The Last Ride: Sunday 11 November

16 November 2018

Hassocks loop via Hurstpierpoint, Washbrooks Farm, Muddleswood, Twineham, Goddards Green

The 3 of us paused for a group selfie outside Hassocks Station, wondering if our fellow Clarionisters had been deterred by the showery weather forecast, which proved to be a fine example of fake news, perhaps because we were north of the downs.

November 11, 2018: Hassocks circular

Graham led Nick and me off towards Hurstpierpoint, where a small crowd had gathered at the crossroads outside the church to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1. We paused to observe the 2 minutes silence and hear the traditional bugle rendition of The Last Post before continuing on to Washbrooks Farm for our coffee stop. We were rather impressed by the magnificent pumpkins on display, but completely blown away by the silver sparkly toilet seats, unfairly only available in the women’s toilets.

November 11, 2018: Hassocks circular

Blue skies and wispy clouds contrasted with the golden autumn foliage and leaf fall as we continued along the B2117 and on to the quieter Shaves Wood Lane, then north towards Twineham. A traffic-free lane led us along the final stretch to our lunch stop at The Sportsman Pub. We were impressed with the quality of our food choices. Graham’s Nut Roast was served with beautifully cooked veg, my chips were served with a complementary side order of Cumberland sauce but Nick surprised us all by going crazy with an order of sweet potato chips, which came with a complementary side of braised carrots and parsnips. In honour of Julian, we perused the extensive dessert menu before returning to our cluster of bikes and heading off on the last leg of our journey.

November 11, 2018: Hassocks circular

More quiet roads and country lanes took us past Hurstpierpoint College on our return to Hassocks Station, where we waited about 2 minutes for the next train, which was a direct service to Brighton.

November 11, 2018: Hassocks circular

Thanks a lot Graham for leading us on this enjoyable ride, which fortuitously avoided the blustery showers forecasted for Brighton.

Wendy

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The Next Ride: Sunday 3rd April 2016 – Haywards Heath Circular

22 March 2016

Haywards Heath – Cuckfield – Slough Green –  Goddards Green – Burgess Hill – World’s End – Haywards Heath

This is a repeat of a ride we last did in July 2010. On the way to Cuckfield we will go through Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadow nature reserve, which has a good cycle path. We encounter three very nice Clarionesque lanes: Buncton Lane, Stairbridge Lane and Jobs Lane.

Our lunch stop last time, the Bolney Stage pub, is now out of bounds to us because they require pre-orders for large parties. Instead we will try the other pub on the route – the Sportsman at Goddards Green, where we should arrive at about 12.30.

After lunch we continue eastwards towards Burgess Hill, and so come to Bedelands Farm Nature Reserve, which is a nice nature reserve although not ideal cycling country – we can choose whether or not to visit it. We are then at World’s End, known to the builders of the railway as “Wivelsfield”, when, to be fair to them, it was probably just a load of grass and trees. The option to return home from Wivelsfield Station, mentioned last time we did this ride, is now a real possibility thanks to the new ramp to the southbound platform. This will take about 4 miles off the ride. Those opting for the full whack, however, will be able to see what has become of the “High Bridge” since our last visit.

A Tea Stop will be possible as we ride back through the main streets of Haywards Heath, South Road and The Broadway.

Practicalities:

Start at Haywards Heath Station at 10:45. Meet at the station entrance.

Length: 17 miles (13 if returning from Wivelsfield)

Duration: About 5½ hours, including lunch and tea stops.

Terrain: Mainly quiet tarmacked lanes, some B roads. The nature reserves have some good cyclable surfaces. Mainly flat with a few “undulations”.

How to Get There: Catch the 10:14 Bedford train from Brighton, or any earlier train.

Return Trains: From Haywards Heath: every 10-15 minutes. From Wivelsfield: 32 minutes past the hour, or change at Haywards Heath.

Jim.