A sharp frost on Thursday morning kicked off the Winter season, that’s the meteorological version of Winter, of course, being the 1st December.
But, there was no wind, the air was dry although a tad chilly and there was wall to wall sunshine: perfect conditions for an invigorating cycle ride. We delayed the start to allow the temperature to rise a bit and decided to keep to the coast rather than cycle inland. Country lanes can still be hiding black ice in shady parts till quite late in the morning so best avoided.
Five of us gathered at the Martello Tower at 10.30 am all dressed up in our Winter clobber and decided to have a short ride to a café in Peacehaven. Our ride started off well as we glided along the promenade, ‘sharing with care’ as the notices state. I have to say that since cycling was allowed on the promenade I’ve never experienced any problems and everyone seems happy about it. Well done Cycle Seahaven for campaigning on this issue.
We cycled through the Ouse Valley Nature Reserve, then through Newhaven and followed our usual route along Elphick Road, across the C7 and in to Valley Road. It was turning out to be a really pleasant cycle ride, the air felt fresh but not really cold, the sun was shining and there was the usual banter from my cycling companions.
I suppose you get a sixth sense about these things but it was Dave who sensed the danger first: black ice! We edged a bit nearer. Sure enough, there, in a shady part of Valley Road was that slippery stuff that can easily have you off your bike in a flash.
We could have walked on the pavement and avoided it but there was a good chance of more of the same higher up the road. So, we turned around, went back into Newhaven and continued past West Quay to the harbour. The sea was like mill pond; time for a photo.
Then it was off to the Luna Rossa café at West Quay for a coffee and a chat about how lucky we’d been to spot the black ice.
Happy Winter Cycling,