Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Signs of Spring

It was back down to earth for us with a return to our nocturnal mid-week activities. Jon and Al met at Hambledon for the regular ride taking in Soberton and the Forest of Bere. The evenings are really drawing out now and, although we set off in the dark, Jon could at least take the bike off his car in daylight. These tale-tale indications of things to come have always been an encouragement of the TCA through the years; setting off in day light means longer, more adventurous rides. What's more we were blessed with a clear, mild evening after solid rain since our return from our weekend in the Quantocks.

Sections of the ride were still very heavy, particularly the Driftway Track which had seen some tractor action during the rain – it was easy to get a wheel caught in the tyre marks.
This was the first Wednesday we’d been out in these parts for some time and we were greeted enthusiastically by the ‘regulars’ in the White Lion at Soberton: Wednesday is the big night out in the Lion, with a band playing every first Wednesday in the month. We had a pint of our usual Palmers 200 as we caught up with the familiar characters in the bar.

The old railway line was a bit of a slog but we worked well in tandem, slip-streaming each other in turn, which made less heavy weather of the two or three miles. We didn’t even make a serious attempt of the railway embankment challenge; it was thick with mud and would have been a difficult ask after our exertions on the railway line.

The familiar haul up and over the hill through the
Forest of Bere passed without incident; the decent was a little more tame than usual as the rain seemed to have packed down the loose, sandy surface. We did note however that amongst the obvious signs of spring the bluebells are preparing themselves for their annual spectacular display (previously described). Men of habit we ordered our usual pints of Green King Abbot Ale in the Travelers to toast absent members and pose for our routine photograph (below).

After this second pint of the night it was back to an empty house for a meal of Al’s famous beef in Guinness and an episode of Desperate Housewives. Perhaps not the most extraordinary of evenings but sometimes comfort can be found in the routine.

(Posted by: Al)

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10 Comments:

At 3:58 am, March 13, 2007, Blogger Ju's little sister said...

Two fantastic posts, well done boys.
I don't envy you the mud - though we have plenty of rain here in Auckland too at the moment. I've been frantically trying to remember how to stop balls getting into the goal and it's not any easier when your full goalie kit is waterlogged - and thus so much the heavier. Keep up the good work and exciting posts.
JLS

 
At 4:34 am, March 13, 2007, Blogger simon said...

I like riding familiar tracks...(routine). You get to know what gear is suitable before its required... and as such really get 'on song".

However,
We have had some heavy storm actvity here and it has really changed the track conditions... and as such the "line" has altered too...

Beef in Guinness! YUMO!!

 
At 4:41 am, March 13, 2007, Blogger TCA said...

Have they changed the decor in the White Lion? Good to see the mud plastered on your faces. A familiar ride but tried and tested!

Good post ride nosh by the sounds of it.

B.B

 
At 7:38 am, March 13, 2007, Blogger TCA said...

JLS, good ball skills!
Simon, is has been so muddy here recently that one would be lucky to select ANY gear, the derailers get so clogged up. We also like riding this 'old faithful' but it doesn't make for good blogging as I fear readers have heard it all before! YUMO indeed!

BB, You should know from vast experience that the pub in the picture is THE TRAVELERS not the lion. And, no, the decor hasn't changed significantly since you left (although both pubs have changed hands). I know you will also be relieved to hear that the travelers are still selling their renowned (by the TCA anyway) pies - Twice YUMO I say!

Al

 
At 7:23 am, March 14, 2007, Blogger Ju's little sister said...

Check out my bruise on Robot Madness for Geeks (Libramentum...)

 
At 7:29 am, March 14, 2007, Blogger TCA said...

Doh! Of course it is the Travellers! a momentary lapse in pub geography..out of practice you see, they all look the same over here.

 
At 4:41 am, March 15, 2007, Blogger Ju's little sister said...

whinging indeed.


>shakes her head sadly<

 
At 9:23 pm, March 21, 2007, Blogger Maalie said...

Nice to see the familiar landmarks described again.

 
At 1:12 pm, March 23, 2007, Blogger Val Travers said...

Always thouhgt Soberton was a bad place to have a pub :-D
Can you take a bike on the train to Fareham from Farnborough, do you know?

 
At 12:14 pm, March 27, 2007, Blogger Tortoiseshell said...

My advice to cyclists is that any bike-train combo journey is ventured at one's own risk, due to the haphazard nature of policies across different rail operators, on different types of train etc.

Many's the time I've seen cyclists crestfallen faces at Cardiff Central on account of the "No room for bikes" orders of some railway jobsworth or other.

 

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