Julian, Angela and Sean took the train from Brighton with Sue and Chris boarding in Lewes. Chris (from Patcham) met us in Polegate and we waited for Mick and Ann who had driven to our lunch stop and then cycled to the start of the ride.
Julian led us onto the Cuckoo Trail for a few yards, turning right to cycle along a tree-lined path and over the bridge spanning the by-pass.
The weather was overcast but warm and pleasant. The West wind hit us sideways as we crossed the Pevensey Levels but did not deter our progress. In the afternoon the sun came out, and the wind veered to South-West, becoming strong enough to render our decision to return via the sheltered Cuckoo Trail a wise one.
A back-stop was appointed but unfortunately was not familiar with the route and we were half-way across our reed-lined route when we discovered three of our number were missing. Mick cycled back to search for them. They had missed a turning off the road to Hankham but fortunately realised their mistake and retraced their steps and were soon reunited with the help of Mick’s guidance.
We reached the nursery at Lyme Cross in good time for lunch which was homemade and delicious. The service was friendly and helpful but as we had a long wait for food to arrive a long conversation ensued. One table of 6 people covered the topics of ‘fathers for justice’, Charles Manson, The Archers, the KGB and mind-control techniques, abusive relationships generally, cannibalism, Neo-Liberalism vs Anarchy, books on economics were recommended e.g. Ha-Joon Chang’s book 20 Things They Didn’t Tell you About Capitalism. And both tables spoke of Brexit!
The Manageress came over and offered us free drinks for having the long wait for food, and we didn’t have to wait quite so long for these to arrive! We decided that this was a Cycle-Friendly eatery and would like to send them one of the Clarion stickers informing visitors of that fact. Anyone got a spare sticker?
Oh, and on the way, Big Chris, who had arrived on his retro 1980 Dawes Galaxy wearing a 1970s? outfit complete with flat cap and knitted tank top, shared his experience of informing the authorities (county council officials) about footpaths and bridleways that needed attention e.g. signs missing, inappropriately diverted by local inhabitants, impassable etc. We can all contribute to improving the situation in this way.
After lunch Mick and Ann drove off and we had an uneventful ride down the Cuckoo Trail to tea at the Loom Mill café. Some discussion of trying out the Cuckoo’s Nest café further on but we left that for another occasion.
Patcham Chris left us at Polegate to drive back and the rest of us boarded a crowded train to return home happy and tired after a lovely day out.
Thank you Julian.