The Last Ride: Sunday 10 December 2017 – Burgess Hill to Hassocks via Ditchling

Angela D, Wendy and Julian met at Brighton Station and took the 10.14 train to Burgess Hill. At first we  walked along a soggy footpath parallel to the railway on its east side. A kind young man helped lift our three bikes over a low style where the footpath ended. The bridleway, with a better surface, then took us NE, first across another railway with unguarded gates, to Hope Farm, just after we had left the clutches of the extending Burgess Hill.  We soon crossed the busy B2112 and arrived, partly on very narrow muddy tracks into woodland and then to pass across the Ditchling Common Country Park, the higher open parts exposing us to strong cold wind gusts. Leaving through the car park, we headed south on the Spatham Lane minor road when the heavy rain started and continued until we reached the B2116 just east of Ditchling, which we skirted on its north side down East Lane. 
 
Thoroughly soaked we arrived at The Bull Inn by 13.00 pm and noted its newly opened south side extension. We were ushered to a back room with a table for four by an open log fire, the heat from which soon dried us out. The menu was extensive, including catering for a Vegan diet. The three of us tucked into excellently prepared plates of food, served by friendly young staff.   Apart from exclamations over the splendid flavours, discussion centred on the effects of class and financial inequalities on state and private school and university education and also on the use of the NHS.
 
Fully sated we hurried west along the main road through Keymer to the Hassocks Station. When a sodden return rail ticket was rejected by the platform entrance gate, modern technology came to the rescue, whereby the Assistance Unit enabled the station attendant on a different platform to view the ticket and open the gate. Our 7 mile excursion had been carefully planned by Angela and Wendy on two outings – no wonder, with The Bull Inn feasting test!  Other members had missed out on a pleasant ride, appropriate for a short and cold winter’s day. Thank you Angela and Wendy.  

Julian

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