Linda, Marilyn, Richard and Tessa travelled together to 3 Bridges sharing tales of organised group bike rides abroad and ones planned for the future.
We met Jim, Leon, Rob and Rob on the platform and set off through the suburbs of Crawley on a cycle track to Furnace Green leading to Tilgate Park. The park had a scary adventure playground weaving through treetops, a golf course and other entertainments.
The bike track continued through woods dappled in sunlight, purple rhododendron petals scattered on the mud due to the recent high winds, though there were plenty to be seen on the bushes too. As there had been rain recently, we voted for the A23 option rather than the muddy track when we came to a fork in the path.
[Leon and Jim “cooing” in Coos Lane]
We had a mile or so of A23 to Pease Pottage with a hairy roundabout to negotiate which we did in a group fell swoop before joining Cycle Route 20 to Handcross, a welcome quieter route. We crossed the A23 with a long swoop down Coos Lane to Slaugham Lake where we paused before the inclines that took us to charming Warninglid.
[Between Slaugham and Warninglid we went over a bit of the Ouse that I missed on my “Ouse rides” last year – so I thought I’d get a photo for posterity – Jim]
[We spotted this strange sign at Warninglid and wondered how the policy is enforced nowadays … Jim]
Spronketts Lane led to the A272, another hairy crossing, then straight on to Wineham and the Royal Oak for lunch.
At some point in the morning, a fork in the road separated three of us from the rest of the group. Luckily Jim had a map so we rejoined the rest before straying too far. A resolve was made to wait at junctions and check for the person behind.
After lunch we set off down winding Bob Lane. Creatures with long necks were spotted momentarily through the high hedges, Alpaca? Llama? Ostrich? Not sure.
Job’s Lane was equally delightful and quiet then it was the dreary suburbs of Burgess Hill before reaching the centre. Five of us sat outside Nazar Cafe enjoying an abundance of chocolate and other cake, having been offered among other choices ‘Spotted Richard‘ with ice cream! Service and friendliness were great, Marilyn and Richard were even provided with bananas from the Polish Deli across the road.
Then home on the train, having avoided all rain, with even the wind behind us for the afternoon ride.
Thank you Leon for a splendid day out!