It started so promisingly. Sunny evening, smiling faces, dry trails and plenty of time before darkess fell. We left Devil’s Dyke and headed towards Newtimber Hill and Wolstenbury Hill. Our new visitor Kevin skipped up the hills on his Specialized Stumpjumper with youth and fitness on his side. The tighter bridleway at Poynings will be a problem next winter but the revised line from Cow Down to Pyecombe is better than the old field edge line.
Just above the chalk bits I lost the rear mech pinch bolt. A cursory look around was fruitless so allowing the others to carry on I started the slow spin back. I had emergency lights in my backpack and so started to return on the West Road (A281) but I was so slow spinning it felt dangerous.
So I turned up the wolf ride. It is more worn now than a few years ago and the old wolf has lots its teeth but riding upwards it regained its’ bite. I did not make it up cleanly but I will return with gears to try again.
I ploughed my lonely furrow into the dusk with big fat drops of rain thudding into me as I wound my way back up the South Downs Way to the Dyke.
And it had all started so promisingly as well.