Martin Malins writes…
My 7th time on this great event; and once again we were blessed with dry (if quite cold and windy) weather. The ride goes back to about 200BC, and when I joined the club it was organised by Charles Robson and always started and finished in East Hoathly. Since Charles gave up organising various local clubs have had a turn at organising including EGCC in 2005. This year was the turn of GS Stella, and they laid on a first class event.
Pauls Winkley and Harris, Richard Woodward, Ben Hardisty and myself went for the 4 1/2 hour time as it was a 60 mile course which was sure to go up some pretty long or steep hills; although with the exception of the hill up to Burwash it was not too steep. The first lumps after leaving Plumpton were up to Piltdown and then Ashdown Forest for the first control. Therafter a familiar route through Rotherfield and Mayfield following the route of many Audax rides in the area. The more benign way up to Brightling avoiding Willingford Lane saw us at the second highest point of the ride.
And then a fast dash down and up to Punnets Town for more lovely lanes through Horam and Vines Cross to East Hoathly to pay homage to Charles who may well have had a hand in planning the course. Just after joining the A22 Steve Dennis and a Stella rider tore past and a few of our group briefly gave chase.
After Ringmer and Barcombe Mills we retraced our outward route to arrive back at the college in about 4 1/4 hours. And soon after the Lewes 4 hour group arrived en masse; one even riding his bike into the cafe to make sure he completed in time!. A very wise choice to go for the more leisurely time slot and a great pre-winter ride, looking forward to next year’s already.
photos from Paul Harris to follow