By Ashley Knowles
So you’ve been watching the weather for months, your bike cowering at the back of the garage, cobwebbed and unloved? Well, it’s time for that to change; there’s a feeling in the air of a new season with fresh promise. It’s time to grease your chain, pump up your tyres and head out into the countryside.
This ride is a relatively short introduction to the beautiful, secret lanes that surround you. Avoiding the main roads, you’ll find peace, quiet and a sense of exploration. You can ride the route with any roadworthy bike and you should manage the distance if you’re at least moderately fit … but don’t underestimate the steady ascent in the middle! Take a snack and plenty to drink, and remember that you’re doing this for fun. Pace yourself, and take a break if you feel you’re overdoing it.
From the centre of Hurstpierpoint, head east towards Hassocks. After the sharp left-hand bend at the entrance to New Way Lane, turn left on to College Lane. Be careful as you pass the houses here, as there’s very little room for cars. At Hurstpierpoint College, take the left turn on to Chalkers Lane, then the first right on to Danworth Lane and relax; you’re now in countryside proper.
You don’t need to navigate now for a mile and a half, until you reach the end of the lane. Turn left on to Gatehouse Lane and almost immediately go across the Goddards Green crossroads by the Sportsman Inn. Mind your head as you cycle under the vehicle barrier, and carry on along Bishopstone Lane until you hit the A2300. Cross carefully on to the continuation of Bishopstone Lane, then immediately turn left on to Job’s Lane, a hidden back-way parallel to the A-road. After two-thirds of a mile, turn right on to Stairbridge Lane and continue north for two and a half miles, in the process crossing the A272 onto Buncton Lane. You should detect a change in the landscape; you’re seeing the same unremarkable but charming Sussex fields but the road has started to head upwards.
Read full story on pages 10/11.