As we were waiting at the White lion for the ride to begin at 7pm the heavens opened. The rain was torrential, so the six of us waited out the storm over a drink – why not, eh? Half an hour later the storm cleared and we decided to ride the road section for starters, then make a call on what to do next, depending on the weather. At Chalvington Fields on the outskirts of Seaford the skies were mostly clear and the stars & full moon were out, so we all decided to make a cross-country dash for the Plough and Harrow as originally planned. There was a strong tail wind which made the journey easier, but the longer grass and softer ground counteracted this somewhat. It’s now quite dark at 7:30pm, so we were glad of our powerful off-road lights as we picked our way though sheep droppings on the rough bridleways. It just started raining again just as we arrived at the pub four miles later, so we couldn’t have timed it better. The pub owner convinced us to buy a bottle of wine instead of buying by the glass, so we stayed for two drinks each.
The return trip was on the road (NCN2) which is surrounded by trees and bushes. It’s also low lying so was relatively sheltered making it easier going into the headwind. We made very good time to Exceat bridge before heading up the new cycle track behind the Golden Galleon. The climb up the grassy hill into a strong headwind was pretty hard, so we made a couple of stops to catch our breath. At the top of the hill we picked our way through the residential backsteets to avoid the wind before splitting up to go our separate ways home.
Riding cross country at night is exciting and very different from daytime rides. We took a chance with the rains and we were lucky to stay dry – this time. Great fun.