Cycling with Ladia (22nd May 2009)

Decided to go for a long ride around Pontail, Pyestock and take in the view across Farnborough Airport. One my way down from that hill, I saw someone who I thought I recognised. He caught my eye at the same time and slowed, so that confirmed my suspicion.

“Hi, are you…Gary?” I enquired.

In a friendly and distinctively Eastern European accent, he denied this. I explained I hadn’t seen this person in a long time and that he was English, so clearly this was my mistake. “It’s fine,” he reassured me.

He was kitted out in professional-looking mountain bike gear. I asked him: “Are you in training for an event?” Seeming a little surprised, he said “No…are you in training for an event?” I laughed and said “Look at my bike! I’m not in training for anything.”

He glanced around my bike, from missing front mudguard to exposed cables and mismatched tyres. “Ah,” he grinned, “now I see that.”

We decided to ride together so I could show him some interesting tracks. He lives in Farnham and likes to explore the surrounding area. Indeed, he was several miles from home already. Apparently he once rode 180km to Oxford and back some time ago!

We were out riding for a couple of hours, from mid-afternoon to early evening. The main places I showed him were:

I rode home along the towpath.