I could so easily have stayed in bed this morning. Having first woken at 05:00 to make sure my eldest daughter got off to Gatwick with her boyfriend on time, I had then fallen back into a deep sleep and was confused as the alarm strated buzzing away at 07:00. I had an appointment to keep — I had the good fortune to have pre-arranged to meet up with Abdul at 08:30 (well it was one hell of a way to stop me wasting my day queueing outside a record shop on Record Shop Day!) We had agreed to head out towards Eastbourne and then ride back west and see how far our legs would take us on this April morning.
We jumped off the train at Polegate and followed to road down into Willingdon and then up Butts Lane to the top of the Downs – it sure feels like one of the steepest roads in Sussex. What is certain is that it causes your blood to flow like a torrent. We both made it up with some to spare. From the top it is a nice swoop down, off road through to Jevington.
A bit on bike maintenance in Jevington and then we were off again up over Wilmingtom and down into Alfriston down the great chalky track descent before narrowing into a wooden downhill track down to almest sea level.
From there we just took it easy deciding not to climb out of Alfriston up the South Downs way but follow the track along the foot of the downs as far the Firle Beacon road.
A gentle road trip back to Gylnde Station and were were done. Including post station mileage we clocked up an acceptable 18.5miles and 1900ft of climbing. Not world shattering but good exercise for the body and soul. And a fitting way to remember my departed Old Mans birthday!