Forest Row Bike Club
Hurstpierpoint: 7 October
The sun, when it arrived early in the afternoon, made a difference. It broke through as we were cycling along a narrow lane towards Hurstpierpoint college. Things brightened. The sun was warm on the face. The light could be seen through the trees, and the autumnal colours seemed all the richer in the bright light. In the sun, along the country lane, and along others as we made our way back towards Cuckfield and Ardingly – what a pleasant way to spend Sunday afternoon.
Earlier, from 0930 onwards, it was the headlights of the approaching cars which were first seen in the autumnal fog. The main party assembled, as usual, in the Square; a smaller, secondary group cycled past the reservoir, which could not be seen, and up the steady incline of Grinstead lane to the meeting place at the top.
From there, the full group of 12 cycled south along familiar back-roads. including Pugwash Lane, through Wivelsfield and Wivelsfield Green, through Streat, and beyond. By now to look ahead meant raising the eyes. One of the group was kind enough to explain that we looking at the what the cycling cognoscenti called a hill; in fact, we were looking at a steep-, steep-sided hill. We had reached the South Downs.
Our route took us along the foot of these Downs, an undulating ride first to Westmeston and then to Clayton (where, on a previous ride, we had eaten our lunch behind the church). For a short while, we shared the main road with all the other users. Our lunch-stop, a garden centre, was close. We parked. Some, before lunch, joined a queue at a vegetable stall, sited at the entrance. The produce looked good.
From the garden centre back to Clayton and along that country lane, the country lane, you remember, upon which the sun began to shine.
Many thanks to Graham for his choice of route and for his benign leading.
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