The sun came out and the wind died down on cue for the 10.30 start from Firle Beacon car park – my second ride with Brighton MTB. A small group of four today, but each born in a different decade – that age gap most apparent during the inevitable end of day climb from Alfriston when child of the 80’s Chris running single speed burned into the distance, only to come back down again to check with the stragglers for directions (or was it just to have another go). Chris was in training for the Clic24 next week – good luck Chris!
From Firle Beacon we dropped down and headed south across the Cuckmere
River then on into Friston forest for a bit of single track action – all trails perfectly dry and compacted. Couple of close calls on the stump-ridden lower section. James enjoying his new Fox forks. After a much needed coffee in the visitor centre we took part of the Friston red trail and followed it up to the top of the forest then peeled off to take a look at the unofficial downhill sections – tiptoed down a short run then loitered around a dirt jump before throwing caution to the wind. James then followed – like me a relative novice who hasn’t seen enough broken bits to know when to step back.
We mucked around in a bomb hole for while the aim to make it around a tree located half way up one side. After this a slog up to join the South Downs Way above the Long Man for the most spectacular views of the day, then a long fast descent into Alfriston, (pies from the Local Village Stores to be recommended). Lovely place though Alfriston is, the only way is up – and we eventually made it back to the car by about 4.30, sore (Body Geometry – my a**e!), slightly sunburned, but with the feeling that you only get after a great ride. I’ll be back for more of the same.