By Tim and Anne

Bunkers, Bicycles and Weathervanes A really fine spring day saw what was an almost unbelievable number of cyclists gather at Haywards Heath station. Twenty six riders on fourteen bikes – a bit of a handful in terms of keeping count and managing to talk to everyone. A few new faces, but most were regulars. Off we went round the edges of the town, heading into the countryside. We had a quick stop a few miles out to catch our collective breaths, cool down and allow weathervane spotters to photograph their first of many different weathervanes. When I planned the route I spotted four interesting ones – Brian and Helen told me there were many more and would have do the ride again so they could snap them all. Dave took the chance to investigate his misbehaving gears, finding a cracked parallelogram on the rear mech – no chance of a roadside repair, so we hoped for the best. Onwards and southwards to Fletching, where a search for a loo proved fruitless. Just beyond the village we stopped at an anonymous looking clump of trees with an anonymous looking concrete block and bit of pipe in it. This was the external workings of a Royal Observer Corps cold war bunker. More information is on the [url=http://www.subbrit.org.uk/]Subterranea Brittannica[/url] website http://www.subbrit.org.uk/.
We whi ed on, keen to get to the lunchtime pub in good time – they only had space for 20 of us, the extra six would have to fight for seat in the bar, so an early arrival would be a good thing. A few more weathervanes and we were at The Plough, Plumpton Green. The welcome was warm, the food good, but the wait was a bit on the long side. The conversation flowed, Mick’s pu le kept us entertained and the beer (or similar) quenched thirsts. Before we left we had a look at the memorial in the pub car park to the Polish Airforce Squadrons based at an Advanced Landing Ground nearby during World War II. Off we set once more, through Burgess Hill then stopping in a quiet lane for the only puncture of the day. Up into Cuckfield, where Mick and Rose took the direct route back to the start, whilst the remainder of the peloton clocked up a few more miles. Then we were rolling down into the back of Haywards Heath for coffee and cake at the leisure centre. A bit more chatter, watching the tail end of the rugby and then the final little bit back to the car park. A completely marvellous day, helped by the weather, the company and the conversation. Those stats in full: Distance about 32miles Tandems 12 Solos 2 Riders 26 Weathervanes 18 Punctures 1

march07trk - The planned route..Start from the car park at the back of the station. About 40 miles (as usual) Pub lunch, afternoon coffee. Depending on the weather there may be some off road (needs dry conditions for it to work). Hopefully a couple of things of historical interest.Contact Tim and Anne, 01293 515000

Haywards Heath - Ready to set off from the station

Watching the photographer

Lunch - At The Plough

Cold War shelter - Photo by Dave

Tim's Historical interest brought about a welcome rest - Photo by Dave

Weathervane Photo Stop - Photo by Dave

Outside the Plough - Photo by Dave

How many to mend a puncture? - Photo by Dave

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