Then it was on to Botolphs and the testing climb up to Truleigh Hill YHA. Its not steep, its not long, but again , rode half pushed half. then the draggy road up to the YHA proper. By now my lack of planning on the bum cream was begining to tell.
I only had some after shave balm , which I applied first thing, at the YHA another blob was added to the pad , quick pee, re-fill bottle, more motion lotion powder and off. In previous years I have had a 20 min stop here , this time it was 5, and the climb out was certainly easier.
Met a lad also doing a 1 dayer on the climb out from Saddlescombe, he as quicker but was sending more time staionary. Being half my age ( 50 ) I let him pull away as I had a plan to keep to, but the gate duties shared helped whilst it lasted. being less clever than I lok I had a mantra, ” gates and gears” , there are so many and when tired its easy to forget to change up 4 or 5 cogs for a relaxed get away from the many , many stops, again it worked well for me.
After crossing the A27 the grassy climb up to Falmer pump station was horrible , into a steady headwind and it was 3mph winch in 1st gear , once summiting and turning downwind the difference was remarkable. Yellow brick road was so quick, and then its just the last 3 biggies. Southease station , YHA peee stop, more water and magic powder, malt loaf in jersey pocket , gel scoffed and off up and up. rode the whole thing but it was touch and go up the last section , but 20knots of tailwind fair pushed me the hill.
Along the tops and great veiws of Newhaven and the channel. Warm now , breeze on my back and sun on my face , lovely. Fast run into Alfriston , small detour as coundnt recall the correct route, avoided the pie shop and across the river and rooty singletrack then its up the testing climb to the start of Itford hill.
I will admit to stopping at the resevoir half way up and applying more after shave balm to my now baboon like arse cheeks, undeterred the second half was more into the wind, which was nice. Cleaned it and by now you know its in the bag , job done
Drop into Jevington oh so fast , and the slow, slow winch up to the golf course , dark clouds rolling in accompanieed by stronger gusts, rain felt very possible. The climb up to the golf course was hideous, feeling sick, burning fire down below, aching balls, cramping calf but I cleaned it with a combination of stitting then standing and mashing the pedals
Every time you get the veiw of Eastbourne its such a relief , Block headwind all the way down to the wooden sigange at the road.
10hrs 50mins. 35 mins staionary. 90 mins faster than my best solo time 3 years ago.
100 miles, 11500ft, 6450 cals
The tailwind , dry trails, nose powder, and questionable tyres ( IKON and Aspen Race tyres )probably all helped reduce the overall time on the day.
100gms of SIS GO, 4 x SIS gels, 2 packs of Nairns Ginger Oat Biscuits ( 5’s) , 1 wrapper of 6 Scottish Oat cakes, 1 Malt Loaf , 2 x high 5 zero tabs. 8-9 bottle refills. 2 bananas. Fleeced for £40.90 for the train back though , nearly hurt as much as by backside . and no seats from Clapham to Woking