May Bank Holiday 2018
Synchronicity in the South East.
My Spring Bank holiday 2018.
I am a huge fan of ‘Doubling-up-on-the-Diesel’. Once a job is done, if I can, I continue-on to incorporate something else business or pleasure, rather than beetling straight home. The following events almost seamlessly joined themselves together with very little help from me. A newly assembled (by me) Holdsworth “Gentle Breeze” bicycle needed delivering to my good cycling friend Peter Huke. Leaving home TUES eve and thereby avoiding busy roads, I caught up with Peter on the VCC North London section Midweek Skyve.
Leaving from the Rose Café, Hertford (“Rosies”) we spent a fantastic WEDS ably captained by Peter Fuller. Battling to Braughing and blown back in glorious May-time sunshine.
A bright THURS saw me parked in a leafy lane close to Hertford town centre leisurely packing-up the Ebay parcels which now form a significant part of my activity. The rest of the day was spent cycling and visiting the local P.O. and then immersing myself in the tiny Herts lanes which are so easy to enjoy. Finished up back @ Rosies for a self indulgent ‘special’ of Curry (and rice) (and chips). Then a power-snooze and more off-peak motoring on quiet roads ever East-wards. The destination is The Isle of Thanet cycle jumble @ Ramsgate. An interestin’ location, a bit of selling and a pleasant SAT afternoon exploring the coastal roads round the headland thru Broadstairs to Margate.
Another night camper-vanning sees me in bright SUNDAY sunshine at Northchurch village hall as a guest of Chris and the rest of the Kent VCC crowd. Then more slow-bicycling thru the Romney Marshes to a little daub of sea-side ‘civilization’ at Dymchurch. After the traffic-free desolation of the marshland the brashness of the amusement arcades and chip-shops is almost shocking. The disappointing lack of donkeys in Donkey Street is compensated for by the well kept mules at the Sea-side rides on the sands. All morning on the approach to Dymchurch we had heard the whistle of the narrow gauge railway across the fields. Finally we picked it up after lunch at Dymchurch Station and a very impressive (albeit miniature) sight it made. Thoughts of using it to train out and then cycling back in are bounced round the group.
Most roads (by definition you would think) GO SOMEWHERE. Hence the expression ‘The Bath Road’, ‘The Portsmouth Road’. etc. In the 1920’s the original MOT-numbered main roads A1, A2, A3, A4, A5 and A6 radiated from London to the major ports; Edinburgh, Dover, Portsmouth, Bristol, Holyhead ….
Au contraire, mon petit. The A272 – my chosen route back from Deepest Darkest Kent – starts (or finishes) at an anonymous roundabout near Heathfield. More al-fresco camping and slow motion motoring gets me eventually to friends in Sussex and Surrey. Good weather, mainly, with thundery showers. Finally arriving back at my new business premises in rural Oxon a week after I left.
The late May-Bank holiday “Ever-Eastwards” selling expedition successfully linked
-Delivery of a bike , pre-sold
-TWO official VCC rides
-other solo bike rides .
Had the potential target audience for the Thanet Cycle Jumble NOT been mainly FISH then the economic imperative of the whole Road Trip might have been slightly more persuasive. However the fact that I was already “half-way” there (while at Hertford) trends towards “I think we just about got away with that” OR as that black geezer in the “A”-team used to say;
“I jus’ love it when a plan comes together”.
TRACE the METHODICAL MADNESS :
Miles motored ; 360
Miles cycled ; 105
Nights away ; 8
Selling ; a bike to Hertford
a cycle jumble at Thanet
VCC rides ; VCC North London “Skyve” from Herford .
VCC Kent , Chris’s Marsh Ride .
Solo Rides ; Hertford , Ramsgate , Cocking .
Itinery ; Chalgrove, Hertford, A2, Canterbury, Ramsgat , NorthChurch, Dymchurch, Heathfield, A272, Midhurst, Haslemere , High Wycombe, Chalgrove .
Vehicles used ; 2000 reg LWB Hi-top Ford Transit crew van
1973 Mercian with Campag Nuovo Record Touring Group-set .