Wall to wall sunshine, no wind, dry and mild; it could have been early September. In fact, it was the last Saturday in November! This was perfect cycling weather. No wonder 14 cyclists turned up for the Arlington Figure of Eight ride.
It was great to see so many cyclists which included Andy Lock who had encouraged some cyclists from the Thursday night MTB rides to come along.
This was a level 3 road ride and there hadn’t been one of those for many months. This level of ride is for cyclists who prefer to cycle at a moderate pace, ie an average cycling speed of 10 mph so slightly less than the touring pace which has become popular with some of our road cyclists.
The Arlington Figure of Eight route has been used many times over the years by Cycle Seahaven cyclists and is ideal for level 3 road rides. The total distance is about 17 miles and, as the name suggests, the route comprises two loops. The first loop is virtually flat and the second is slightly hillier.
We gathered in the lay-by opposite Arlington Reservoir, on the road between Berwick Station and Upper Dicker, eager to get started. Soon we were cycling to Golden Cross via Chalvington and the solar farm construction site along Lower Wick Street; there must be thousands of solar panels covering at least two fields!
After a breather at Golden Cross we cycle to Ripe and spot a magnificent Christmas tree at the junction; time for a photo!
It isn’t long before we’re back at Arlington Reservoir and, after a short breather, embark on the second loop which includes our refreshment stop.
What a nice surprise for the Arlington Tea Gardens when fourteen cyclists descended on them! They did an admirable job in making teas and coffees as well as serving up cakes and scones! Well done to two of our cyclists who brought the orders out on trays whilst the rest of us sat in the garden soaking up the sun’s rays, chatting about all things cycling. We would probably have sat there until they closed but we had a bike ride to finish. It was only a few miles to cycle via Upper Dicker and we reached the end at Arlington Reservoir just a few minutes after our scheduled end time. Well, it had been rather pleasant sitting in the tea gardens in late November as if it was a summer’s day.
Another level 3 ride is planned for Saturday 13th December. This one will be the Chiddingly Figure of Eight ride. Details are on the Rides Calendar.