The run began in Bexhill but it meant getting up way too early for me on a Sunday. As it was it was lucky that I didn't go that far. More of that later.
I decided to meet up at the midway point at Dungeness by the Light Railway Station. I wasn't alone as fellow Meldrew Ian Gardner was going there as well. Three others, Cal, Neil and Graham had met up at the regular Blue & White earlier in the morning to ride to Bexhill and then come back with the run itself.
I arrived just before ten to see Ian had parked on the main gravel car-park by the railway station and cafe. I parked in front of him. We were joined by a couple of other riders and sat down to chat as bikers do. No names and probably never meet again, but instant camaraderie.
No posing and no bullshit.
The first marshal appeared on the long drive w into the estate.
Dungeness is the western most point on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. It is also the home of the Dungeness Nuclear Power Station and is a private estate, surrounded by the sea and ancient shingle built up over thousands of years. I have added the links rather than regurgitate readily available information.
Once we saw the marshal leading the column we jogged out to our bikes. I had given my Canon 1100D (rare) trip out and started to take some pictures of the riders as they arrived. In the end I expect I could have taken more except my hand was starting to swell up again.
On Friday we had been down by the canal at West Hythe to have a drink with a friend of Claire's whose birthday it was. I took Reggie for a comfort break and got stung/bitten on outside edge of my left hand. I didn't see the culprit. It itched like crazy and my hand swelled around my little and ring fingers into my wrist. By Saturday the itch had gone a little and so had the swelling. I think the short ride to Dungeness had triggered something off.
|Graham - Meldrew|
|The Old Lighthouse and Pepé in the foreground|
|Neil - Meldrew|
Once everyone had arrived and had had their comfort/cigarette/drinks/ice-cream break, the group began to form up and leave. The Meldrews were happy to be near the back of the column and there were maybe only three of four bikes behind us. As we stop started away my hand got worse and worse.
By the time we had made it a few miles to New Romney I was having problems pulling in the clutch lever. I decided to abort. There was no way I could ride another thirty miles with my hand like that and I told Cal I was aborting.
In the end I got as far as Dymchurch and I pulled into a bus stop and waved the remainder past me. The last four or five miles were painful. The route was planned to go within a 100 yards of my house in any case. I left it a few minutes so they would get well ahead and then continued.
As I write this, it's Monday afternoon and my hand calmed down yesterday evening and seems much better today. The swelling has gone and the sting/bite looks like a little red dot.... A shame it ruined my ride!
|Pepé and new RBLR Lion|