After a few days being a holidaymaker I thought I would practice some more off-road MTB climbing.
I settled for the Pycombe area, starting with the SDW climb up Newtimber Hill, before descending into Saddlescombe, then up to the Dyke and onto Truleigh Hill. At TH I turned south and picked up part of my Foredown Tower circuit before heading back to the Dyke and Newtimber Hill. At the top of NH I added a diversion south again along the top of the Downs on a path I hadn’t been on before. It took me to the A23 cycle path where it crosses the London/Brighton Rail line near the A27/A23 Junction . Finally I took the tarmac cycle path back to Pyecombe for a well earned rest.
I was knackered – but it was great ride – c 21.5 miles with 2250ft of climbing
(http://www.mapmyride.com/workout/329373853 – alas the “Route” has a gap as MMR suffered operator error again – I was distracted by someone asking me if the field I had just cycled through contained sheep -and hell I couldn’t remember – whizzing downhill I had been totally focussed on the path).
It was also the first time I have seen a snake on the South Downs in over 45 years – and sorry but I ran over its tail end – I saw it too late. It was on the path up to the Dyke that runs adjacent to the Dyke Road. I assumed it must have been OK as it slithered off as I stopped and turned round to look at it. From the colouring I took it to be an Adder but…