8am Sunday morning, not a natural time of the day, saw 11 of us congregate at the White Lion (outside!). It was great to see some of the regular Sunday riders but even more pleasing to see 4 members who were stepping up the normal level of their rides from some of our beginner/improver rides. Continual, unhurried development of riders is so important to the clubs ethos.
The route was to take us out to Friston Forest where we would climb through the trees to join the Old Willingdon Road. The Blustery conditions meant we flew along the seafront to the forest. After a suitable amount of “Property Envy” along the Old Willingdon Road we continued to Butts Brow where the grassy decent into Jevington is much more pleasant than the South Downs Way decent.
It was at Jevington that the ride got a bit more interesting…. a rider, nothing to do with the club, was seen disappearing up the SDW so six of the group followed, thinking he was with us. Unfortunately we were due to go through the village to pick up the Wealdon Way, Opps! There was a bit of a break till the next 5 reached the junction, as a call of nature had been attended to, so we got split up. After a quick phone call the “Rogue group” continued up the SDW to rejoin the intended route at Windover Hill, while the rest of us continued onto Wealdon Way. What a great way to get around to the Cuckmere Valley this is. A bit technical for short parts and probably no good in the wet but the views are breathtaking.
All back together at the gate at Chapel Hill and a quick dash through Alfriston only left the lovely Fight Club climb to conquer, before annoying the golfers as we crossed their very lovely fairways (on the bridleway) to return to the White Lion for a well deserved pint or two!
So ride that started as a hard 3C certainly turned into a 4C for some, but those riders who were progressing through the levels had no issues at all, sometimes it’s just a matter of confidence.
– Dave Barlow
The South Downs Way above Jevington (rogue route)
Riding underneath the Long Man from Folkington to Alfriston (the planned route)
Waiting to cross the road at Deans Place, Alfriston, to head up the bridleway to Rathfinny
Taking a breather at the T-junction to Flint Barns on the Rathfinny Estate
Rathfinny Estate vineyard
Final drop to Seaford from Blatchington golf course
Click here for Andy Lock’s GPS video of our route: https://www.relive.cc/view/700106273