|Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club|
Dear fellow members and friends
Clarion time trial championship 2006 Current position 30 July 2006
Reports on racing, Audax and other activities are always welcome, by the way
The Next Ride
As with the last ride I'm trying to avoid simply repeating rides we've done before, though inevitably we will be covering much familiar ground. In the description below I've put the 'new bits' that haven't featured in Clarion rides before in italics. The main new bit this time is the track through the woods.
Sunday 20 August
Up the hill from the station (sorry!) then down behind Glyndebourne and across to Ringmer, via the irresistibly named Potato Lane from where we'll loop round through Norlington and Little Norlington, we'll loop back slightly and take Half Mile Drove (which is, nearest as damn-it that long) joining the Laughton road for a mile then the little Chambers Court loop and up towards Shortgate where there are just under 2 miles of track through the woods. I've checked the whole length (this time!) and it is easily rideable with just 3 or 4 deeply rutted bits where a smidgeon of extra care will be needed. This is followed by the little road down to the B2124 and on to Golden Cross, where, after 13 or 14 miles, we will have the option of stopping for lunch at the pub of the same name or waiting for another two and a half miles for The Lamb at Ripe (an old favourite) returning to Glynde by the usual 'southerly' route.
Catch the 10.20 from Brighton station or meet at Glynde station at 10.37. Return trains are at 53 minutes past the hour. (All direct)
* Pedants' Corner. Yes, strictly speaking it's only the second half of the track that runs between Upper and Lower Vert Wood and for complete accuracy I should have mentioned also Brickhurst Wood, Laughton Common Wood, and Sandpit Wood all of which border the route at some point.
The Last Ride – Joyce's Report
Sunday 6 August
Ian, Jeff, Joyce and Fred (passer-by took photo!)
Met up with Fred and Jeff at Brighton station, and Ian at Polegate. Then on to the home ground of the dear old Cuckoo Trail but not for long, a sharp right took us on to the lane Ian, Fred and I had last ridden in the snow of February 2005 (there is the photo to prove it). This was very different:- A balmy summer's day with a slight breeze which, as one was cycling along, felt like warm liquid flowing over one's limbs.
The Cuckoo Trail
Along lovely tree lined dappled lanes, gradually opening out to the wide spaces of the beginning of the Levels.
Into unknown territory off the beaten track
Deeper into the jungle!
After consultation we decided to take the short-cut bridle way – very passable at first, but which then became a nature trek:- a very narrow track between rushes, hedges and grass, where we dawdled along pushing the bikes counting the Emperor, Tortoiseshell, Blue and various other butterflies, and dragonflies, which Fred vainly tried to photograph (by the way I was glad to have the official photographer back so that I did not have to worry about taking photos). The only thing we found to deplore was the human input of fly tipping. This is not the place to spell out the various punishments which went through my mind for such people.
Our nature trail set the tone for which was a very laid back relaxing day. True, this was not an entirely flat ride, there were some hills , but although they could be long, they were not too steep and were amply compensated for by long down hill sweeps , where that wonderful warm breeze was exhilarating.
Ian consults the map
The Red Lion
We headed for Wartling and along Horse Bridge Lane (aka Horsewalk) and wondered at Ian's gift for finding not only tranquil lanes but ones where there were no cars at all. The Red Lion lived up to its good name from last summer, good food and a friendly atmosphere (unlike some of the up-market pubs we have encountered). Jeff and I got talking to two regulars , ex-cyclists from years ago in London, who remembered the Clarion as being that socialist club – can't remember their names now but they were great. We then enjoyed a long lunch in the garden setting the world of cycling to rights.
The old main road
Then back along what we think was the old A259 with hedgerows and plants all along the edge and entirely deserted, though running parallel to the busy main road. This day was remarkable in that it seemed to go very quickly and before we knew it we were back on the Cuckoo Trail and heading for the Old Loom Mill for tea and toasted teacakes (well me and Fred for the cakes anyway). On to the station well in time for the train which we then had to wait 30 minutes for because some idiot had thrown a shopping trolley on the line at Polegate.
Another great ride.