Phone calls bounced around between the diminished group of attendees and it was clear that Matt Brown and Salvage Tech were going to be waiting at Devils Dyke for a while yet for the three of us (organisers) to appear. My excuse was being stuck behind a cortege of ridiculous traffic on country back roads between me and said rendevous. First Tractor school. Then Harley Davidson school. Last but not least, not at all least actually, Steam traction engine school. Ridiculous. Too many people in the Sarf East.
I think the other two were just hungover.
So we eventually headed off after I had freaked out enough and freaked out some more at having picked the one parking space in the car park that some kind soul had dumped a whole box of rusty nails of varying sizes and sharpness in.
A Klein Adroit, Pace RC200, Indy Fab Deluxe, GT RTS3 and (ahem) an ’09 Specialized Enduro headed off across undulating hills and rolling sweeping singletrack from the beautiful vistas of Devil’s Dyke toward the chocolate box teashops of West Sussex.
Fantastic woodsy singletrack was trumped only by the stunning views from the South Downs. I reckoned they were the same height as the 3 Peaks a few weeks previous, but was generally shot down in flames for that one.
It was a very good tea shop I might add. Steyning Tea Rooms. Good cake and a rare friendly and even bike friendly atmosphere and good bacon sarnies and Victoria sponge all round.
Smiles all round even though my prolongued visit to the necessary took longer than anticipated
(I maintain it was only 5 mins boys) (I was watching the choir singers) and we cut the loop short of the beautiful Cissbury Ring section, and headed back away from the already running in the opposite direction Sunset.
Back to the car park and 15mins of nail picking up in the dark and we were gone.
A great loop. Would be an ideal big group ride too, so next time, let’s see a few more faces and set off earlier shall we?
Thanks to all that attended and Steve’s expert guidance (and bike repair skills that would put the A Team to shame given the materials he had to work with).
*Salvage Tech riding up the longest nastiest hill, fastest and on a 30lb Enduro sofa.
*Peter’s incredible repair skills in getting Matt’s jockey wheel and mech going with what resembled a home made hand grenade pin.
*KleinMadChris’s shorts and brake pads rubbing in syncronisity.
*Matt Brown’s chippa approach to everyone else turning up 1&1/2 hrs late.
* The food stop
*Everyone’s patience at putting up with my moaning about traffic jams and ridiculous road users.
*KleinMadChris’s exploding inner tube. And the pump that took more air out than it put in. (but it is only 54gms and made of carbon).