Early season seaside visit

As the Easter weekend approached Jim suggested a trip down to Brighton for a fancy lunch at Carats. To keep things reasonable it was proposed to drive part of the way and do a Rusper return. 

Two keen cyclists / foodies decided to join in and so on Friday morning, Jim, Lil’ Nick and Andy loaded up the bikes on Nicks car and headed  south. 

We nervously started. Nick’s Garmin battery was flat leaving Jim in sole charge of navigation. (Andy is clearly not ready for such a navigational challenge). 

A slight headwind was nothing to worry our team and the roads were lovely and quiet for the most part. We kept a good, but civilised pace as we headed south-east towards Pease Cottage and the lovely lakes (or is that ‘waters’?) near Balcombe. 

Soon the South Downs appeared on our horizon. We approached with purpose and executed a textbook threshold climbing effort until a sprit finish to the top — on the first go — followed by two threshold repeat efforts*. 

Photo of heros

At the top of Ditchling Deacon. The first time.

Climb dispatched we disappeared down the road towards beautiful views of the sea and on to lunch. Now this turned out to be a little further than we remembered. It always is. The last mile of coastal headwind was… challenging. The three of us spread out across the road to all equally take the wind, proving our manhood and preventing Jim from feeling Andy and Nick were taking advantage of his billowing jacket. How smart are we! 

Lunch was fab, disappearing faster than Chris up Barhatch Lane. Jim took on a full breakie, Nick a baked spud (with free repeats) and Andy a monster omelette. After lunch we took some time to take in the sights of Southwick and let Nick and Andy play in the surf… er, paddle in the channel. 

Suitably refuelled we headed north to Devils Dyke Road for Jim’s gravel section. Andy spent some time identifying potholes while on front (yes, on front! It does sometimes happen!), but he still needs practice. 

The wind was at our backs for the return trip so it all felt just lovely. The sun was out and the riding very pleasant. We quickly arrived at Rusper for an emergency fuel stop and the end of the pedalled powered section of our journey**. 

Big thanks to Lil’ Nick for driving and Jim for the mapping/ navigating. 

* May or may not have happened. I’ll never tell. 

** Andy still had a couple of miles to go and so he takes the longest day award this time. 

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