All 12 members who registered showed up, and on time (thank you) on a beautiful morning. It was definitely a grade 3 group, with two new members which is great. One route misunderstanding at the beginning and an early puncture but after that no other problems and the Garmins worked perfectly. Big help having Alan leading, I was struggling along at the back.
Stunning route. A lot of "comments" about the hills but there was only 1000m of climbing in the shorter version with no steep or long hills. The hills are concentrated at the beginning and end and there are a lot of them, which seems to be more tiring than one or two big climbs. Lovely and flat section across the marshes heading into Pevensey.
The one brief shower of the day happened during lunch on the beach which drove us into the rather rough bar rather defeating the purpose of eating there. The food was very mixed, fish and chips good but other meals not.
A busy road after lunch was followed by more quiet lanes and lovely views. The one pub which seemed a possibilty for tea was closed but miraculously a farm shop appeared. It was near the end of the ride but everyone stopped. A pot of tea was only £1 and the cakes £1.50, a real find.
Despite the rest and refuelling only 3 people did the full 84 km to Wadhurst with 300m more climbing. Everyone else took the 74 km option returning from Stonegate. Peter said even that version was as hard as his 120 km almost flat ride from Ashford. A great day though.