EDitorial ± 6-Jan-2011
Good it is to climb into your own bed after another New Year's Eve bash. Yes, the ever-so-factual DAB says it's now 3:30am, but the Broomhill mafia brought bottles, banquetted on Boston Beans and bhajis, and, in 2010's finest hour, fought a ferocious sock game. Neighbours niggled, mothers defiantly defeated their daughters and accusations of cheatery flew like Chinese lanterns. They're long gone, every last bowl in the kitchen has been washed up and Bedfordshire beckons. Bliss.
Better still if I wasn't tweaking the lo-fi Motorola alarm for less than six hours hence. An Obama-like precedent having been set last year, it has become the done thing to partake of a jolly old cycle ride on 01/01. Up at 9:10, snatched somnolent cuppa and a round of quince toast, and down to the shed for two wheels. Not the trusty and not-at-all rusty Boardman, alas, but Wifey's padded saddler. To get a grip, a fellow needs thicker tyres.
Loosening freewheel to The Boy's school, aka rendezvous point (A). Here's Jon, the organiser, and that's it. We can make it if we try. The others, no doubt, will be meeting us later. Speedy cycle out along Wherstead Road and up the ski slope hill. I fall in behind Jon at the exact moment he hits numerous dirty puddles. Not all mud is glorious.
Picking up a 3rd fellow traveller, we head out to Tattingstone. There, in the free Lemons Hill car park, aka rendezvous point (B), is everyone else. Roughly 20 bikes doing the circuit of Alton Water, and the first time I've been back since I was deeply irresponsible.
Today's circumference is far less eventful. Hills, mud, bit of freezing rain, but this girl's bike does well. Top idea to break up the journey with a coffee stop at the caff -- open New Year's Day! -- and the final stretch isn't a stretch at all. If I'd known about the 90 minute wait for food, I'd have skipped lunch at the White Horse and concentrated on buying my Dad (who we're seeing later this afternoon) a Christmas present. No time like the last minute.