This is my plan for the ride. I would be quite happy to wait for people at Polegate until 12:02 if they couldn’t get on the first train if they would text me on 07748694094 to let me know to wait. As we are likely to be having a sandwich lunch, it isn’t imperative to get to a pub before they stop serving food.
Distance: 18 miles Terrain: Gentle, some off road with slightly bumpy sections but suitable for most bikes.
We will start from Polegate railway station for a gentle bike ride taking us through sections of woodland (we might be lucky enough to catch the last of the bluebells), a pleasant road section on quiet roads between Arlington and Selmeston (with a quick stop for a pre-lunch coffee at the Arlington tea garden). Then on to Ripe, Chalvington and Arlington reservoir where a picnic lunch stop is planned. There is also a small outdoor cafe so if anyone has forgotten their sandwiches it is not a disaster. If the weather isn’t suitable we will go on to one of the two pubs, the Yew Tree or the Old Oak. Past a bit more of Abbots wood on the right and then a nice little bit of new off road bike track follows, which links up with the path through the woods parallel to Knockholt country park. Finally, we pass through a rather bland bit of housing estate on the outskirts of Hailsham and onto the Cuckoo Trail and back to Polegate.
On the trains, the 11.12 from Brighton gets in at 11.40 to Polegate. This would normally be a two coach Ashford train, which would be difficult to get a lot of bikes on, but as the trains are only going to Bexhill on this day, it might be a longer train. There is an 11.17 departure from Brighton which involves a change and 20 minute wait at Lewes to connect with the London train. These trains will almost certainly have room, but would not get people in until 12.02 at Polegate.