Riding a bike around the block is not really a good test I thought, a trip up on the Downs is a more called for so I can compare it with the last one. On that occassion gears slipped, didn’t do what they were told, and the chain came off many times.
It would be another quick ride up to Lancing Ring, a small lap round the bridleways and byways and back down through Sompting, but not before visiting Steep Hill which I had an idea might give quite good views over Worthing and Brighton when you get to the top. I soon got to be off road and started the slow journey up the hill. Last time the chain was slipping and jamming like not tomorrow, this time gears changed when I wanted them to, and they hit all the right cogs.
Last time it was hot and sunny where as today it was cloudy and very windy, with a look of rain in the clouds blowing in. The ride up the hill was slow and mostly in the lowest gear, but constant moving however slow meant I soon made it to the top and entered the hidden world of being at the top of the Downs. I spotted the path between two fields that would take me to the top of Steep Hill and once again, putting all faith in the gears, I plodded on slowly upwards.
A trig point met me at the top and being at the top of the highest hill in the area you could see why such a point would be positioned. Worthing was in one direction and Brighton in the other. In the low cloud and mist I could just make out the white cliffs after Brighton.
No time to sit around, the wind and now the rain was not making it the hot long summer day that it has been recently. I continued on down the other side of the hill. At this point I had choosen the ride side of the hill to climb up as I found myself sitting way back on the saddle and the back wheel skidding down the overaly steep path, through a field of sheep, to the bottom.
A quick ride back to civalisation, through Sompting and back into Lancing. The hour’s trip had confirmed that the gears on the Dawes were working better than they ever have done. Next ride, South Downs Way?
Number of miles: 7
Number of bad gear changes: 0
Number of chains coming off: 0
Number of times me swearing: 0
Number of trig points: 1
Number of suprised looking sheep: 8