It certainly felt like the middle of winter yesterday, when I rolled up to the Swan car park in Forest Row waiting to meet Mikey and Chris. I believe my Garmin read 0 degrees! But it was sunny at least.
A 4.5 hour steady ride was the order of the day with a fair amount of climbing to give something to keep the hands warm. We crawled up Kidds Hill near Hartfield, which is a personal favorite of hill of mine to both ascend and descend. To anyone visiting the Ashdown Forest it is a must do, although the seemingly never ending straight steep part to the top is enough to put many locals off.
A brief descent preceded more climbing into Crowborough, then over to Hailsham via Heathfield. We passed through the historic town of Lewes after 75km, then a long drag up to the cafe stop of the day at Trading Boundaries in Sheffield Park. A brilliant place that’s popular with many locals, the courtyard shopping establishment has plenty of tasty food to offer, especially in the way of something sweet for ravaged cyclists!
Always easier racking up the miles with a couple of friends, and despite the cold it was very enjoyable.
When I pictured a week training near Alicante I assumed it would be clear skies and close to 20 degrees everyday, however the weather this week has been a bit hit-and-miss. I can’t complain too much though as I hear its been close to freezing back home!
It must be said that the whole region is well setup for cyclists, where perfect road surfaces and considerate drivers are as common as potholes and impatient drivers are in the UK. There is a terrain for every rider’s preference. There are plenty of flat and rolling roads along the coast, but head inland and you could find yourself on a decent climb pretty quickly.
Finally some sun!
It’s certainly a must go place for any cycling fan because you can guarantee you will see the pros out everyday, training on the same roads you are using. I was even lucky enough to go inside the hotel where Astana and Katusha are currently staying and take a look at all the many bikes and equipment the teams have. Astana even had a team branded table football machine!
I didn’t do any massively long or hard days in the saddle, just 55-115km everyday to keep the legs moving. That resulted in a weekly total of 476km (300 miles). Now it’s back to the damaged roads, poor weather and angry drivers that I’ve missed so dearly (not!)
Highly reduced visibility going up the Col de Rates