Saturday, 13 August 2011

Clouds at nine, clear by ten.

Findon for tea
By Philip Clarke
Monday, August 15, 2011 - 08:55
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Fourteen riders gathered and there was some questioning of our sanity as there was rain, low cloud and the visibility was poor.
However, we set off with optimism which was rewarded after only a few miles with the cessation of rain and the lifting of the cloud, Sussex was revealed.
We rode on and fully experienced the benefits of hills. Hills provide training on the way up, good views from the top and excitement on the descent but I don’t think you dear readers need to be reminded about this.
We did manage to lose Gareth for a while as he was catching up after doing gate duty and took a tumble coming down Truleigh Hill at speed! Gareth insisted all was OK but he was at the back with me for a few miles so he was not quite himself.
Onwards to Findon and the tea-shop which coped very well with the unexpected arrival of 14 bodies.
Plenty more gradients to deal with on the return and plenty of time to take in the wonderful Sussex and Surrey countryside on one side and the urban conurbation of Brighton on the other, and of course the English channel in the distance.
Gentle warm wind at our back for this section provided some help and also took away the wind rush in the ear so the sound of tyres on grass became audible which is quite rare.
Thanks go to Mark for leading the ride with verve and determination and it was a reminder that some of the best rides come from unpromising beginnings.

Phil