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Tuesday
Apr142009

Easter riding

Easter Monday was an absolutely fantastic day! I'd actually be pretty happy with days like that in summer. Really.

GG and I had a list of things we wanted to do over Easter, and going on a bike ride was one of them. We did go into Brighton by bike on Friday, but that didn't count. It does, however, illustrate something about the kinds of bike rides we normally go on. It rained. For whatever reason, whenever we go out on bikes together it seems to go cold, wet (on one memorable occasion it hailed on us, combining the two), or GG falls off. Something, anyway. Not yesterday though. It was a big surprise.

We toddled off down to Rottingdean, and instead of turning right to Brighton we broke with convention and went left. As far along the Undercliff as it ran (not far in that direction, as it turns out) and then back up onto the top of the cliffs. We went through Saltdean, Peacehaven and hit Newhaven, but I forgot to take my camera out. Suffice to say, the sky was blue, the sea was calm and flat, and there were people everywhere.

When we reached Newhaven we had a choice: keep going, or turn back. We'd just come down some fun hills and didn't fancy going back up them, so we carried on. We turned back inland at that point, and not long after that we reached Newhaven Cemetary and I remembered I had my camera.

Newhaven Cemetary

It was rather picturesque. So I wanted to have a quick wander through that there building and see what it looked like out back. Sort of like a cemetary, oddly. There were some lovely doors into those two wings of the building though.

Newhaven Cemetary Door

I guess you'd need one of those spy holes if that was your front door though. GG waited for me with my bike at the entrance.

Newhaven Waiting

(The sculpture was for some sculptor that was buried there. I'm almost completely ignorant about sculpture though, so the name didn't stick.) GG was wearing a long-sleeve merino top, a short-sleeve cycling top and a fleece gilet. Oh, and full finger gloves. Me, I was in a short-sleeve merino top, 3/4 length shorts and fingerless gloves, and I was rather warm. Apparently we run at different body temperatures!

From there we headed on along some winding country lanes towards a pub that GG knew of. The country roads around Sussex tend to be lined with trees, so the view came in snatches but suddenly we got to see Lewes Castle in the distance.

Lewes Castle

We could also see paragliders circling around one of the hills. There seemed to be a queue waiting to jump off. Rather them than me, frankly.

paragliders

We reached the pub (the Juggs - great name) feeling pretty good, and sat down for a drink and some crisps. The pub was lovely, but I didn't take photos. I'd recommend a visit. Although I didn't try the food - maybe next time. Turned out that stopping was a bit of a mistake. It was just long enough for our legs to get a little heavy, and there's a bit of a hill straight out of the pub.

The next stretch wasn't so nice. We did maybe 4 miles along the A27 (on the cycle path) which was a long, slow uphill mostly, with wind from the passing traffic in our faces. Cars are very antisocial, really. We finally made it to Falmer, which is chopped in half by the A27. We went across the footbridge and round the back, and reached a bit that I've never seen.

Falmer

I mean, really. How beautiful is that? About 50m from a busy, major road, and maybe 3, 3.5 miles from home. Slight snag being that those 3 miles are about 80% uphill. We did it though, finishing on a glorious downhill run to home. Somewhere around 20 miles in total, and really quite a nice route.

Hope everyone else had a lovely day too. Let's hope for more days like that this year!

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