Organised by Tima nd Anne

February's ride starts at the café in Horsham park, so an opportunity for an extra breakfast to get you through the morning. We'll take a few lanes and very few bridleways to Coolham, where they may well be an Historical Point of Interest. Then on to lunch at The Hare and Hounds, Cowfold.

Selfless research has shown this has a fine range of proper beer as well as wine and soft drinks. There's a choice of Sunday Roast, sandwiches, snacks, burgers, lasagne, Ham Egg and Chips (of course) and lots more besides. Then we press on, gaining a bit of height, but nothing like the Grimpeur-fest that was January's exacting tour to Warninglid, Colgate, Faygate and back into Horsham. Coffee and buns in the Café. 40 miles. Bring a bike.

*****Report by Tim

Having carried out a detailed reconnaissance of the route, booked a table at the lunchtime pub (and checked the beer), I thought everything was in place for the ride. So on arriving at Horsham Park at nine fifteen for a spot of breakfast in the café, we were somewhat disappointed to find that it didn’t open until the appointed departure time. Plan B, in the shape of the Leisure Centre, was implemented. Being a temple to a healthy mind and a healthy body this meant the sausage, egg and bacon bap was served with a handful of lettuce.

Following a couple of phone calls we were soon all assembled and on our way. Here the reconnoitring paid off as we made our way through the maze of backstreets on the edge of Horsham to escape to the Sussex countryside. A gratuitous hill was avoided, as keen eyed riders spotted a smattering of ice on its lower slopes and soon we were at Coolham for a brief history lecture about the Advanced Landing Ground built during WWII. Some of the Polish Squadrons based there to support the D Day landings then transferred to Holmsley South in the New Forest, which is now a campsite where the Surrey and Sussex TC have stayed in the past. We carried on at a keen pace in the winter sunshine, pausing to catch our collective breath near Partridge Green, and then arrived at our lunch stop in the shape of The Hare and Hounds at Cowfold. Further catering disappointment for me, as my regular cycling meal of ham egg and chips was unavailable. Never mind, the beer and lasagne was excellent.

Onwards and upwards in the afternoon, as we regained some of the height we’d lost earlier in the day as we wound our way northwards. Anne and I took the [i]lanterne rouge[/i] position past St Leonard’s Forest and were lucky enough to see a white deer. A couple more bits of up and down saw us back at Horsham Park, where the café although claiming to be open until five already had half the tables closed off. We stood, drank our coffee, chatted, and ate cakes.

A great day. Next time we’ll skip the café.

feb09route - Route clicked by Tim using Gmaps Pedometer.

The Memorial at Coolham - Photo by Dave

Tim informs us about the history - Photo by Dave

Along the bridleway to Partridge Green - Photo by Dave

Along the bridleway to Partridge Green - Photo by Dave

brief stop

Slight adjustment

David and Christopher

Caroline

Tim and Anne

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