Tuesday, 14 July 2009
Midweek Mile Munching
Tuesday morning 09.30. Four men meet outside Purley Tesco. Their interest is not mid week food shopping or club card points, it’s mile munching.
They wheel their steeds across Purley and the first shower starts. Macs on, chocks away. Peeing down in Purley, wet in Whyteleafe, worse in Woldingham, cats and dogs in Crowhurst. The men laughed. The rain was warm and the roads were quiet.
Lingfield, Dormansland, Marsh Green and Edenbridge all fall by the way side. The miles are munched, the rain stops, the macs are packed. The sun comes out.
This countryside is like a jigsaw, they all know bits of it and it fits together quite beautifully.
The lure of refreshment in Westerham is strong. So a hill must be conquered. A big one. The men fix each other with steely gaze through plastic lens and ride on. The choice is made. Toys Hill looms and the four grind on, each at their own pace. The mighty Toys has more false flats than a bankrupt property developer, it’s grim. Past the phone box and it kicks up again from grim to brutal in about ten yards. And like all great hills, it’s over. Conquered.
Swoops and sweeps, drags and digs, Westerhams’s Tudor Tea Room is calling. The men walk through the door and step back in time. Sandwiches, coffee and tea. The world is put to rights with consummate ease.
Onwards and upwards, the bunch breaks and goes separate ways, Coulsdon, Caterham, Selsdon, Carshalton.
50 miles in the bank, the highest quality miles in every sense.