ride by Ken and Liz

***** Report by Liz It was a very select group, two tandems and one solo that met in Eastbourne for our December mince pie ride. We had been due to meet up with another tandem at lunch but unfortunately illness caused them to pull out. After several years of fairly flat rides from our house we decided that it was time to go up to Beachy Head via the zig-zag road again this year. There was a bit of a chilly wind blowing up at the top and a bank of clouds out over the sea but the views over the cliff to the newly painted lighthouse below made the climb worth it. We continued via Birling Gap and up a steep climb through the estate in East Dean, not a pleasant experience but much better than the main road. From the top of the hill in Friston we took the bridleway and cyclepath route through the forest to emerge in the Cuckmere valley at West Dean. Then it was an undulating ride up the valley to Alfriston for lunch at the Smugglers, complete with its CTC winged wheel beside the front door. While waiting for our lunch to arrive a few of us tried the traditional Sussex bar game of Toad in the Hole, which involves throwing heavy brass discs at a lead topped box with a hole in it. After lunch the route was flatter and in the afternoon sunshine we trundled along lanes through Arlington and joined the Cuckoo Trail back into Eastbourne. Tea, mince pies and cake were enjoyed back at our house as the sun dropped behind the hills. A nice ride of about 33 miles and a pleasantly mild December day.

Unfortunately Russell and Rachel weren’t able to join us for this ride but they are now the (hopefully proud) holders (not literally yet) of the Surrey and Sussex Most Rides Trophy.

Select few - photo by Liz

Don't go any nearer - photo by Liz

Concentration - photo by Liz

Through Friston forest - photo by Liz

Dave and Caroline - photo by Liz

On the muddy detour - photo by Liz

Dec 2013 ride

Beachy Head - Photo by Dave

Toad in the Hole - Photo by Dave

Ready to go - Photo by Dave

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