This ride will start from the car park on Ardingly reservoir dam TQ335287. We will have a pub lunch in Upper Hartfield and return via Balcombe. If you are interested in joining us please contact Dave and Caroline on 01737 766649

Report by Dave

On a lovely sunny morning our group of four tandems met up at the car park by Ardingly Reservoir. As we were actually below the level of the water in the reservoir, it had to be a climb to get out and it was quite a steep one. A short section of road and then we were suddenly off onto a rather nice bridleway heading towards Lindfield, then further east to reach our morning coffee stop at Heaven Farm. Finding the correct entrance into the tea room proved a minor challenge but we were soon sitting outside enjoying the nice weather and refreshments while catching up on the gossip.

When we eventually left the tea stop, there was an inevitable long climb up to Chelwood Gate, and then again from Nutley to the Ashdown Forest. A game of dare with an oncoming vehicle at the narrow wide cattle grid provided some excitement. We won. The descent down towards Hartfield made the climb up worthwile, despite a headwind keeping the speeds down. A sharp left at the bottom and then half mile of easy climb to the Gallipot Pub for lunch. The pub has its own special bus stop signs!

Fully refreshed we headed west through Wych Cross and West Hoathly to get back to Ardingly (with a rather vicious climb just before getting there), but of course this was not the end of the ride as tea and cakes are expected. The organisers hoped that this would be at the excellent Balcombe tea rooms, but they were closed, so we headed for the backup option at Borde Hill gardens, passing the rather special Balcombe Viaduct on the way.

After filling up it was just a short ride back to the start at the reservoir.

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