Sunday, 7 February 2010

Penshurst... via Ashdown Forest!

Penshurst a different way
By Adrian Webb
Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - 06:32
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The six of us who started out from Woodhatch on the Sunday club ride were making the most of the opportunity to ride on dry roads without the threat of ice or rain. Cloudy it may have been but nothing was going to stand in the way of us making up for the last few weeks not riding.

Having reached the point in my cycling life where I no longer do speed but can do miles, and lots of them, my rides tend to be extended, scenic and with an element of surprise. As the route to Turners Hill is familiar nothing much happened except Peter decided to turn back at around Copthorne thus missing the ride through Sharpthorne and across Ashdown Forest to Wych Cross and on to Colmans Hatch where my decision not to turn right and climb The Wall was much appreciated.

On through Hartfield and the climb at Ashurst then into Ladies Mile where we took a left at the end and dropped down into Groombridge. At this point Steve observed that he had never associated Groombridge with getting to Penshurst but I promised all would be revealed as we took the climb alongside the village green and found the lane to Fordcombe where a left turn dropped us down the hill and on to Penshurst after 35 miles. Oh ye of little faith.

Following coffee and food it was back on the bike only to lose Andy at Chiddingstone when his rear gear cable broke and he was stuck in the small sprocket. In true Captain Scott tradition he told us to go on without him and we did only for Charles to puncture between Cowden and Dormansland and as he had no idea where he was we waited. At Lingfield our bikes were on autopilot and at Smallfield Ian turned off for Merstham whilst we returned to Woodhatch well in time to have a shower and sit down to watch the rugby. Fifty-eight miles ridden at a comfortable pace with a smile on our faces. Now that’s what I call a club ride.