Monday, May 15, 2006

Rendezvous at the Cocking Blue Bell

Ride: Monday 15th May, East Harting to Cocking
Present: Ade, Jon, Matt

On a damp and gloomy Monday evening we met [historically, for the first time without either of the founding Fathers - Ed.] at Ade's place in East Harting, on the North Side of the South Downs Way, in a bid to meet fellow TCA associates (Al & Tee) at the Blue Bell Inn, Cocking (below). We kitted up on the farm and readied our bikes for the off, this took much longer than expected and, in true TCA fashion, we were an hour behind schedule once we set out.

Realising that time was against us we set out at a blistering pace, until we reached the (v) steep incline up the side of the Downs, we tried in vain to cycle up the track (which even a goat would struggle to climb), so we pushed the bikes until the track levelled slightly and we could mount our trusty bikes again. Once we reached what we thought would be the highest point in our ride, we looked East to find that we would again be pushing the bikes up to the real summit (Harting Down). This we did and delighted in the down ill that greeted us, we surveyed the route and pressed on past Buriton Farm and once again up to another High Point in the South Downs Way. This part of the journey was fairly uneventful other than Matt's low-key 'accidental dismount' due perhaps to over-zealous brake use..? But he dusted himself off and we would have been none the wiser had he not mentioned it to Jon and I.

Making up time we kept pushing on and were found ourselves flying across Treyford, Didling and Bepton Down. Then came the delight of seeing Cocking; the route down the hill to the pub seemed to be calling us down it. I then felt like I was back home (as I spent my first 13 years growing up atop Cocking Hill) and thus spurred on by the beckoning beer arrived at the Blue Bell.

Al and Tee were already in the pub and primed to buy us a well deserved pint, they were resting up after day 3 (of 8) into their hike along the South Downs Way from Winchester to Eastbourne. A packet of crisps later and we set lights to 'stun' (above) and pushed on; leaving the walkers safe and warm in the pub while we were peddling to warm up again after stopping. We opted to follow the lane that skirts along the North side of the Downs back to Harting, which was an inspired decision as the Three Horse shoes at Elstead was on the way, so we had to stop for another pint, which we drank quickly, mounted up and heading for home, being welcomed by the lovely Julie, who had cooked a gorgeous meal of Shepherds Pie and veg, washed down with some cool beer.

(Posted by: Ade)

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At 8:54 am, May 25, 2006, Blogger TCA 2006 said...

Nice work Ade! Glad to see Julie is doing the TCA proud with the post ride feed! P.S. Why has John got white crab claw hands? B.B

At 10:08 am, May 25, 2006, Blogger TCA 2006 said...

The phenomenon associated with Jon's hands seems to be something to do with the reflective trim I think. AL

At 3:35 am, June 04, 2006, Anonymous S Prouting said...

Hello TCA!!! It's Julie's little sister here in Kiwiland, and I think it's great you're all having so much fun without hurting the environment. Keep up the good work - I'll be watching you ;-)


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