Badger’s drift and a magic solution

Saddle up: Kirdford Village Stores in West Sussex welcomes all sorts…

Map reference: Leatherhead into West Sussex, 100k, homage to the Spring Onion sportive

Carbs and caffeine: Bookham and Harrison, Ridgewick and Kirdford Village stores, where they serve an excellent bacon sandwich

I was very honoured to be invited by Keith for his Monday Medley. My Bike Beans friend, Jo, tells me they haven’t ridden for a while together but they tend to go out for about 100k and Keith has an encyclopedic knowledge, both in mapping terms and points of interest too. He seems to know where all the celebrities live. Maybe, out of his Lycra he is a mover and a shaker himself? I wouldn’t put it past him.

We started at a hell of a lick and I had to suffocate my usual doubts, but we soon settled into a great rhythm. Five of us made it a nice compact peloton, with far less chance of being left behind. We were slightly led astray at one stage when Keith pointed right and we all dutifully pointed right and moved over into the middle of the road, only to be wrong footed by Keith drifting left and following the road around the corner.

It transpires he had been pointing at a badger. Tony decided our signalling need to be clearer than that – he has a tidy mind, I think – so he developed a flamboyant signal, starting from the middle of his chest and looping out to the right in an extravagant, wristy arch, rather like a magician pulling a rabbit out of his gilet. We adopted this for the ride, and who knows it may catch on. You read it here first.

Keith managed to squeeze in two caffeine stops but the hilly rises were relentless enough that we also had to stop at a garage for jelly rabbits, which aren’t quite as nice as jelly babies.

All in all, another wonderful day out. I was surprised to find my legs were fine after Saturday’s efforts in the Brecon Beacons. I have a busy week planned which may have me ruing that boast…

Note to self: the pedals are attached to cranks, not shanks, as you were telling everyone. Try not to embarrass yourself in front of your new friends. If anyone is interested in this, here’s the link

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