Sunday Awayday: 10th June 2012

Delayed by a dog for two weeks, an awful advance forecast – would it ever happen?

“Allez! Allez! Allez!” Jeremy texted the night before on the basis that it wasn’t going to pour in the morning and maybe the afternoon might just stay dry.

8.05am and five of us (Jeremy, Jim, Gina, Ricki & Stuart) were ready to go. We took a fairly direct route through Merstham and Redhill for speed. We were doing so well we thought we may be too early for scheduled cafe stop at Tilgate and diverted to the ever reliable Tulley’s Farm.

Then down via Handcross and the lanes to the west of the A23. The weather was holding, just! The South Downs reared ahead. We take a breather half way up Devil’s Dyke …

But the worst bit is the last bit …

We were in Brighton before 1pm with a moving average of 13.5 mph. The £4.50 fish, chips and mushy pea cafe on the beach was too good to miss for four of us. Ricki opted for the Burger King Whopper alternative.

All was good except for the increasing patter of the damp stuff onto the parasols. The return wasn’t going to be fun! Gina had sensibly taken the train home …

And it wasn’t. Ricki tried to nut a coach out of his path (now I understand why he wears a helmet …). Two of us drop chains on the first ascent and by the time we reached the top of the South Downs the weather was worse than miserable.

However, Ditchling Beacon is always delight. Resurfaced and going down was just a bonus. At the bottom the final four just put our heads down and headed north. After a few sub-optimal turns due in part to a damp map we traced our way up a gravel laden Slugwash Lane to Lindfield. Here Ricki feasted over the best the local Co-op could offer before the long, long drag up to Turner’s Hill. Not helped by being the day after the South of England Show at Ardingly and the day before the field left on the road was washed/cleared away. Brown hi-viz don’t really work!

Desperate for a cuppa we dreamed of the nirvana that is Tulley’s Farm (again). Only to find the cafe SHUT. Re-cereal barred (thanks Ricki) we set off for the final dash back. Within a mile my chain decided to break, the link remover not to work or for the three in front to hear my desperate cry …

Miles from any station, the weather trying to get even wetter and, worst of all, fearing I wouldn’t make my first 100 miler after all that effort.

I was missed and after what seemed an eternity the Angel that is our Captain re-appeared, huffed, and produced a fearsome tool from the Carradice and made short work of re-engineering my transmission.

We retraced our steps back to Purley with our Imperial Centuries all safely accomplished. Boy that makes you feel good. So good I rode all the way home. 115 miles on the day (about 102 Shurguard to Shurguard).

Good but coming back in this E-Type snapped at Brighton’s Classic Car Rally may have been nicer.

We made a few variations on this mapping but it gives the general idea …

4 thoughts on “Sunday Awayday: 10th June 2012

  • June 15, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    See, my item about chains breaking, why you should carry a chain tool and know how to use it, was not a load of piffle, as Boris the Bike might say. So if you have not read it (shame on you after all the hard work I did in writing it!), do look now. You might be next, see

    • June 15, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      Yes it was!

      Having read your article I did take my hallowed chain breaker and tried to use it. Modern 10 chains are a lot tougher than they used to be. I could not move the pin – hence my panic.

      Luckily Jeremy had a beefed up version which wouldn’t shift it either until we added some extra leverage. There’s a reason they have safety links. but reason is lost when its the safety links that had gone.

      Are you still on hols Des?

      • June 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm

        Hi Stuart,
        No got back yesterday (Friday) evening. Tom, Ricky and I went out today for our Saturday, Train 4 Spain, bike ride. Very windy! Pity you and Co heading north, or perhaps you had the wind behind you. In which case you have probably been blown over the border and into land of tartan trous!

  • June 16, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    On reflection, ride was hard but I was rather elated and pleased as it was my 1st 100 Without the understanding and kind support of you guides. I would not have finished the return jpiurney and would have boarded the train after co-op.
    So, thanks a lot guides, drinks on me next time.


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