As jazz afficionados and inveterate random perusers of Wikipedia
will know, "Fake Books" are not simply those which have upset Donald
Trump, but useful compendia for the practicing musician. Fake Bookhams,
on the other hand, have yet to achieve recognition for their
utility, so herewith my humble attempt to rectify this omission.
[Blimey, you think, what's he on about now?!]
Well, Amanda had this theory that as the Bookham 10k is no more and
I'd never seen the whole route, we should do one of our run/cycle
expeditions along it. I gather that she had previously mentioned
this to Nicky who was of the opinion that it would be impossible to
cycle, but Amanda is not one to let such things stop me.
So the plan was formed. Denbies were having a craft fair which might
be interesting to check out, and we had run out of truffle cheese
(gasp! how could this happen?!) which we could buy at the Denbies
farm shop. So to Denbies we would go: climb the hill to meet the
Bookham route, follow that round and return via a retail opportunity
And we haven't had a real race report for a little while, so a fake
one will have to do!
Here she comes. Our entry is at St Barnabas' Church, near-as-dammit
the 5k point, but Amanda's got up the hill from Denbies much faster
than me, so it's quite a while before I can get ahead of her to take
a picture; this is more like 6k. Part of the problem is that the
Denbies visitor train isn't running, so the main gates on the
private road are closed and the pedestrian gates don't open quite as
wide as my bike!
Well into the Polesden Lacey estate now, and lots of thick mud. It's
quite fun 'riding' down muddy slopes, but I put 'riding' in quotes
because it's really more of a controlled skid much of the time.
Going up is another matter. Even when the path isn't all that steep,
it's too easy to find your back wheel just spinning in the mud and
not moving you forward at all. That said, there are only a few
occasions when I really do have to admit defeat. I think Nicky's
been a bit pessimistic in her assessment: things like kissing gates
and stiles are a lot more difficult and we don't have any of those.
Here, for example, is where I'm still managing but about to hit an
unrideable slope. Mind, a few years back it was barely even walkable
and I'm pretty sure that year I'd've struggled even to push the bike
up the worst bit. As you can deduce, it's been slippery enough
uphill that Amanda has been able to get ahead of me again.
But what's this? Has Moses parted the Bookham Sea?!
Considering the conditions elsewhere this comes as something of a
surprise. Not quite as much of a surprise as it would have
done if we hadn't already met runners in the other direction looking
almost dry, but we were still expecting something a bit more than a
mere damp patch.
In the real race, this would be the final stretch, but of course
it's about our halfway point. A little breather on tarmac before
it's back to the muddy trails.
The descent through the woods to the bottom of Bagden Hill is one of
Amanda's biggest challenges, as it's steep and slippery with lots of
rocks to fall on. I rather enjoy it on the bike, but it's not for
the nervous :-)
White sheep in brown sheep's clothing! We're rather taken by them,
although they're far too busy eating to pay us any attention or
smile for the camera.
Did I mention it was a bit muddy in places? I think I've still got a
gear mechanism in there somewhere!
Fake Bookham completed, we're back at the top of Denbies.
After surviving the rigours of the trail, it's somehow inevitable
that the Curse of Denbies will strike on the smooth bit and I get a
puncture on the final descent! And then, real disaster! The
farm shop has run out of truffle cheese!!!
So to the craft fair, but the ground floor has nothing to grab us
and we almost don't bother with the upstairs stalls, but what the
hell, we're here now...
And this is Viktoria Denyer, who makes really nice beaded jewellery
that isn't just the same as everyone else's, unlike all too many
craft stalls! We are quite taken by several of her pieces and have
to buy a couple.
Amanda wearing one of them. Very reasonably priced too, so do check
out her Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/ModernBeadsByViktoriaDenyer (and no, I'm
not getting paid to plug it!).
I guess the day's turned out not all fake after all.
There should be a real race to report on before too long, so I will
bid you farewell for now.
Love to all,