Doris,Jim, Joyce, Richard, Sally, Sikka and Tessa gathered outside the Level cafe. As we were more than six, Richard led Doris, Sikka and Tessa off first, the remaining group stayed to wait for Nick to join them.
The first part of the ride was daunting: uphill with much traffic and many turnings. We journeyed east through Queen’s Park area up to the Racecourse ,battling cold strong winds. I started to enjoy the ride when we sped downhill along Tenantry Down Road fringed completely on either side by allotments, full of autumn produce.
Bear Road was a bit hairy but we soon turned into Bevendean Road. We travelled through Bevendean streets, finding large communal grassy areas in front of houses with some roads where whole streets faced woodland and wild spaces rather than other houses.
We arrived at Stanmer Park where we hunkered down in the wind to eat our picnic lunches beside the cafe. About to leave, we spotted Jim and Nick and as a group of 6 headed uphill to Stanmer Woods. At the top we cycled south through the woods to join the horrendous junction Ditchling Road/ Coldean Lane.
Negotiating busy roundabouts we came to a gap in the hedge and onto Ladies’ Mile Nature Reseve. Beautiful relief! Wonderful views on our downhill grassy descent into Patcham where we continued till we reached Mill Road . Uphill again until a discreet turning that took us to Green Ridge where we headed west along a delightful grassy path to Dyke Road.
At this point I left the group to head home.
Thank you to Jim for this voyage of discovery. Over lockdown I have cycled and walked all over Brighton, but have never discovered Bevendean.
Thank you also to Richard for leading us and to Sikka for helping, due to her encyclopaedic knowledge of the area