Ride by Dave and Caroline

*****Report by Caroline

We had agreed to meet in the station car park, but unfortunately there were two! After the initial confusion, four tandems and two solos set off together. We had to modify the route almost straightaway because the Forest Way section up to Forest Row was closed. Glad to be off the main road we sped along the cycle path towards Hartfield, followed by Holtye and the hammer ponds. We then turned off onto the bridleway up to Dry Hill. What an irony! The quagmire saw everyone walking, so we were glad to get back on tarmac, even though it had resumed raining. We sped through Dormansland and past Haxted Mill to the pub at Staffhurst Wood.

After we had removed our wet clothes and muddy overshoes, we enjoyed a good meal. However, our leader discovered he had a rear wheel puncture just before we set off. The puncture was repaired in the pub's shelter, but by this time, everyone was cold as well as wet so we eagerly decided to take the direct route back through Lingfield and Felcourt. We resorted to coffee and cakes in Sainsbucafé cafe, instead of the planned garden centre. We watched the steam train puff by on a practice run - next weekend sees the official opening of the direct link between Southern and the Bluebell Railway. By the time we had returned to the cars, the sun had come out and there was a beautiful rainbow. However, Liz and Ken had to remove their bike and its rack from their car's roof so that they could fit under the height barriers which workmen had closed without warning at the end of their day.

On the drive home, a hail storm struck us - but we were glad to be in the car rather than still on the bikes! It was a shame that a pretty ride was spoilt by such wet weather, especially after last month's outing. Let's hope for something drier next time!

Tim goes solo - Photo by Phil

Our Regional Officers - Photo by Phil

Sheltering outside the pub - Photo by Phil

Anything but Dry Hill - Photo by Dave

Rainbow - Photo by Dave

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