Sunny day, a mountain bike with flask of coffee - chasing the Guildford dragon.

DiY free day; time to ride.

So, it's a Friday. I have the day off. What to do? Decorating, bit of shopping, perhaps clean the house? Apply for a job even! Nah, I'll run away from all my adult responsibilities and go for a bike ride instead. That's what any mature man would do...

It wasn't my fault. Both PP and my daughter had made hints as to what my progress today should be. My own mind was made up, and in no way would they influence me, no way. I'm my own man and don't do what others say I should. I'm a rough tough mountain biker and will forge my own way in life.

So in accord with my daughter's suggestion I got out that emergency ration pack of curry that I'd bought for last year's ill fated South Downs Way epic with a grumpy AD. It was ill fated for lots of reasons, all his fault oddly enough, so I'll not dwell. Needless to say the ration pack went unused on that day and has sat in my cupboard for six months.

Getting it out, well it dawned on me that whilst I could eat it cold, warm would be tastier. This meant getting out the hobo stove that was also made last year. Hobo stove means alcohol fuel, matches and something to cook in. Big pack needed to carry this little lot then, eh? Now taking food also defined where I was going to go. No point going somewhere local, may as well stretch the ride a bit. No point going somewhere where there are easy cafes, so Ranmore Common it is then.

My ride thus would be a loop to Ranmore Common and back. Not too bad that, thirty miles or so. Even setting off, Guildford wasn't on the agenda. Indeed it was so far off the agenda that I did a big loop to Ranmore, taking in Epsom and Stane Street.

That's not a route to Guildford as it adds miles.

Even up on the common itself I'd not considered the possibility of a longer ride. You see the bridleway path up is a dog; steep and with limited traction, your gulping air at the top. My stop was going to be a picnic table. It was a destination back in the day, when I lived in London. This was prior to their being much in the way of coffee shops, so back then I'd take noodles and a burner to cook them with. I was so hard core I'd also take one of those sterilising tablets and if I'd run out of water, would find some..... So twenty years ago I used to cook my food on Ranmore, so why not today? It'll be fun.

Except every dog walker for thirty miles around was using that car park. Well, I exaggerate; two perhaps, but the table was in use. Huh, ride on then. Where to?

Here PP has influence. He'd suggested Guildford the other day, so Guildford it was. By now I was feeling the miles. Not because of the distance, but because I'd never planned a long ride, I'd not ridden down to long ride "save energy for later" speeds. But heck, why not ride to Newland's Corner and find a spot to cook my curry at?

It was actually quite a pleasant run, made all the more fun in riding around some huge circular concrete bowl until dizzy, then doing small jumps off some concrete ramp at Newland's itself. Indeed I did that for ages until it dawned on me that if I fell off, I was twenty miles from home with no money.