Monday 28 Nov 2016 Wessons

I decide to take a ride out to Wessons Cafe in Horam for lunch. There are quite a few good riding routes to get there, but today I choose the A264 to Tunbridge Wells, followed by the A267 which takes me all the way down to Horam.

It being a sunny, but chilly Monday I’m not expecting many bikes to be there, but there’s about 6 other bikers there who have braved the chilly weather to get out for a ride.

A big plus point of it being so quiet is that there is no queuing for food, which is good news as I’m hungry!

I normally like to sit outside on the terrace, but not today, far too cold! I grab a table and a copy of  South East Biker magazine, which is always a good read.

As you can see I went for the healthy option…not! Cheese and ham toastie with chips, and the statutory Mug of Tea.

If anyone is looking for a business opportunity the cafe is up for sale for a mere £850K  eek! More details here

In a previous incarnation it was a motorbike accessory shop with a cafe attached called Ogri’s.

Ogri was a very funny biker cartoon character , drawn by Paul Sample for Bike magazine.

He visited the cafe years ago and drew the cartoon below on one of the posts.

There are also some other hand drawn pictures on display ,including this one of Mitzi (although I think she looks a bit like she has a 5 o clock shadow in this one)

So here’s a better one of her I found on the web.

mitzi

And this great one of Ogri, Mitzi and not forgetting kickstart the dog!

ogri

Having finished my lunch I headed home. I stuck to the tried and tested main A22, there’s too many wet leaves around on the smaller roads.

The temperature drops down to 7c on the way back. I think this may be the last time I will be wearing my Go Go leggings this year.Such a shame as they are so much more comfortable to ride in than my normal textile trousers, but even with wearing thermal leggings underneath they are just not warm enough for winter riding.

 

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Wednesday 16 November 2016 Knucker Hole Dragon

After yesterday’s horrible weather and a day stuck indoors I feel the need to get some HRT- “Have a Ride Therapy” and get out on the bike .

I take it steady , as the roads are damp and there’s lots of leaves on the smaller country roads that my “curvy” route takes me down.

But the sunshine on the last of the Autumn leaves makes up for this, really showing off their glorious colour.

So my chosen destination today is another Witch Way Round location – the Knucker Hole in Lyminster.

You may well ask what is a Knucker hole?  Well so did I!

And according to the wonderful world wide web, it is a bottomless pool with magical water.

And this one once housed a dragon…but more of that later.

The Web also warned that you couldn’t get close to this particular Knucker Hole as it was fenced and wired off, but i decided to give it a go anyway.

I arrived at St Mary Magdalene Church. my research had said the Knucker Hole could be found down a footpath to the north of the church.

The only signpost is a Public Footpath one to the right of the Church, so I head down the lane.

Then through this opening. You can hear the sounds of ducks and other birds coming from behind those trees directly in front…

…but as warned there is no way to get near the Knucker Hole itself.

I like to think that perhaps this is for our own safety, and not someone selfishly keeping the magical water ( that you can just see in the photo below) to themselves!

A little disappointed I decide to visit the church and i’m really pleased I did.

A little to your left as you enter the church is a beautiful glass screen. hit the switch and it is lit up and there you have it – the Dragon of the Knucker Hole and poor old Jack  ( or Jim) who slayed the dragon then died celebrating down the local pub!

And to the left of the screen is “The Slayer Slab”, which allegedly is Jack’s gravestone, brought under cover to protect it.

There are a few other memorials dotted round the church. This one in particular caught my eye.

A close up of sussex flint used to build the wall surrounding the church and graveyard.

Looking at my GPS I hadn’t realised how close to the sea I was, so couldn’t resist riding down to the beach at Littlehampton .

A funked up photo of my bike in front of the Wave stage

I do like to be beside the seaside…

Whilst walking along the beach I realised I had forgotten to include my ( still nameless) Witch in any of the photos at Lyminster- so here she is on the beach!

And here’s one of me next to the funky beach seating!

I’m also really near to Arundel, so call up my friend Gareth to go round and have a cuppa and catch up with him.

As you can see he has a good sense of humour!

Annoyingly I accidentally reset my Rever  app recording and lost my curvy route down details.

But below is my route back. This included a slight detour as there had been an accident resulting in a road closure (I hope no-one was seriously hurt) and a blast up the M23, ensuring that I got home before it turned too dark.

All in all I was out for over 6 hours and had a good days riding:

  • WWR count now up to 4
  • Some therapeutic seaside fresh air and wave action
  • Catch up and cuppa with old friend

Priceless.

 

11 November 2016 Witch Way Round

My hunt for a new job  continues ( anyone need a great accountant?)  but a big plus point of my current situation is that I can make the most of the Autumn sunshine and nip out for a ride-which is especially welcome today as I’ve been laid up with a really rotten cold the last few days.

I decide to bag myself my first Witch Way Round photos.

What is Witch Way Round you may ask? Well let me tell you, are you sitting comfortably, then I will begin…

I belong to a great Facebook group called Motorbike Women-open funnily enough to ladies that ride motorbikes or ride pillion on motorbikes. Earlier this year they ran a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Research called Witch Hunt, where over two days you had to take a photo of you and your bike with a variety of named  witch themed items.

On 31 October a new year long challenge was announced Witch Way Round. The challenge is to take a bike photo at a variety of witch and fairytale themed locations around UK. these are all shown on a map that you get access to once you have registered by paying your £5 entry fee- you also get a wristband and sticker ( us bikers love a sticker!).

Open to any lady rider, just click on the link to ask to join,pay your fiver and you are away. More details also on the website Motorbike women

So unfortunately there are not many of the locations on the map that are in Sussex/Surrey/Kent area, but it just so happens that of the few, one is just down the road, so this is where I head…Cackle Street.

And I’d say it looks like something quite magical was happening when I took this photo too!

I then had to stop a little further down the road at Tylers Lane, Tyler being my surname.

There were a couple of bonus points on offer too – the first  for Witches Lane

 

Ok, I know its silly to have two shots of the same road name, but I like the business of this photo below: Loppy the Bunny wearing her Witches Hunt ribbon; my Spanish witch to the left purchased whilst searching for photos for the Witch Hunt ( youll be seeing ore of her over the next year!) and some of my stickers. I said we liked stickers: Brittany & GB stickers, Motorbike Women and Celtic sisterhood-both great lady rider Facebook groups I belong to, and my Tylerider sticker, designed by Gus, the creative at my last job.

The next bonus point was for Wych Cross.

Now some may consider this a bit of a cheat, and I will go back and see if I can find an actual signpost, but there wasn’t one at the cross roads so this will have to do. to prove I was there!

On my way home I stop off at St Swithun’s Church , East Grinstead to take a photo of what I always believed until recently were the graves of witches burnt at the stake.

Beneath these stones are interred (as it is believed) the ashes of Thomas Dunngate, Anne Tree, and John Forman, who were burned to death in High Street East Grinstead, for adherance to the reformed faith: fideles usque ad mortem: faithful even unto death’.

But they weren’t witches, but Martyrs burnt for their Protestant beliefs.

So a nice hour or so ride out and 3 photos taken for my challenge.

And anyone reading this who’s doing the challenge maybe the map below will help you find those bonus points too!

wp-image-379462983jpg.jpg

And a final question for my readers, I think my purple witch needs a name.If you have any suggestions please click on  “Leave a Comment ” at the top of this post.

 

Wednesday 2 November 2016 Caterham on the Hill

I never like to miss a chance to ride the bike. So with it being a dry and sunny day,  riding the bike as my mode of transport seemed the ideal way to get to a lunch date with some old work colleagues in Caterham on the Hill.

Its not a particularly exciting ride, and only 15 miles each way , but it does have a couple of nice little fast bits where you can really open the bike up :o)

My old firm now has premises right on the High Street and I wasn’t sure if they still used the car park spaces behind, so thought I’d be naughty and park on the pavement outside the office.

A quick plug for the team at Roger Lugg and Co, if you are looking for a friendly , helpful accountants these are the people for you. Ask for Bruce or Hilary and say bikerbunny sent you!  ( and I promise the plug has got nothing to do with the fact they paid for lunch!!)

We went to  The Fox for lunch. Hilary driving to save me having to put back on all my bike gear. We all opted for the fish finger sandwiches – I can recommend them too!

Lunch was spent reminiscing about old times and discussing possibilities for the future, before it was back to the office for a quick tour. Where had the last 3 hours gone?

I then headed home before it got dark.

Another sneaky ride in the bag!

Thursday 27 October

I’ll use any excuse to go for a ride, so when I have to go and meet a Recruitment Consultant in Crawley I decide to go on the bike. Who knows maybe it will make me a little more memorable when new roles come in!

My meeting finishes by 3.30, and the sun is shining so why not take the long route home?

I have no idea what route I’m going to take, but start of heading south on A23.

I then turn off onto the B2215 and just follow signposts to whatever village name takes my fancy!

As I past through Plumpton it feels like the right time to start heading home, so with my GPS set to curvy route I hit the Go Home button.

The first turning it tells me to take is  left onto Allington Lane…hmm looks a little narrow but I go for it.

It turns into proper Tiger country, including grass growing in the middle of the road!

It also looks like perhaps this route is liable to flooding. Well that’s the only reason I can think of for this giant ruler at the side of the road. Strange as there does not appear to be any large rivers nearby.

Unfortunately my tracking app Rever, paused when I stopped to take the photos and didn’t automatically start again.( note to self to check in future)

But I ended up returning home on roads I know well via Lindfied, Ardingly and Turners Hill.

What a pleasant way to spend a sunny autumn afternoon and all the better for being unplanned.

 

 

Saturday 22 October 2016 Worlds End and back via Winchester

Another beautiful day and it seems a shame to waste it indoors, so I decide to go for a ride.

I went to the seaside earlier this week, so decide to take this opportunity for probably the last ride of the season on the A272 to Winchester.

As the end of this week also marks the 10th anniversary of Steve’s accident, it also seems an apt place to go.

I can use my tickets, purchased earlier this year when  I took  my friend Sara, to go and visit the Cathedral and in particular the Antony Gormley statue Sounds II that we both loved.

Well that was the cunning plan!

But like all cunning plans, it was not to be. As I got close to the Cathedral there were lots of people milling around. Turns out some “name ” is getting married this afternoon, so there is no access for a while.

Its to chilly to hang around, so I decide to pass for today.

Parked up near the Cathedral is this stunning looking bike. Not my sort of thing, but stunning all the same.

It has very apt paintwork!

The roads have been perfect for riding on today-totally dry, which makes a change and with my heated jacket and grips I’m not really feeling the chill so decide to look for an alternative route home.

I get out my map and spot my via point for the route home..

Yep, I went to Worlds End and back today!

And it would have been very easy to miss it. There really wasn’t anything there-although when I get home I find it has one of the UK’s oldest post boxes!

 

I’d  also plugged in Shoreham as a via point, but once Igot to Emsworth I decide just to head home via whatever curvy roue my Garmin decided to send me on.

It did good , bringing me up on the A285, a lovely bit of road and then from Petworth back onto the A272 when I had a perfectly clear road through the twisty wooded section . Heaven! I was in the zone!

Below are the screen prints from Rever of my routes.

A272 this morning-probably my favourite local road,  and a little more variation this afternoon.

So despite a small set back it has been a pretty good day.

I’ve had the only HRT I need , Have a Ride Therapy!

I’ve been to Worlds End and back ,

ridden 160 miles ,

with 4.5 hours actual riding time although I’ve been out  nearly all day!

And home bfore it got dark.

Priceless!

 

 

Monday 17 October Newhaven

I use an app , recommended by a biking friend, called Rever for the first time today.

You can use the app to plan your route but I just want to use it to track my route, which it does pretty well, once I realise I need to turn the auto pause feature  on!

It not only tracks your route but also also your top speed, average speed and time taken, plus the altitude of your rides.

You can save the routes , so you can follow hem again, and you can share directly from the app to social media, but I’d prefer for my top speed not to be out there! So I’ll be showing you screen prints from my phone!

Its a beautiful, crisp October day , but I’ve been feeling a bit blue, so what better way to feel better than a ride to the seaside.

Yes, its Newhaven , and its pebbly beach, but still a good place to sit and eat my packed lunch and chill out!

I don’t know why sitting near the sea and watching and listening to the waves has such a calming effect, but it does.

My friend Sue, says the vastness of the ocean makes her realise how insignificant she and her problems are, but I never think of that. All I know is it works.!

Sitting here at Newhaven, the sound of the pebbles as they  are pulled back into the water by the receding waves  I am reminded of Jean Michel Jarre’s  Oxygene II.

This was one of the first  two albums( on cassette) that I ever bought- the other was Hotel California-which I think has stood the test of time better!

I am always on a quest for the”perfect” wave photo and there’s absolutely no reason why the English Channel cant be the place for me to find it.

I love these 3 photos but I don’t think any of them are the “one”

I follow the GPS curvy route on the way home, which takes me a slightly different way to my normal route. I come up and over Ashdown Forest, so stop to take a couple of snaps of the Autumn leaves

“I wandered lonely as a cloud”…

…I do wander on the bike, and often I’m riding solo, but I have to admit its rare that I feel lonely ( except when I have mechanical failures), mainly I just feel at peace with the world and myself.