Four met at a blustery Walberton Pond for the scheduled long ride to the Milk churn, Rudgwick. Sam, Mike and Maureen joined with myself leading. Following a recce ride earlier in the week, I had already decided that the original route using part of the Downs Link would not be possible – the unseasonal wind and rain has left parts of the cycle route littered with tree debris. So it was to be an all road route. However whilst discussing this, my Rain Radar app on my phone was going into overdrive. It warned of a band of heavy rain about 30 minutes away and not wanting to be caught in it on the busy A29 , I opted to lead the group through Eartham, Goodwood and have an early coffee break at the Downlands museum café.
Unfortunately the heavens opened whilst we were climbing ‘Sculpture’ Hill so it was a very wet and bedraggled group that arrived at a very busy café – there was a special event on at the museum. We managed to maintain decorum by sitting on paper napkins as we drip dried in the warm café.
After 30 minutes or so the rain had passed over but the roads were now very wet, So it was a shortened route, taking in Chilgrove via the back lanes, a quick climb on the B road before dropping into East Marden and then onto Compton, where an early lunch was taken in the by now warm sun. A fairly direct route via watery lane and we were back in time for Sam to get on with some DIY! ( although when doing his post ride bike clean up, as the roads were filthy, Sam found 3 slow flint punctures which needed attention.)
My mileage was 53, the ride mileage from the start would have been a very modest 35 miles.