Monday, 20 June 2011

FNRttC - Whitstable

When I saw a signpost to our end destination: "Whitstable 4", I was disappointed.  I didn't want it to end.  We had a tail wind all the way, and it seemed to get stronger and stronger.  Those last 4 miles were over in a jiffy.

I loved sitting, having breakfast, on the balcony of the cafe.  The waitress recognised me from the week before: "Back for more", she said.  Sure am!

It was sunny, people were happy, chatting ... Because I had limited time, I was absorbing the atmosphere in a time-lapse manner.

The weather forecast had been expressed in inches of rain all week  To be fair to our middle of the night caterers,  Simon had set the deadline for pulling out to Thursday.  This reduced the field from 130 to 65.  Right up until midnight Friday, the weather was appalling.  My motto doesn't work in Simon's system, but normally I say "Always get to the start".  Always get to the start, and then decide whether to ride or not .  From midnight onwards, we had perfect cycling conditions.  It was warm, no rain, a little drizzle perhaps, and a tailwind all the way.

So, we benefited the advantages of a reduced field. It was like the old days.  Although, a group of 65 now appears really small.  Bunching up is much quicker, you see people more than once, shorter queues for facilities, shorter queues for food, Simon with time to chat ....

A pedestrian asked what we were doing and Simon replied "We've come to see you!".  The serious answer of "We're going to Whitstable" prompted a reply of "Ah Whitstable", with an intonation of  "I have no idea who Whitstable is".

"We've come to see you"
Just after the Rochester Andy Snacks stop, I noticed this intriguing structure.  If I didn't learn anything new about London, I learnt about Sir John Hawkins, the triangular trade, and these almshouses, still used to house Navy pensioners.

Sir John Hawkins Hospital, Kings, Chatham
John Hawkins on wiki
I have also discovered why an audax in Kent is called the Invicta:

Kent motto Invicta, on house in Milton Regis
Kent Invicta on wiki
The reason I had limited time at Whitstable is that I got to do the ride on the promise I would be back home to help out at the Hanwell Carnival Allotment Stall.  Since I am the beekeeper with honey to offer, it was only right that I would be attending my own makeshift stall.

I look tired
Photos are on the slideshow till the next ride or here: Clicky

Other thoughts:

  • 12 puncture in the group
  • sleeping on the train back to London, to miss every single drinks trolley
  • skylarks
  • tipping helmet at the Sportsman (table booked for 10th July)
  • need to start planning for Newhaven - Dieppe (have ferry and Eurostar, need overnight stay and route)
  • perfect ride - thank you Simon, and everybody involved 


Kris said...

De laatste foto was een schokje en dacht ik... tiens da madamke lijkt ergens op mijn jongste zus, en ja inderdaad, je bent het! Wat een transformatie, zo helemaal back in time!
Mooi hoor, idd vermoeid en wat bleekjes .En dat na een nachtrit!'k Ben content dat het allemaal vlotjes ging zowel de night ride als de verkoop!

Anonymous said...

Een"opgekleed" bengske zijn we wel niet gewoon: je ziet er moe uit maar toch stralend.
Proficiat met je rit en de goeie verkoop van je super lekkere honing en kwaliteitsvolle bijenwas. We verlangen ook voor WHitstable. Xxx