Today’s cycling was very wet and very windy. I set off around 3pm (after finally fixing the puncture from last week) and headed for Devils Dyke, along the cycling path. It was pretty clear which way the wind was blowing by the fact that I had to lean my bike to the left in order to move forwards in a straight line. Surprisingly, I wasn’t the only cyclist around. I cycled all the way to the dyke with another chap. He set off in a different direction when we got there though.
At the Dyke, I turned left and headed for Truleigh Hill. It’s a very up and down route, through lots of grass and chalk paths. The grass was completely sodden—it was like riding through a pond. And the chalk was immensely slippery because it was so wet. Add to this, the wind trying to push you off the path and down the escarpment, it was a challenging ride. Normally, I’d race down there in top gear, but I didn’t even get close this time. Everything had to be done slowly and carefully. I’m immensely grateful to the lovely lady hiker who held open a gate for me so I didn’t have to stop.
Finally, I got to Truleigh Hill and the YHA there. No time to stop though, I had to keep going in order to try and get back before the light went. The road turned into tarmac at this point, so I could go up a few gears. Plus it was all downhill to Shoreham. The main problem was still the driving rain, which was beginning to feel like bullets at this point. The wind was still troublesome. I turned a corner at some speed and almost stopped dead because of it. I met a couple of cars going that way. I have no idea why they would want to do such a thing.
From Shoreham, I cycled along the sea front road all the way back to Brighton. This was really quite pleasant after being so exposed on the top of the downs, despite there still being a strong breeze. Eventually I got to Hove, turned up First Avenue and carried on. Eventually, a sharp right up the Droveway (I had no idea there was a tennis club up there!) led me on to Dyke road and home once more to freshly cooked food. I’m exhausted, but I feel great.