June 11th - Redhill
Unusually the weather forecast predicted a hot sunny day for the ride, and it turned out to be correct.
The organisers were joined at the start by three other tandems and crews, with Ian and Penny about to experience their first Slurry and Sussex ride.
We headed south, making use of Sustrans Route 23. At Earlswood we met another tandem crew out for a ride and tried to hand out one of the Tandem Club fliers only to find they already had one! They declined to join our ride, aiming for around 20 miles, but maybe we will see them out sometime in the future.
Carrying on down Route 23 we skirted round Horley and took a rather nettly bridleway towards Copthorne. As everyone emerged at the end slightly nettled, in more ways than one, the route was modified to use less of the cycle path and more road. As we were debating the route the couple we met earlier whizzed past in the opposite direction, sensibly avoiding the bridleway.
We toiled up to Turners Hill, where the rest waited patiently the for the organisers to arrive. As we cycled along the ridge there were fine views to the south, towards our lunch stop at the Balcombe Tea Rooms, soon reached after a long downhill, a wrong turning, and a steep climb.
After a pleasant meal sitting outside in the sun (some shade would have been welcome) we headed back over the roller coaster road to Ardingly, then it was up and down some more until Felbridge, passing the Bluebell Railway on the way - no steam engines to be heard which is a little unusual.
We rode through the peaceful private estate at Furnace Wood, then a short section on busy roads to reach another very short bridleway section and then it was quiet lanes all the way to the Windmill at Outwood. The organisers knee was playing up so some walking took place up the hill. More lanes, a hill of course and short section on Route 23 brought the riders back to the start after forty odd miles for tea and cakes.