The Next Ride Sunday 24th April

Three Bridges to Haywards Heath via Pease Pottage

This was supposed to be a repeat of a Three Bridges to Wivelsfield ride we did in 2019; but the authorities had other ideas. As Stairbridge Lane is closed for road works until the end of May, we will not venture south of the B2115 but instead re-trace, in reverse, part of the Haywards Heath circular ride we did last December (NOT the muddy bit!), via Cuckfield and then Blunts Wood and Paiges Meadow Nature Reserve.

I am hoping that Tilgate Forest will be awash with bluebells, but even if it isn’t, this should hopefully be an enjoyable ride. Grouse Road is three miles of quiet, mostly gently downhill farms and woodland, with just a few disgustingly opulent mansions thrown in. Hammerpond Road, and its associated hammer pond … well, being a pond, it’s in a valley, and valleys can have steep sides (but we can walk up). We will briefly visit Slaugham before arriving at the lunch venue, the Jolly Tanners at Staplefield.

The original route of the ride then takes us southwards and over the infant River Ouse, then into tiny Mallion’s Lane, which might be made for cycling on, although it does have its ups and downs. We then aim for Cuckfield along a B road that is busier than we’d like, though the traffic did not deter the woodpecker I heard here on the practice ride; there is also the possibility of a tea stop at Cuckfield Golf Centre. We finish off with another visit to the nature reserve before tackling the slightly-less-fashionable suburbs of Haywards Heath.

Length: 18.5 miles

Undulations: a few.

Start at: Three Bridges station, subway, by the cafes, at 10:30.

Train from Brighton: 10:02 London Bridge train. Get a return to Three Bridges.

Jim.

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