… is what Tom told me. It is not that he didn’t want to come on this bike the other weekend, it was because mornings are just a time to suddenly wake up and jump on your bike. I can understand that, although the promise of breakfast at McDonalds normally gets me on my way. I’ll work on that with Tom, but for now he was a bit upset to miss out on the trip the other week which me and Jack went on, he was happy to miss out on McDonalds for a later start. The plan would be the same route as me and Jack went on without the detour for breakfast.
A sunny and warm ride along the seafront cycle path with the wind behind us, we soon got to Shoreham which was in the middle of a food festival from what I could make out. We managed to escape the groups of Sustrans fund raisers on the Shoreham bridge. It seems to be a bit of a trend this year of small groups of people representing Sustrans wearing florescent bibs and stopping people on their bikes using the cycle path. Depending on the day will depend where they camp out, anywhere from Worthing all the way through to Shoreham. They are telling you how good the cycle path is and trying to get you to subscribe to their cause. Not a problem really and could be quite a good cause. Over the summer, as someone who uses the routes they camp out on each day, it has become a pain. I don’ t know if they are people working for Sustrans or one of these charity businesses that hassle you door-to-door. Escaping them today was a success, although I could had pointed out to them that while the cycle path is good, the idea of shared space across the bridge and down Shoreham’s main shopping street during market day, is one that does not work. This was demonstrated as we walked (no room to cycle) through Shoreham trying to make our way through the crowds between cafe tables, market stalls, and on street bands. Even without a bike, it didn’t look easy.
We made it through Shoreham and got onto the old railway line, the Downslink and started the bumpy ride (come on Sustrans….). The weather was changeable but here it was sunny and warm, the bike path was in good use with a mixture of families and lycra cyclists on mountain bikes – lots of cheery hellos as we all passed each other.
All the time we were passing signposts with 24/7 written on them, some fun run or bike ride? The answer soon came when a group of cyclists all wearing Dark Star 24/7 tshirts came by. It reminded me how Dark Star, a small Sussex brewery, is placed on the edge of the Downslink cycle route at Partridge Green. I had heard of organised bike rides to visit, seems a nice idea and worth doing with a friend one day. It looked like this weekend it was all on, a 24 bike ride raising money for Cancer Research and of course a chance to visit the brewery and maybe buy some bottles to take home…. Maybe next year….
We stopped where the Downslink met the Southdowns Way, a handy signpost showing the direction and mileage to the next places to note. Devil’s Dyke only 4 miles away… we talked about maybe next time, it’s all off road but there’s a cafe when you get there….
At this point, it was time to take the road back home. The normal not so interesting route home all along the road, up a couple of hills, across a main road and through the airport. Evidence of the airshow that will be happening next weekend were well in force from the no-parking enforcement signs to marques setup on the airfield.
We had a small bit of rain which caused no problem, but the wind we were now having to battle against was making it quite hard. We soon got to the sailing club and were able to turn off the seafront and make our way home for the last bits out of the wind. A successful ride, at last, without breakfast. Maybe next time we will take lunch with us.
Number of miles: 13.3
Top Speed: 17mph
Number of Sustrans fundrasiers: too many!