The sky looked as thick as pea soup as I approached the South Downs late this morning – I carried on driving down to the coast, parking on the border of Hove. OK I thought I will have a low intensity exercise day today and stay clean – stay on the seafront path out to Saltdean, turn round, head to Worthing, turn round back and head to the car – a nice dose of sea air and some easy cycling. Are things ever really that staightforward?
On the prom there were plenty of people out, running, walking and getting in my way (only joking) – but they all hid for this photo!
Stopping on the path under the cliffs between Brighton Marina to Saltdean , which was littered with seaweed and stones thrown up by the wild sea, I looked over the sea wall, the tide was out exposing quite clearly the chalk “beach” where, over the years you could see how the cliff face has been moved back inland.
By the time I got to Saltdean I had had enough of the easy stuff and headed up inland off-road towards Telscombe. Twice the effort for half the speed. Once off-road I had the idea to make it up to the South Downs Way overlooking Kingston. But I hadn’t reckoned for the MUD – It got to the point where it was too widespread, wet, rutted and tough going – a real slog.
OK left turn onto a downhil path I hadn’t been on before took me back onto the edges of Saltdean. From there I found a”fun” slippery single track path down into Rottingdean.
Isn’t Rottingdean cute. Anyway mmmm lets practice going up-hill again – so it was turn right and head up to Woodingdean. From there I went back onto off-road paths taking me to the Race Course and down to the East Brighton Golf Club.
Cycling down towards the sea was challenging – the wind noise was incredible and the gusts of wind often blew me off course.
Once on the seafront again it was straight into a head wind that felt like 20mph+ Arrggghhh.
Over 22 miles and 400m of climbing – on a mix of black-top and mud. The best so far this year. I think I am getting fitter. I was certainly muddy.