Crowborough by Keith and Jane

Report by Jane As Keith was called away on an emergency I carried out his plan with the help of Liz reading the maps. Tim was going to ride solo so he piloted my tandem for me. 9 tandems met at Crowborough Fire Station. We were welcomed by the firefighters with tea and biscuits. A beautiful morning, sunny and dry with no wind - perfect for cycling. We turned right out of the fire station and then left at the traffic lights to start with a great downhill run to Lye Green. The first hill took us to Groombridge and on through Stone Cross. Crowborough is the highest point in Sussex so it is no surprise that we continued to another hill from Walters Green to White Post. Next a downhill to Bassets and over Cowden railway bridge at Moat Farm. We proceeded on towards East Grinstead and then south to Ashhurst Wood. Down a steep hill into Forest Row finishing our mornings ride with another uphill to the Chequers Pub for a well earned lunch. At this point we were joined by another tandem who had been marshalling a cycle ride all morning.
On leaving the pub to start our afternoon ride we headed southwest towards Sharpstone. At Tyes Cross we went down a dip at Birchgrove through a ford and up the other side to Chelwoodgate. Cycling onto Nutley we saw free range sheep. Camphill took us to Greenwood Gate. We then took a bridleway as it was decided that would be nicer than riding on a busy road. This took us through woods to Crowborough Warren and we then climbed yet again, and took a break and stopped to admire the views and take on liquids. We climbed a final hill back to Crowborough fire station for homemade cakes and afternoon tea. As Clem Collins is leaving us for a while to work in the Antarctic we presented him with a warm hat and a card signed signed by all his friends. 35 mile ride.
Provisional report by Dave This fantastic ride by Keith and Jane took place on a beautiful autumn day. The ride started with a great descent from Crowborough, followed by a wicked but short double arrow climb before dropping again to Groombridge. Granny gears were again selected for the climb out, and we roller coasted up and down through the lanes past Cowden, the hammer ponds at Holtye to reach lunch at Forest Row. After lunch in the Old Chequers we climbed up to Tyes Cross, down again, through the ford (dry unfortunately) and up again to Chelwood Gate. The views along the road from Nutley to Camp Hill were brilliant, both the North and South downs visible through the clear air. The highlight for me was the descent on the bridleway past Home Farm to return to Crowborough - brilliantly fast, not too rough. The lowlight was trying to get enough grip to climb up to Home Farm - this reduced many to walking. All in all an excellent ride - shame Keith couldn't make it as he had to depart for Pakistan at short notice to help recover the earthquake victims - lets hope all is well with him. Back in Crowborough, after some very welcome tea and cakes, there was a short presentation and gift for our Regional Officer Clem, who is leaving us for a spell in the Antartic. Thanks Clem for all the hard work you have put in over the years. 34 miles, 3449ft of climbing! [img][/img]

Clem punctures - Normally a rare event for Clem but more common recently!Photo by Dave

Almost ready for the off - Gathering outside the pub at Forest Row

Relaxing in the Sun - Recovering in the sun outside Home Farm.Photo by Dave

Walking - The steep gradient and gravelly surface had a few walking along the bridleway to Home Farm.Photo by Dave

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