This good Friday Sophie and Rachel had agreed to join David and myself for a ride to Brighton. Unlike the usual and slightly epic route over the south downs, culminating in another failed attempt to tackle the ditchling beacon, we opted for a route we hadn’t tried before.
After much to-ing and fro-ing we opted for Horsham to Shoreham. A simple 26 mile route with a few extra miles tagged on for the last leg to Brighton.
Many of the reviews of the route suggested it was unmanageable on anything other than a mountain bike. I opted for the brompton as it would be easy to take on the train and has Marathon tyres on which are much better suited to this kind of journey. Most of the other bikes we saw were indeed full suspension mountain bikes, but you don’t need to go that far unless you want to do the journey really fast, in which case I reckon an old fashioned touring or audax bike, or one of the new cyclocross hybrid would be quicker.
As you can see from the pictures we had a motley assortment (or Crue if you like) of bikes covering multiple “disciplines.” In truth it is manageable on any bike you want to go on, although I’d avoid anything too roady.
Inevitably we got to Horsham later than planned and decided to forgoe the first tea shop to get a few miles in before lunch. Had this been Holland we would have been passing cafes all day but refreshments were not all together easy to come by. Indeed with a group of 6, including 3 vegetarians, found it a little tricky to get lunch at all. I had cauliflower cheese and cheesy chips which meant I didn’t need to eat again for the rest of the day.
The route itself is lovely if a little uneven and potholey in places and the ride into Hove from Shoreham is bleak and industrial but I loved it and will be doing the whole thing again shortly.
Upon arrival in brighton Sophie and I stopped for ice-cream and a suitable amount of bum rest before retiring to a local hostelry. Unfortunately the first bar was riddled with wankers downstairs and needed the upstairs for a function in the evening, so we moved on to a much nicer bar a little closer to the lanes.
We really should have checked the trains a little more thoroughly because the journey time was an half an hour longer than usual so Sophie and I popped our folders into a black cab at St Pancras. Unfortunately that meant we followed Robert all the way through Islington. He did indicate his pleasure at this with a salute using just a couple of fingers.
All in all a lovely day out.