Ride Report: South Downs, 29th April 07 (Falmer & Kingston)

30 04 2007

10-30 am on Sunday 29th April saw approximately 20 people with mountain bikes milling about in the University of Sussex Sports centre car park anticipating a ride on the South Downs that promised some fine views and a couple of notorious hills. The weather was perfect, low 20’s with a slight breeze. The ride had plenty of incidents including many punctures, badge of honour goes to Dave who managed to puncture both front and rear wheels at the same time, repaired them, rode 10 yards and flatted the rear tyre again. Some days were made for staying in bed!

The first gravelly climb was conquered without much fuss followed by a nice whizz downhill through the trees. The following two climbs including ‘Heartbreak Hill’ had the group spread out and panting for breath, a taster of what was to come. Drop down and back up the South Downs recover then repeat. The ride into Lewes was a blast accompanied by a broken chain. At this stage the pace on the hills was slowing and we were all eyeing the ‘Hill of Truth’ climbing from Kingston up to the South Downs Way. There it was, chalk glinting in the sun and looking down on us mere mortals who were approaching ready to do battle. There are two options here and the Mentalists (Slim, Ollie, Rick & Pete) eventually talked themselves into trying the previously unridden right hand route. The rest of us consumed energy bars, cake and sweets at the bottom in order to give us some energy for the impending struggle of man versus nature up the left hand side. Did we make it? some did some and didn’t, the defeated swore to return and triumph over this freak of nature. A quick charge down Newtimber Hill and we were soon back at the car park drinking coffee, eating maltloaf and regaling tales of the ride.

Thanks to Nick for putting the route together and leading the ride (with the kind help of Blay & Dave who volunteered to be gate pixes) and everyone who came. A great day out.

Check out Guy’s helmet cam footage of the ‘The Hill of Truth’….

More from Guy…

Cheers, Mike

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