[Lots more photos on Flickr]
Some of the group of ten met at Brighton station for the start of Sue’s ride on what turned out to be a beautiful sunny morning in Brighton. Other places such as Hassocks were shrouded in thick mist. Sue, Anne Joyce, Corrine, Mick, Richard and Leon all managed to board the train to Glynde with our bicycles, easily, as there were two coaches with cycle spaces. Even so we were still informed by a guard that if a disabled passenger wanted the space, we would have to make other arrangements, that’s fine we said and off we went to Glynde.
We were soon aware that we had left the Brighton sunshine behind us. The fields and hills were wet with dew and mainly hidden by thick mist. Arriving at Glynde we met-up with Angela, Helen and Rob who were waiting in the car park. Rob was busy helping Helen with her bike. Both were so involved with their work that they couldn’t stop for the group photo.
A few moments later we were all on our way. The first stage was up a short incline over the railway track heading south toward Middle Farm. Only to find we were going up again past rows of flint faced terraced houses that were probably part of the Glynde estate.
Having only covered about two miles we arrived at Middle Farm, where we stopped for a cup of tea and cakes.
Back in the saddle, but this time only for a photo shoot because there were some rather special bike stands at Middle Farm. Anne and Leon just couldn’t resist the inner child when we mounted the Penny-Farthing frames for a photo.
Heading now into small lanes to join the old coach road behind Firle. The hills were still shrouded in mist, but it was thinning fast. The coach road is a loose surfaced track that is quite pleasant to ride. There are splendid views on either side when visibility is good. Some photos were taken to catch the misty mood of moment when Bo Peep hilltop peeped through the mist.
Oh I almost forgot; there were some more ups along this road as shown in a photo of Anne disappearing into the mist and Joyce struggling up the next hill. In the distance, can just be seen, the leaders waiting at the top.
The Six Bells at Chiddingly seemed such a long way ahead. Mile after mile of more ups, there were the odd down-hill stretches but they seemed to be fewer than the ups.
Along the lanes that were lined with beautiful golden leaved oak trees we suddenly spotted some outcrops of fungi. These some of us stopped to investigate. They were later identified as Lactarius Piperatus (Peppery Milk Cap) that are frequently found growing in groups on the ground in deciduous woodland. The cap size is 10-16 cm diameter. The season, August to November. They are only edible when cooked. (best fried).
The sun was now shining on us albeit rather cool and watery when we finally arrived at the Six Bells. Not to the sounds of a jazz band. We were greeted by the thunderous roar of motorcycles that were parked and just being revved to see who could make the most noise. My pleasure, as I have finally matured, is the quiet purr of bicycle tyres on tarmac. I’m glad I’m no longer a youth.
The lunch was good food enjoyed in the pub garden in warming sunshine at first, but soon becoming cool again be 2.30pm. During the morning Joyce moved among the riders with adept stealth to obtain signatures on a birthday card for Richard. The plot was to obtain (without being noticed) a piece of cake, as it turned out, to be a piece of bread pudding. Joyce had planned this well ahead so she had brought with her a small red candle and a lighter. After waiting for the meals to be finished, Joyce crept behind the group to deliver the cake with candle and the signed card to the unsuspecting Richard. There was a look of shock and surprise on his face, followed by a broad smile when Joyce lit the candle and we all sang “Happy Birthday” to him. This act of sindere friendship among the group was warming and wonderful.
The return journey to Berwick was even more leisurely than usual. We had time to spare, so we decided to stop a while at the Arlington Reservoir, local nature reserve.
There was much talk and dismay of the low water level, my guess is that it was more than 20 feet below the high mark. Non-the-less this is a beautiful place to be, and well worth another visit with possible cycle tour all around it. The last section was a pleasant quiet ride to Berwick station for our train back to Brighton.
Thank you Sue, from me and all the group for making the effort and giving us such a wonderful day out.
Here is the info about the cycle ride on Sunday. Go to this link: http://gps.motionx.com/maps/53e57263c733c830206bb2de96f1ad74 to see the route.
(Recorded using MotionX-GPS on my iPhone.)