where we end up’ Says sister in her throw away comments. It does seem the right decision, but I’m not telling her that. We see some workman digging up the road, nagging sister, who I might add doesn’t seem to have any mud on her, unlike me, smiles broadly at these guys and asks them where we were. One chap did say France, but I tended to think that maybe we didn’t go that far, but in fact we had ridden to Chislehurst! I was impressed with myself.

We rode out bikes, always turning left, and we came across a pub, oh how I wished I had gone home first, I could smell the beer from here. Turning left and riding on, and we come across the ‘countryside again. ‘I know where we are’ says know it all nagging sister. ‘Yup we just need to ride down here, and then down there, and that is where you fell of your bike’ Do I tell her that she too fell off, hmm? No I will save that for another day.

And indeed that is where we were. Know it all nagging sister, who has not one bit of mud on her, and probably not even on her bike, was right.

We rode all the way back to our pre-arranged meeting point, where I unfortunately (on purpose) forgot to get the camera out for the ‘after’ bike ride shot…….

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