Christmas Dinner and Mince Pie Run by Liz and Ken

by Liz and Ken

Our traditional Mince Pie ride began with 11 riders leaving the start in good time on a cloudy and chilly morning. We met up with Keith and Jane as organised on the seafront opposite the impressive Grand Hotel, and all headed off together up the ‘zig-zags’ to the top of Beachy Head. We stopped near the track leading to Belle Tout lighthouse and walked to the cliff edge to get a view (and silly photo) of Beachy Head lighthouse down under the cliffs. Next came Birling Gap and then through the village of East Dean where we took the steep but quiet route up the hill through the estate rather than the steep and busy main road. From Friston pond we joined the main road for the flat then descent to Exceat. On the descent there is an excellent view of the Cuckmere valley with its oxbow lakes – but probably not for much longer as the Environment Agency are planning to cease maintaining the tidal defences and this area will return to flood plain. As we were still in good time we detoured down the cycle path, which was quite flooded with the high tide and the amount of rain the previous day, and had a brief stop on the beach watching the canoes playing in the waves.

It wasn’t far from here to the lunch stop at Milton Street but unfortunately a puncture (which proved a bit tricky to mend) made two crews a little late. The rest of us carried on to get in to the warm as soon as possible! The staff at the Sussex Ox made us very welcome and the food was very tasty. We had a funny five minutes before leaving the pub looking for Rose’s missing mobile phone – it was located, by ringing it, in Mick’s jacket pocket. There is one problem with all wearing our matching club kit – it’s very easy to pick up the wrong one!

In order to miss having to ride along the A27 we planned a very short but quite steep section of byway just after the pub. A few tried riding, one fell off, and the others soon lost traction on the slippery chalk as the gradient kicked up. Mick and Rose, wisely, decided to do the A27 section to avoid having to walk on a (soon to be replaced) dodgy ankle. We met up with them as we crossed the main road, it was much quicker their way, but we got a nice view of the Long Man of Wilmington with his head just touching the low clouds. We headed on the lanes towards Hailsham passing The Old Oak at Arlington where many people were out buying their Christmas trees in the car park. From Hailsham it was an easy ride down the Cuckoo Trail to Polegate and then back to the start for Mince Pies and tea.

Congratulations to Tim and Anne (and Brendan), who were presented with the most rides trophy for the year, only having missed one ride in the course of the year.

Liz and Ken at Cuckmere Haven - Photo by Dave

Mick in front of Cliff End - Photo by Dave

The Sussex Ox at Milton Street - Photo by Dave

Path from Milton Street - Photo by Dave

Keith and Jane in Christmas Spirits - Photo by Dave

Tim and Anne with the Most Rides Trophy - Photo by Dave

Beachy Head - photo by Neville

Ready to set off - photo by Ken

Looking across the Cuckmere - photo by Liz

Tandems on the beach - photo by Liz

december ride - the route

Next Post Previous Post