By Clem

*****Ride by Clem Slightly after the planned departure time, due to a train arriving a little late, 6 tandems set off in the rain on to the cycle track through Abbot's Wood, then on to Arlington. From here we headed up to Hailsham to join the Cuckoo trail. We got there at the same time as some runners doing a 10 mile race so we decided to avoid that section and join the trail further north. We made our way up towards Horam, stopping along the way for the first puncture of the day. We left the trail and headed on some lovely quiet lanes through Cowbeech then to Bodle Street Green for lunch. The second puncture struck Tim and Anne a couple of miles before the pub so some went on ahead to tell them we were on our way. After lunch the rain, which had been on and off all morning, decided to really lash down and in the melee of leaving one tandem went off the wrong way so we had to wait while they returned to the route. A bit further on towards Windmill Hill the third puncture occurred, this one was a little more tricky and involved a tyre change. Next came the offroad section by Herstmonceux Castle & Science Centre and, true to Surrey and Sussex tradition, involved steps, a grassy field and a muddy climb. But it was great fun and the rain had more or less stopped! We then headed towards Pevensey Levels when we were hampered by a tree across the road. After ducking underneath it we realised that we had only managed 4 miles in the 75 minutes since lunch (is this a record?). The sun came out and the wind picked up as we meandered across the levels stopping briefly to mend the fourth and final puncture. What with the rain and the punctures we thought we deserved the afternoon tea stop at The Old Loom Mill. From here it was less than 2 miles back down the Cuckoo Trail to Polegate. It’s amazing what fun you can have in good company, even in torrential rain and with lots of punctures! [img][/img] Total Distance: 32.9 miles Climbing: 1523 ft

route070513 - The route

Tim gets serious - Photo by Dave

Socialising - Photo by Dave

Hertmonceux - Photo by Dave

Clem and Caroline - Photo by Dave

Tim and Anne - Photo by Dave

Neville and Tricia - Photo by Dave

Blocked road! - Photo by Dave

Tim Punctures again - Photo by Dave

Lunch - At the White Horse In Bodle Street Green

It did get rather wet - Photo by Tricia

Intrepid - We even went off-road - Photo by Neville

Family Group - Photo by Neville

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