At 5.44am Simon gave me a shove and reminded me that I had decided late in the week to lead an impromptu ride at 7am from Woodhatch. I duly fell out of bed and an hour later, after the usual preparations that you really do not need to read about, I left for the meeting point.
And here the magical part of my ride began to unfold itself. All my eager riders had decided to don their invisible cloaks! I sat there for 10 minutes and shouted out that if they didn't show themselves properly, then they would just have to stay put. If I can't see you, then nor can the cars, I said. Well, they just didn't want to play so I headed off on my own.
But wait... as I turned out of the park, the sun came out and from nowhere, the infamous rider known only as the Sha-a-a-dow appeared next to me. From whence he came is a mystery. Actually, we were perfectly matched in pace and enjoyed a nice little sing song together as we rode down the back lanes to East Grinstead, out towards Hartfield, then up to Hever, Penshurst, Lingfield and back. My only complaint would be that he spent the whole ride sat on my wheel.
We didn't have a tea stop- nothing was open and my partner was feeling a little shy, so we got back by 10.30 ish, having done 57 miles at an average of 17.5 mph. And I still have a full day left to enjoy my beautiful children. Great.