|The Shard - tallest building in the European Union|
We were in Gravesend in no time. The forecourt of The Call Boy pub is where we normally stop and gather. I've always liked that stop even though it feels so dead in the night. When I first spotted the blue star on the pub swing board, back in 2011, I liked the place even more.
|Taken in 2011|
This time! This time, it didn't feel dead in the night. There was a lively gathering of people interested in what we were doing. I saw that the pub was open for business, and then immediately looked up to the swing board. It wasn't The Call Boy anymore, but ...
|Photo by Trickedem - http://cyclingmagic.blogspot.com|
... Angels. Angels, the gayest place in town.
Now back to The Call Boy. His uniform gives away that this is to do with theatre. A call boy calls the stars to the stage, saying something like 'You're on in 5 minutes.' This pub is where there used to be the Grand Theatre of Gravesend. Have a look at an old photo on this site.
All settled back to usual paces after the magnificent halfway stop in Strood. I was pleased to be able to take off some layers, it was a very warm evening. It was my first experience at the English Martyrs Church Hall. There was a 'volunteer' to rider ratio of about 1:10, which allowed for welcoming and efficient proceedings! Thank you!
|Abundance at the church hall|
I had a little wonder after spotting this guy below. He'd collected some lugworms which are used as fishing bait. The handful he'd gathered were worth £15.
It was an excellent ride with great company. I had lovely chats with known and new riders. Some conversations are unique, and it's great when it happens.
I had arranged to have lunch with my girlfriend at the Sportsman, and that didn't disappoint either. Stuart had asked: 'You having oysters today?' We had the tasting menu, which included oysters, oysters like I've never had before, so good. The cream cheese ice cream dessert was so delicious it almost made me cry.
|Oysters at the Sportsman|
Thanks to Simon for organising, and everybody on the ride who made it memorable. Special thanks to the Strood Eight!
Photos are here: MyPhotos