A summer picnic on the South Downs

Ride and report by Keith and Jane *****Picnic Ride 7 tandems and 1 solo gathered at Berwick Station for what had planned to be a picnic ride on the South Downs. However, at 0945hrs, and with rain falling, the Downs obscured by low cloud and near gale force winds blowing, a rethink was in order. The change of route plan saw us move off in a northerly direction and then west through the villages of Chalvington, Ripe, Laughton, Shortgate and Ringmer. Then on to Lewes where coffee was taken in the precinct. At this point it decided to stop raining and the sun started to shine through. A fast stretch saw us arrive at the village green in Piddinghoe where the organisers sons and partners had agreed to met us all. This was just as well as they had carried all the picnic baskets with them in their cars! (Thanks to them). They had even erected a Gazebo for shelter from the rain. Just as they had finished putting it up it stopped raining and lunch was enjoyed in sunshine with distant views of the Downs spot where the original ride would have taken us. After lunch we headed through Newhaven and onto Seaford following cycle route number 2, along to the Seven Sisters Country Park and then to Litlington. Afternoon tea was taken in the beautiful village tea room. During tea we were approached by a photographic student who asked if we could all pose for her as she was entering a competition titled "Transport". We duly lined up astride our steeds and the pictures were taken. We all wish the young lady good luck and perhaps we may all be famous one day!! After tea it was a gentle 2 mile ride back to the station at Berwick. The enforced change of plan was a success and even the sun was still shining when we finished. Keith & Jane

respite - a brief stop sheltering from the wind and rain

picnic 1 - lunch in Piddinghoe

picnic 2

picnic 3 - campagne and strawberries supplied by the organisers!

moving on - leaving the lunch stop

new cycle path - between Newhaven and Seaford

towards Seaford Head

Leaving the coffee stop in Lewes - Photo by Neville Frost

July - gpx file for the route - click to download[url=http://ccgi.wildehobbs.plus.com/gallery2/g2data/albums/2006/July/gpxviewerjuly.html]View Map (choose new window or tab!)[/url]

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