National Trust cafe Box Hill - poor form!

Sausage roll drama.

I'm not one to give up on food. Normally I can eat anything. Raw mince in Belgium, or that funny cows brain thing they do, served with chips. Sure, why not. Today I failed with the sausage roll from the cafe at Box Hill. I'd had one in the week, and it was bordering on horrid. Pink, fatty and utterly tasteless.

Today it was just a cold, greasy lump of fat in yucky, pasty pastry. I actually gagged and spat it out. Worse even than Swinley, and that's accepted as being the worstest ever cafe in the Universe. I've not done either, I should imagine the experience of eating the roll was probably like eating a raw slug or putting a cold penis into your mouth. Honest, it was easily the worst, most disgusting thing I have ever eaten, and I used to live in hotels in Weston-Super-Mare. Indeed calling it a sausage roll is an insult to food; it was a slug roll.

Worst sausage roll ever?

Thinking about it, National Trust cafes these days are usually indifferent affairs. Places designed to suck the maximum amount of money from you for the least enjoyable return. The quality has dropped over the past few years, to the point where you think twice about going in. They used to be great, where now if there's a greasy spoon nearby, that will be the better option. I've been a loyal customer of the Box Hill one for 30 years, more or less to the day. Not any more. The little, sightly grumpy cycle shop in the village is the better option these days; proper coffee, and oddly I like honest, yet grumpy service rather than false smiles.

[The National Trust have since offered me a free coffee and cake should I ever return. I never wanted that; I just wanted a nice sausage roll on the day.]

My ride.

Think mud. Mud so bad it ate both sets of brake pads in 20 miles. I wasn't so much cycling as plotting a vague Strava course. No real rain to talk of, yet what did fall was a cold, sleety stuff and my hands got really cold coming down off Box. Gradually my brakes gave up the ghost all together - the rear was down to the metal, and the front not far off; I could hear the spring making contact with the rotor. Made coming off Reigate Hill interesting, especially as I chose the steepest most muddy trail. Well why not?

Naturally the ten speed Deore conversion on my 12 year old PACE worked faultlessly. My cheap dropper wobbles a bit, and the brakes died. My waterproof jacket from Halfords proved to both lack  waterproof-ness and was unbreathable, a winning combination in the cold! Perhaps I should wear it inside out? Reminded me of the two times I've managed to get hypothermia whilst cycling. Sweaty mess after a few hours on the bike, weather suddenly turns cold or damp, and so the inside of the plastic jacket works like a very efficient fridge; the more effort you make, the colder you get.

Poor sausage roll, nobody out, my brakes died and my jacket made me cold when there was no reason to be. Rubbish ride? Not at all - really enjoyed it. One of those days when it is great to be alive. Saying that, my slug roll from Box Hill may yet have the last say....