After sailing along the south coast of England and through the Solent, we finally reached the marina at Birdham Pool where we moored the boat and left her for a weeks holiday on dry land at my sister’s house. Here we were finally reunited with our foldable mountain bikes which had been in England having carrying bags sewed up.
The first day we used the bikes to cycle back to the boat to meet some one bringing us spare parts and advice for the windvane. The route was easy – cycle to the Chichester canal and follow it to the sea. Unfortunately when we reached the canal I started following it the wrong way so we cycled to Chichester before I realised my mistake and we turned round. We were both so happy to be back on bikes that we happily ignored the brambles that reached out along the towpath to cut us. Heidi commented that it was great that we still knew how to get out of our click shoes and that the only thing that really needed more training was our backsides.
The next day we planned a more ambitious ride into the “Sussex Mountains”. This was a route we found on GPSies.com and had obviously been uploaded by a local as it was a non stop collection of hidden byways and overgrown footpaths. Once we got up in to the “mountains” (150m above sea level) and amongst the grazing sheep, Heidi fell over without getting out of the click shoe and, a little later, she got a puncture. No problem. Took a photo, removed inner tube, removed 20mm long thorn and ….
realised we had a pump with us that wouldn’t work. There was nothing for it; we had to continue with Heidi pushing. Later we met a mountainbiker with a pump so pumped up the tyre and …
the valve was broken and wouldn’t hold the air. A quick cycle and then back to pushing.
When we reached the road we mended the puncture and were then saved by a really friendly motor-/mountainbiker who blew it up with a compressed air cartridge.
With a working bike we continued on to Arundel being ripped by brambles and gorse or stung by nettles. The English countryside can be very violent. In Arundel we photographed the castle and rode through town before disappearing back in to the undergrowth for the ride on back to my sister’s.
Only about a kilometer before our destination I picked up the next thorn and ended up pushing.
A brilliant ride on a great route. We love being bikers again.