I ended up doing a 150 mile ride around Kent/East Sussex/Surrey today; quite an unexpected way to spend my day considering I had turned into the office this morning to do some overtime. The work was cut short due to technical issues and Alan (my boss), suggested that we go for a ride down to Wesson’s Biker Cafe in Horam, East Sussex. It was such a gorgeous day out; who was I to argue?
Alan had ridden his Aprilia RSV in to the office and I did my best to keep up with him through the various detours he chose to during our journey. That is to say keep up with Alan whilst he’s in 1st gear. The route was actually fairly similar to that which we took going down to Brighton all those months ago (feels like years ago now if I’m honest!) and I enjoyed nailing a few bends which I took very nervously last time. Eat your heart out Lewis Schumacher!
The sun shone profusely and it was a pleasure riding through the forests, zipping along and looking over the Surrey valleys before making it to East Grinstead when everything became much more countryfied near Maresfield. Again, I had spotted several games of cricket on the go, I REALLY will ride down to one of them one weekend soon and have a glass of lemonade at the accompanying pub. HOWZAT!?
Eventually we made it through to the cafe; quietly located in Horam which is a really nice little town/village. The cafe itself is very funky, lots of bike/rock posters adorn the walls and some bluesy/rock was on the radio when we walked in so that immediately got the thumbs up from me. The staff in there are also very friendly and they fixed me up two very sexy bacon rolls which I scoffed down rather ravenously due to the appetite that I had developed winding and weaving around the lanes on the way down. Good grub, inexpensive and service with a smile. Highly recommended.
Soon enough it was time to leave, waiting for my bike to warm up I had a quick look at all the other bikes parked outside; the old vintage Triumph (piccy in the gallery) particularly caught my eye. Absolutely gorgeous. I tried to nick it, but it wouldn’t fit in my rucksack. Slag.
We came back up through the A21 and into the areas of Kent that I never quite got to see due to my accident cutting short a planned trip to Alan’s. I was determined to go back through Westerham again (where I came off) and got up to an undisclosed FAST speed down the dual carriageway en route.
Almost on cue the bike began spluttering and losing power because I needed to fill up on petrol, Kent hates me?. From the speed I was going (best not put it here) I was suddenly almost going backwards on a very fast stretch of road and somehow found the cool resolve to stick the fuel tap on ‘reserve’ before finding a Shell garage on the busiest road I think I’ve ever seen. Glug, glug, glug, ten pounds for your pollutant sir. Thank you. And off I went again.
Alan eventually buggered off on the Tonbridge turn-off heading home and I sauntered down the A25 towards Westerham. I had told Al earlier that day that I wasn’t particularly wary or pensive about revisiting the site of my accident, and I have to say that was honestly the case. In fact, I was actually looking forward to conquering it. It’s such a lovely place, that’s the irony. No sooner had I entered the village I was through it. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Kent Highways Agency!
I decided to go home via the B2024 on a whim and that in turn lead me to the B269; really glad I did because it was the most beautiful part of the ride and very fitting I thought having just passed through Westerham. This little stretch of read takes you high above the Surrey Valley near Warlingham, and on a good day you can see for miles and miles, well, as best as you can at the legal speed limit. Ahem. Warlingham, nice posh suburban girlies quickly turned into South Croydon birds with fags and I knew I was home.
And that’s that. Until next time chums.
THE ROUTE – (IN PINK).