As I drove from Saltdean with my bike to meet the other riders coming to Polegate on the train from Brighton, the temperature gauge in my car was registering 18.5 degrees celsius and I wondered if this would be the last ride before autumnal weather sets in that we could ride in summer gear. As it turned out, we did encounter a little bit of rain towards the end of the ride, but it certainly was not a cold day.
At the Polegate Station car park I met David and Chris who were, like me, unloading their bikes, and we approached the coffee shop by the station to wait for the train to arrive from from Brighton. Seven other riders joined us – Prudence, Julian, Sikka, Tessa, Joyce, Leon and Sean.
It is not very far from Polegate that we were able to get onto the Cuckoo Trail where we cycled through a wood and where the leaves from the trees are just beginning to fall and the colours of the foliage are beginning to take on their autumn hue. After passing Rickney Farm we were on the Pevensey Levels, easy riding on the flat and lovely views across the Levels. Through Flowers Green and Chapel Row we arrived at the Lime Cross Nursery for lunch where we were able to sit outside due to the warm weather. There we met Brighton and Hove CTC, many of whom looked very professional in their CTC shirts, and it was really nice to chat to them.
Towards the end of our lunch break, the sky had clouded over and spots of rain were coming down and so we had to abandon the ‘summery look’ and put on our rain jackets, but it wasn’t very long before the rain stopped and we were able to take them off. We cycled through Herstmonceaux, which is such a pretty little place, and then onto another section of the Cuckoo Trail towards Hailsham and back to Polegate. Some of us stopped for tea at the Old Loom tea rooms whilst Tessa, Sikka, Sean decided to go straight back to Polegate.
Thank you very much to Julian for leading the ride and none of us got lost this time!