By Harry and Mary

*****Ride from Friends Car Park, Nutley, by Harry and Mary. A joint ride with the Kent region. Our April ride this year couldn’t be on our usual day due to Easter so we agreed to have a joint ride with the Kent region on their weekend. Pauline managed to persuade Harry and Mary, who live in East Sussex but are officially Kent members (due to postcode anomalies) to “volunteer” to lead the ride from Nutley in Ashdown Forest. A beautiful morning greeted 19 riders, on 9 tandems and 1 solo (Clem is back from Antarctica) with the forecast promising the hottest day of the year so far. The views were lovely as we rode off through the forest with the aroma of gorse flowers hanging in the warm air. We knew the ride would be quite hilly and the first 15 miles didn’t disappoint with some uphill drags and a few good descents. A few riders were held up on one downhill by a horse that decided that four tandems riding past it was quite enough for one day! An advantage of the delay was that a few of us were at the bottom of the hill in advance of the others which gave a good photo opportunity as the rest arrived at the ford at the bottom of the road. Dereck and Gail disappointed us by taking the footbridge option (but to be fair, we shouldn’t blame them, they have entertained us in the past by falling off in fords!) but some of the others made some impressive splashes through the water. We had a good coffee break at the Llama Farm on the A22 near Wych Cross before continuing on our way down to Weir Wood Reservoir and back up to Tyes Cross. Harry changed the route slightly (unintentionally) to miss out the second ford and the nastiest little climb of the day and we arrived in good time at the pub in Ardingly. We had a good meal, served very promptly, and a well deserved rest sat in the hot sunshine in the garden. Some even had to seek out the shade, and some unusual sun shading headwear was improvised – incredible for April. The afternoon route was again along some lovely lanes with good views, now to the South Downs. The last few miles were uphill again back into Nutley to Harry and Mary’s house for excellent refreshments before returning to our cars. Another lovely ride in good company and perfect conditions.

[img][/img] Distance 32.5 miles 2763 ft of climbing

The good thing about climbs - are the views

route070415 - The route

Cheats! - Photo by Dave

Thats the way to do it! - Photo by Dave

Big Splash - Photo by Dave

Admiring the view - Photo by Dave

Llama Park - Photo by Dave

Neville and Tricia - Photo by Dave

Liz and Ken - Photo by Dave

Derek and Gail - Photo by Dave

Our leaders! - Photo by Dave

Riding along - Photo by Dave

Riding along - Photo by Dave

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