MJF certainly lived up to its 2 (new) AAAs. This was my 5th time on this popular and very hard East Sussex event; Paul’s 3rd and Ben and Stef’s 1st (also their hardest ever Audax ride with over 200m more climbing than the Mid Sussex Hillier)
I’d been feeling awful all week with the usual non-specific lurgy and only decided definitely to start yesterday. We were all a bit under the weather and were definitely not planning any heroics so we ended up well down the field by the first El Supremo control. But even on my Bitser bike (which turned out to be a good move as the lanes were very skoggy indeed in parts) I only needed the smaller front ring of 3 for Willingford Lane, Doleham, the very top of Fairlight (where Tim the AUK magazine photographer was on hand for a photo of us all) and a couple of unsporting little numbers near the finish (must remember for next year; the last info is not the end of the climbing)
Great service from El Supremo (none of you miniscule sportive rations here; a full spread twice en route) and Mark’s willing helpers and a big Thank You to you all; and a fantastic day for a change compared to the Rivers of Mud which can happen on this ride in heavy rain (I left my jersey with Mark at Burwash to complete the ride in just the long sleeve) the view both ways from Fairlight including a rather odd looking castle I’d noticed before but especially the blue sea was awesome.
The extremely sociable day was added to by meeting an old caving buddy at Brightling who coincidentally had chosen today to visit some of Mad Jack’s follies in the village in his pristine Aston Martin.
A hilly Southern classic which is always a challenge but very rewarding!
Photos with thanks to Pat Hurt and Tim Wainwright