The warm sunshine and sheer numbers added to the excitement of the Thirty One (yes, 31!) MTB riders who met up at The White Lion for an 8:30am start on Sunday 2nd April. Our group of 20 club members who were riding the longer 4C route left first to head up to Bopeep, then onward past the two aerial towers above Firle Beacon. The views were still partly shrouded in mist, but this gradually cleared throughout the 28-mile ride.
Our usual route (after dropping down to Southease) is to follow the Egrets Way rider-side trail to Piddinghoe then up through Peacehaven via valley road, but this time we stayed on the South Downs Way (SDW) for the more challenging climbs up Mill Hill, Front Hill and Iford Hill – that’s a lot of hills. At the top we stopped for a quick refuel before heading further West along the SDW.
The chalky descent to Ashcombe (Kingston) is rather technical, with deep ruts and rain gulleys to negotiate. Despite this, everyone rode with skill and confidence to Kingston Ridge and the Juggs Road, pausing for a photo-stop at Ashcombe windmill at St Anne Without. From this half-way point we had done all the climbing and could now look forward to drinking in the views on the flat return journey.
After crossing a narrow bridge high above the A27 we took some back streets (Morely Close & Cluny St.) to The Cockshut, then we followed the river banks to Egrets Way back home to Newhaven & Peacehaven.
This ride was really great fun with some marvellous personal achievements, wonderful weather and great company. Thanks to Tim & Chris for co-herding such a large group.
You can see the route we took by clicking on this link. https://www.relive.cc/view/924817674