Just 4 met at Walberton pond for an early start to the I-Spy Ride organised by Horsham & Crawley section. Sam was nominal leader for the day and he was joined by Paul, Bob and Russell. We had two hours to cycle to the start at Billingshurst Station, which necessitated taking a direct route using mostly main roads. We arrived in good time to find a small contingent of Arun Adur and a much larger group from the hosting section.
Bob M.(Horsham) , briefed us on the day’s event, highlighted the need to reach the lunch stop by noon and doled out the route sheet with 34 slightly cryptic observational questions to be completed during the morning ride. The other sections cycled off whilst we enjoyed a coffee at the station. when we finally got going, we were immediately held up by the railway crossing gates closing, much to Bob’s ( M) amusement.
The route used a series of quiet lanes and it wasn’t long before we overtook a confused Arun Adur team and then the first of the host teams. We were a bit surprised but as we seemed to be finding the answers quite easily, pushed on. A few miles further and we were the lead team on the road, having passed the second Horsham team, this was to be significant later on………
Some lovely lanes and devilish questions later, we arrived at the George& Dragon, Dragon’s Green at 12.15pm, the first team in. Bob M., tucking into his lunch, greeted us with a warning that the pub had a big party booked in for Sunday dinner and that food may not be available. Well it wasn’t for the other 3 teams, we were served but the late comers weren’t!
A quick review of the answer sheets revealed that all 4 teams were more or less level, with everything to play for in the afternoon’s 20 questions.
So with some rumbling stomachs the teams set off for stage 2, more lovely lanes, more devilish questions and a deadline to meet at Whispers in Billingshurst before they closed at 3pm. We were first to head off and didn’t see any of the other teams before arriving at Whispers around 2.15pm, to be greeted by Bob M. enjoying a slice of cake. We enjoyed assorted cake and baguettes in the afternoon sunshine as the other teams started to arrive, with the exception of Arun Adur. 3pm came and went, the café closed before they eventually turned up, having ‘mislaid their way’ enroute.
Much to our surprise, we had answered all of the afternoon’s questions correctly and thus emerged as the winning team, albeit by a single point. After a very modest rendition of ‘We are the champions’ and ‘You’re not singing anymore’, we gave the trophy back to Bob M. for save keeping. We returned via the quieter roads , splitting up at Wiggonholt as Bob and myself tackled the Khyber, Sam and Paul ascending Dunction Hill.
A great day out, mileage for the event was about 26 miles, mileage including riding to the start was between 80 to 90 miles. And an away win in the DA Events!