At times life takes over, riding plans taking a back seat – a quiet Friday drink with an old mate might ‘accidentally’ (“but I’ve only had *hic* three beers *hic*, honest”) become a written off Saturday, or perhaps something more genuine. One particular Sunday back in Blighty that would otherwise have been used to make up for the lack of Saturday ride was filled with essential family business, and a good portion of it was spent driving around some quiet East Sussex country lanes.
A handful of these, along with a whole bunch of similar country lanes before them, have been stored away as ‘one day’ roads.
Scattered about amongst the interlaced connections weaving their way across the South Downs, one particular such ‘one day’ road seemed to be a fairly well preserved (or possibly fairly recently relaid) ribbon of tarmac which in the dry summer months would have made for a stonkingly good fun descent. The wet weather and volume of leaves blanketing it’s surface meant that on this drive I could only ever think of it as a climb – wet leaves on any descent scare the crap out of me, and I’m not afraid to admit it.
And it would be a nice climb – interesting, not a constant gradient, not overly long but certainly not short. A series of humps, flat sections, gentle ramps and nasty kickers that were enough to make you wonder how you’d fair on any given day. If I remember I’ll get a map out, find it and mark it with the intention of returning someday… but in reality I’ll probably (possibly, hopefully) just stumble across it one day, smile to myself and settle in to my rhythm.
These days I don’t drive much so additions to my ‘one day’ road collection have been limited to roads I’ve read about or seen pictures of, the rather odd consequence of this being that my new East Sussex gem now sits along side the likes of the Stelvio Pass, Alpe d’Huez and Mont Ventoux and is rapidly gaining some Australian counterparts. An odd collection, eclectic some might say – a perfect mix in my book though.
That one I spotted somewhere between Reigate and Gatwick a couple of years back but never got around to marking it on a map is still neatly parked alongside them too.
I’ll ride them though, “one day”…
(image credit: unknown)