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Day 2 BER Sussex Holiday – Henfield Round Trip 23/04/2024

Fifteen riders departed in cars for the 30-minute (20 mile) drive from our accommodation to our meeting point at The Old Railway Pub, Henfield. After parking and unloading our bikes, we received a short briefing from our Ride Leader for the day – Mick Palmer.

The 10 am ride began by setting off downhill along the Downs Link, an old railway line joining the north and south downs. We soon had our first climb, an easy 0.5% gradient, followed shortly afterwards, by a brief toilet break at the Old Barn Garden Centre; thank you Dee for watching over our bikes!

We headed towards the village of Southwater; a village located approximately 7 miles south of Horsham. Our route took us through the village of Dial Post and the hamlet of Dragons Green, towards our furthermost point –the Bax Castle pub at Two Mile Ash. Not stopping, we carried on to our lunchtime destination, The Café by the Lake at Sumners Ponds Fishery and Campsite, at Barns Green.

Following a leisurely lunch, we continued our ride, shortly facing a ½ mile long, 3.5% gradient, climb; it was fortunate that we had recently re-fuelled. Passing through the village of Coolham, we headed towards West Chiltington, and our scheduled afternoon stop at the Meadows Café & Store in Abingworth. Here, I had a most enjoyable Jam Donut and one of the staff kindly took a group photograph before we left.

Suitably refreshed, we pedalled on, passing Mutton’s Copse. We carried on towards Wiston, having to carefully ride alongside and then cross the A24 before riding past Calcot Wood and a final showing of Bluebells. Shortly afterwards, our route took us back to The Old Railway pub.

The ride was incident free, mostly through wonderful countryside along quiet roads and bridleways. Bluebells were everywhere, deep blue carpets in the woods and clumped on roadside verges. The birds were in full voice, including one Nightingale singing close-by in a dense thicket. All in all, I believe that we all had an enjoyable day’s ride in excellent company, well led and ably supported by the back riders.

32.42 miles

9.8 mi/h average speed

1375 ft elevation gain

Cloudy, 8 ℃, wind 2.1 mi/h from WNW


Lawrence Smith


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