Much of the cycling to date has been in relativity flat surroundings, and rather rashly I thought it was time today to set myself the challenge: to make it to the top of Ditchling Beacon – the 3rd highest point along the South Downs – and make it back in one piece. I did not choose the most direct route to take, as I am still sticking to minor roads wherever possible, and in all I would cover around 37 miles.
Another Wednesday, and while the weather was a bit variable, another cycle ride. I have been trying to stick as much to small roads, which is a bit limiting as this bit of Sussex is hemmed in by large ‘A’ roads like the A26 and A27, but I had worked out a route that would take me to Wilmington.
The Long Man of Wilmington, Europeâ€™s largest representation of the human form at 235 feet high, nestles under the steep northern slope of Windover Hill at Wilmington. It is large enough to be seen clearly in Google Maps, though it looks stretched from the air.
With the weather forecast better on the coast than further inland, Tim, Ruth and Keshni came down for an afternoon walk along the Sussex coast. It worked out nicely, with glorious views of the Downs and sea, bathed in warm sunshine and a gently cooling sea breeze.
Parking at Exceat Bridge car park we headed south along the river to Cuckmere Haven, where the tide was just out far enough to allow some good views along the coast. The walk up the first of the Seven Sisters kept us honest by stretching out our calf muscles for the first time on this walk. The view back along the beach was worth it though, and the views to the east were most enticing.
Walking and cycling around Sussex.
In Bedford saying farewell to Douglas :-(
I was invited to lunch at East Hoathly, so looking at the route I took last time I decided to make a few changes and to cycle it in an anticlockwise direction – keeping my fingers crossed that I would make it in time for pudding at least.
It was also a chance to try out a new saddle – which I had ordered up after my ordeal cycling from Winchester. It declared itself to be a “revolutionary breakthrough in bike seat comfort” – well lets see if it lives up to the name The Comfort Saddle.
Back in Sussex.
I gatecrashed a long weekend of walking arranged by the walking club at NIMR – National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill – where Tim used to work. It was a great gang of really friendly people, and a good weekend was had – despite the not so great weather.
Having arrived late afternoon on Thursday we had time to acquaint ourselves with the hut, and get our bearings – the Traveller’s rest was almost due south along the A591. It was in walking distance, though running back up the hill after a few pints was probably not to be recommended or attempted.
Spending the weekend walking in the Lake District.
Got my new bike yesterday, a Dawes Colorado – a “hybrid” bike as I have gotten use to the chunkiness of a mountain bike in recent years, and have you seen the state of the roads!! It has a better upright riding position for on the roads. The trailer is on order at the moment – keeping my fingers crossed for delivery at the end of the month.
Decided to take it for a spin today around a bit of Sussex, taking in part of a published route that by chance almost goes past the house, and goes near East Hoathly (to visit my Sister) and the Gliding Club. Though the variations I made added a few more miles…