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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:58 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader

Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 1255
Location: Desk
Or, "How to lose friends and infuriate people"

Firstly, a quick apology. I don't have a serviceable camera and therefore, this post will be lacking in the visual department (amongst lacking in many other things).

Next is a slightly longer apology, explanation and writeup, however, it'll probably not cover any of that and ramble on, so you are free to tune out now if you wish.

There are times when random thoughts and questions pop into one's head, often on bike rides. One that popped into my head today was, "Has Bobcatmax got a christmas card list?", however, it is sort of a redundant question, because if he did, I'm not currently on it and after today, its pretty unlikely that I will be. Evar.

I think the question arrived in my conscious, after he inquired as to the validity of my lineage, probably for the fourth or fifth time in as many minutes. No matter, I thought, this is payback in buckets for Peaselake, (now renamed to 'peasouplake') where cruel and unusual Retrobike torture were cast upon us a few months back. "That'll learn him", I figured. I suspect that if I have a puncture on our next outing he'll offer to help fix the problem with a stapler, corkscrew, drill bit or axe, something like that.

The thing was, the day had started well. I managed to show up on time, people were actually there, it wasn't raining. It only went a bit out of kilter when I mentioned that actually, I didn't have a firm route in mind. Its been a while since I recalled that feeling of doom, like showing up to school having not done your homework, but today it came back as if it was only yesterday (when I admitted the same thing to someone else on the run). It was remarked that this was hardly what we'd call 'Tour de France' like efficiency and planning, which was handy seeing as, just the other day, le tour did cut some sections of Stage 5, therefore there were comparisons, so the hollow victory was mine. After the tears and apologies, we were ready to 'grand depart'.

After a minor fettle (read, puncture), we set of towards the hills out of Brighton onto the old railway line to Devils Dyke. We even carried our bikes up some steps, cyclocross style. It was just after this point we had the first and only puncture of the actual run. As we waited while it was promptly fixed, we held the track-standing competition, which was not won by Mr Muz! The track-standing comp went on for so long, it started to snow (probably). I suspect we could have left Mike and Pete to it and done the ride, had dinner, returned and they'd still have been there. Congrats to Pete on the Win, although it seems he has been practicing. A little further along this climb, Ray admitted that one of his favourite rides was a route that crested Firle Beacon 12 times, therefore, he was summarily banned from complaining about the hills for the rest of the day.

Our first stop of the day (for there were many) was at Saddlescombe farm, for tea and doughnuts / cake. This is a great little cafe on the SDW. Again, there was no showing of the rain that was supposed to be on its way. It was now dawning on people that the hill out of the cafe was probably one of the steeper sections of the South downs and that stuffing cake / tea / coffee etc was probably not an ideal prelude to climbing a hill that hit 15 - 20% in places. This would be the theme for the day.

Once we crested the hill, we followed the Chattri route down to Patcham, followed the road past Chattri and up to Ditchling road around 5 miles later. After crossing the road and dropping into Stanmer, Chris guided us down through the park until we found ourselves at Stanmer park tea rooms, where again, we had cake and tea, food and generally things that are not complimentary to hill climbing. After being reminded that there was a perfectly serviceable gradual route up to Ditchling Beacon, (and after ignoring the reminder), we went up the steepest road I could find, back to Ditchling road, to gasps of "haven't we just been here", and "b***ard" (again). This would also be a theme of the day.

At Ditchling Beacon (probably two whole miles later) we stopped for Ice Creams, content in the knowledge that any calories thus far burnt, had been replenished many times over. Crossing onto the South Downs Way (SDW), we followed the route until it turned coastward and headed down onto the chalk path and onwards to the A27. At this point, instead of following the tried and trusted SDW, we headed for Falmer and the safety of a pub, where drinks and light snacks were ordered and dealt with.

By this point we had changed our unplanned route just once (or perhaps twice), but it was still unclear how the end of the ride would work, so I had to get back to thinking on where we would go next. As we approached Woodingdean via the new cycle path, it occurred to me that a grand finale was in order, so I chose the route accordingly and had a quiet giggle to myself, which can't have been that quiet or to myself, as everyone heard it. The words "A Cruel ending" may have fell out of my mouth around this point. And thus it was, that we descended behind Woodingdean and headed past the sheep shearing barn, and onto Castle Hill.

Castle hill is an interesting climb, in the same way that bungie jumping is 'interesting', namely that its great as long as other people are the ones doing it. It was however, us on Castle Hill, which was now classed as 'steep'. The climb is a little disorienting as the first section seems flat, but is actually a 5% gradient, so you feel a bit slow and put in the effort, only for the climb to start ramping up to approx 25% on a loose surface. Its fair to say some walked, many cursed and we all stopped at the top, which was missing a Cafe and some shade. Profanities were uttered, lots.

As we approached Woodingdean for the second time, many had a feeling of deja vu, mainly as yes, again, we'd ridden around in circles when there was a pretty direct route back to a Cafe. More swearing. Finally, we crossed the back of Woodingdean and down to the seafront via the race-hill, at the top I warned everyone about the big gate at the bottom of the hill, which was metal and pretty unforgiving. As with all best laid plans, the gate was open.

We thus skulked along the seafront, slightly dazed at all the people that were there after our day on the hills. We visited the Velo-Cafe in Brighton, where we completed our run with a coffee and cake stop, as the other stops at least, had gone so well.

Making our excuses, thanking the weather gods, we departed, all of us a bit more weary and a bit more skint than when we had set out that morning. I believe however, that in a calorific sense, we were certainly all very much richer.

And that was the end of that.

Here is the route of the day: http://www.strava.com/activities/164931351

Thanks for showing up! Was a great day, I really enjoyed it, I hope you did too.

:D


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:32 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:19 am
Posts: 12
Cheers for organising it even if you didn't have a route lol, it must of been the the ride with the most calories consumed to feet climbed ratio that I have done :-) , nice to meet you all and a fun ride, if any of you are interested or anybody else, will happily organise a Friston Forest ride.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:39 pm 
gold | rider | rBoTM
gold | rider | rBoTM

Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:06 pm
Posts: 11668
Location: Worthing, West Sussex
Thank you Dylan for (dis)organising the days ride , to Pete for beating me , by it has to be said , only a few minutes in the track stand-off , to Ray for bringing him along :roll: . Chris for showing us , well me at least ,some great cx skills I thought , and finally Max , for guarding my back wheel all the way home :wink:
A few piccies for y'all , in no particular order , other than the order in which they were taken :roll:
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Mike


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:51 am 
South East Deputy AEC
South East Deputy AEC
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:27 pm
Posts: 4421
Location: Angmering
Fantastic write up D, and some great pics Mike.

I enjoyed every pain filled moment of this ride. The views alone were worth it. I like Hills (with a capital H), but some of the ones on this ride were quite something else.

I took some pics, enjoyed a lot of the banter and also enjoyed the cake. Thank you everyone for making it a great day out.

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and for me, bike of the ride goes to Ray's Outpost.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:15 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:19 am
Posts: 12
BobCatMax wrote:

and for me, bike of the ride goes to Ray's Outpost.

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Great pictures and thanks, but when its as shiney as Mike Muz 67's Scott then I will agree with you ;-)


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