Following a chat over a cup of tea on a recent regular Touring Section ride, a few stated we would like to have an off road ride before the end of the summer, with a ride graded at 2/3C duly posted with a 9:30 start.
This Wednesday, five of the Touring Section Riders were joined at the White Lion by three club MTB riders who had managed to slope work or free the busy retirement diaries for the ride. Bikes ranged from 3 of the latest MTB Ebikes, to an old school cool Peugeot Rigid, with all points in between.
Following the usual introductions, the safety brief was given (don’t fall off as I don’t want to do any paperwork) we headed off. As we went up the concrete road towards the Downs, the regular touring riders noted that this section was smother than the NCN Route 2 concrete road through Peacehaven!
Up towards the mist shrouded downs we went, with regular stops to admire the view/regroup, before we knew it we were at Firle Beacon, here in the absence of usual touring guru Clive, I informed the group that as this was the highest point on today’s ride it must all be downhill from here, judging by the groans from the group I could tell this was not met with glee.
With Sue Parker racing on and opening as many gates as she could, we descended towards Firle Beacon Car Park and on towards Beddingham Towers.
Coming up, was the only technical part of the ride, wet chalk descent of Itford Hill. I advised all of the line suggested by Team Winser, Michelle Brett advised us roadies of a suitable distance between riders, this was not for stopping distance but sheep pooh clearance, and sound advice it was too!
After crossing the A26 over the bridge, Michelle demonstrated the ancient Sussex craft of sheep pooh removal using available flora!
I was somewhat perplexed at C7 crossing, not at all safe! But after a little climb we were at the back end of Peacehaven, heading towards the Big Park for Coffee and Cake, well it was a Touring Section hosted ride after all.
Duly refreshed, following a democratic vote we headed off and rode the cliff top path back to Newhaven then the usual route back to Seaford.
In conclusion, all in all it was a great morning out, it was refreshing to ride with a mix of Roadies and MTB’ers, all getting along and having fun, not worrying about pace. We will be doing a repeat performance next month, watch out further details will be on the Calendar.