Ride report. The Out, Out Tour- 27th January 2013.

Sunday 27th January 2013
The Out, Out Tour (dedicated to Winnie – our spiritual leader and a fan of a certain Mr Flanagan)

Well I can’t remember the last time a Sunday ride went ‘out, out’- you know what I mean by out.
In our club we have different levels of cycle jaunts, I’ll talk you through them. You pop over to the SE20 Cycles, no one else in sight and decide then just to go ‘out’ for a quick solo ride for two hours tops.

You’ve waited a little too long though and bump into a couple of club mates. They ask shall we get a few miles in? Someone (at least two participants, possibly even you) will say I’m only out for 2 hours max as the I need to be back to look after the kids, in-laws are visiting, DIY needs doing, someone’s going into labour and you are the birth partner / doctor etc.

But you say as long as it’s only a quick one though ‘cos I’m very busy – definitely back no later than 11am, 11.15am is no good to you as the only way you will be able to apologise to those waiting your return is via an unconvincing interview with Oprah!
You set off at 8.30am full of good intentions; your mates know what a late return could mean for you (no ride next week, possibly leading to conversations about the number of bikes you have etc.) so this highly disciplined and responsible team will make sure come hell or high water we are back safe, sound and on time – We can be trusted!
Anyway it’s 11.07am; you’re 30 miles away from Penge and now proceeding in a south-easterly direction towards Tunbridge Wells (so at least almost parallel with SE20). You’ve been having fun zooming down hills, taking in the scenery, chewing the cud, saying hello to other cyclists (how rude that miscreant from A N Other club did not wave back as he/she tried to avoid a pothole, parked car and a tree branch) and generally having a jolly nice time.
Then for some inexplicable reason we think to look at the time – ironic seeing as between us we probably have £500 or more of GPS equipment and cycle computers recording every measurement known to man, but regularly check the time – hell no – oops!
So we decide to make our way back ‘Cavendish style’ (or faster), but on the way someone who’s turned into Marco bleedin’ Polo all of a sudden says they know a better way back – these people we’ll call the up, up merchants!
They rock up to you and say ‘are you coming up, up’ and you say ‘I’m not really supposed to be out, out, so up, up is not really an option – I’ve only popped out’. But up, up people don’t want to hear this. They say ‘you’re already out, out so you might as well come up, up’. A voice inside you says well a quick up, up won’t hurt will it* and the up, up people say ‘it’ll be a shorter way home too’ – Bonus!
(Note: At this point you should have the mobile out, ‘cos you are beyond borrowed time, but you’ll ring once you’re up that modest hill – deffo)
After almost seconds of deliberation you hear yourself saying ‘you know what I’m going up, up!’
You’re now 4.5 hours in and struggling up another hill, (*for the record it can hurt and it does). This hillock is surprisingly much steeper and longer than a) others remember it, 2) than when you’d normally hit it after only being out two hours and thirdly – it was sneakily named to hide its true nature. Who would have guessed from that unassuming sign you chose to ignore (just before you ran out of gears and rations) the one that said ‘Long Steep Death Hill’ with a red triangle sign on top. I never was very good at percentages and now you learn gradients the hard way! Just to make sure you have the correct speed the Roadways Agency have helpfully painted ‘SLOW’ on the road every 20 metres in case you wondered why that previously exquisite scenery is no longer speeding past.
Over 5 hours in (nearer 6 hours but like an errant child you refuse to admit it) you arrive back in Penge, probably at least one puncture adding more time to ‘the straight run home now’ you said on the phone having already been a little optimistic.
So you get home, you’re compelled to tell your partner, family, persons coming round to pick up that bed you’re selling, the whole story.
‘You know what, I didn’t even go out for a long ride – I only popped out. Now look at me, I’ve been out, out’ followed by some nonsense which frankly makes an episode of Mr Benn (anyone under 30 see Wonderpedia for this reference) look plausible. Anyhow you continue with your long winded story, standing there with your muddy steed, wearing a pair of wet sponges on your feet ( damn those puddles that were snow last week), with a small empty water bottle you’ve rationed over the whole ride, a burst inner tube and your in-laws sitting there tucking into dinner!
So in summary, we were out a bit longer than intended!
This week’s participants: Andy, John H, Guy, Dan & Conrad
The stats
Trip Time: 06:14
Riding Time: 05:15 (approx.)
Riding Distance: 62.47 ml
Altitude Gain: 3712 ft
Calories Burned: 2106 Kcal
Avg Temperature: 45oF or 7oC
Difficulty: Level 3 (44.2)
Avg Speed: 11.5 mph (add 2 or 3 mph to this for the speedier ones)
Uphill Distance: 30.08 ml (this week’s guest metric)