Reliability

Monday morning, Feel Good cafe, West Wickham. Two cyclists are meeting for coffee. Their bikes are propped against the window outside. Helmets and gloves are stowed beneath their chairs. Outside it is windy with a light drizzle. Inside it is warm and the light lemon drizzle cake is soft and still warm. Coffee steams. A not quite yummy Mummy is tickling her baby’s nose. A yummier Mummy toys with her flapjack. The two cyclists discuss their week-end.  ‘How was it then?’ ‘Rubbish, one all. Costa got a late equaliser.’ ‘Not the football. The reliability, you know the Old Ports reliability.’ ‘Oh that. Yeah, it was great.’ ‘And?’ ‘And what?’ ‘Details man, how ’bout some details?’ ‘Well. It was sunny and bright with blue sky, cold but not cold if you know what I mean. Must of been oh 150 riders, maybe more. It’s a bugger of a route – 100k, lotta climbing, lotta climbing.’ ‘Who was there?’ ‘Oh, there was loads – Kingston Wheelers, Big Foot, Phoenix, De Ver, lot of Oxted, Beckenham Rugby Club, Brixton, loads.’ ‘How much was it?’ ‘It’s only a fiver man, I couldn’t believe it, still only a fiver. And at the end, bacon rolls for a pound and tea and cakes at 50p. Fab cakes ‘n’ all. I mean you can’t say fairer than that.’ ‘You can’t say fairer than that.’ ‘And at the Ashdown there was tea and fig rolls, home made banana cake, brownies to die for, Blueberry muffins, bread and butter pudding, Haribo – you know those rubbish ones you get in a packet when you buy something from Wiggle? I tell ya, someone’s done a lot of shopping at Wiggle, get all of them.’ ‘You can buy them in the shops, you know.’ ‘And jelly babies and the sharp ones – what are they called? Tango?’ ‘Tango? That’s a drink.’ ‘No, they’re like sweets, chewy sweets. Tang something.’ ‘Tangfastics.’ ‘Tang what?’ ‘Tangfastics. They’re Haribo too. They’re like, tangy.’ ‘Yeah? Anyway, them.’ ‘I love tangfastics. I should have gone.’ ‘Me too. One thing though.’ ‘What’s that?’ ‘I couldn’t have a pee.’ ‘Dehydrated?’ ‘No, I couldn’t have a pee at the tea stop. They had all these signs, you know – ‘no toilets.’ ‘Well, it’s not a toilet, is it? It’s a tea stop. They don’t want pee everywhere. It’s a tea stop, not a pee stop.’ ‘Good point. Still… And then Toys. Oh man, I couldn’t believe it. Killer. But good though, you know what I mean?’ ‘Yeah. Good killer, not bad killer. Like sick.’ ‘So, where were you then?’ ‘When?’ ‘Yesterday. You were gonna come.’ ‘I know.’ ‘And?’ ‘You know. This ‘n’ that. Are they doing it next year?’ ‘Yeah, I expect so. It’s an annual event apparently so they gotta do it every year.’ ‘I’ll definitely do it then. Will it still be only a fiver?’ ‘Prolly.’ ‘Defo then, count me in.’ ‘You coming then?’ He nodded at the yummier of the yummy Mummies. ‘Should I stay and, you know?’ ‘Will you get anywhere?’ ‘You’re right. Come on then. You out tomorrow?’ ‘Should be. Usual place?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Bi-annual. Is that twice a year or every 2 years? I can never remember.’ ‘I think it’s every 2 years. Like, you know – flowers.’ ‘What’s it called if it’s every 6 months then? ‘Dunno. Every 6 months I think.’ ‘Makes sense.’ ‘See ya.’        

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