It felt like summer today!

It is suprising how quickly sunshine makes you forget about what has gone before – the horrible wet & windy days earlier this year,  the snow his time last year…… anyway back to the now.

Today the sun cut through the mist and cloud by mid-morning, proving the weather forecast wrong again.  Keen to take advantage of the blue sky I quickly changed my plans for the day.  It was good that I had replaced my worn out chain rings and fixed my puncture (new innertube) during the week and my bike was just about ready to roll.  So ii was ready to head off to the Downs just after lunch – and wow it was wonderful.  The ground has dried out considerably since last week, reducing roling resistance and just making it a bit easier and more enjoyable.  In the sun it was nice and warm – warm enough to expose my knees and wear my baggy shorts.

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Young lambs and their mothers

I chose a route that would be taxing physically, but not too much so that I wouldn’t enjoy it.  At the end I manged just over 15 miles (24.5km) and climbed about 530m which is a good %age step up from last week – but still well short of where I want to be.

Starting at Jack & Jill in took the SDW to the Angry Tractor Driver field. Here I turned right, heading downhill towards Falmer.  At the next farm I took a right and returned back to the SDW near Blackcap. The path was much more agreeable than last week.  Bumble Bees were buzzing around, butterflies were sunbathing and young lambs were taking thier first steps. The puddles and super slippery mud was drying up but leaving some hard tretcherous fin ridges.

At Blackcap I turned and went back west for a while before dropping down to the top of Stanmer Park. From there I  gradually wound my way to my car at Jack & Jill.  The only damage today was another punture that kindly held on till the end.  Pesky thorns!

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Note: the gradient profile doesn’t show the full extent of somme of the steep bits.

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