It was a glorious morning, the sun was shining and there were plenty of smiles as riders gathered in the Six Bells car park for the second ever Tour de Chiddingly community bike ride on Saturday 16th September. The ethos for the event was to encourage everyone to cycle more, particularly for shorter journeys that would otherwise be made by car. Now that East Sussex County Council have patched the worst of the potholes in the parish, that’s much easier and safer.
In all, 40 riders had signed up for the event, ranging in age from 5 to 81 (no names mentioned). Some were very experienced cyclists, while others had obviously only just dusted off their bikes from the back of the shed. Riders were given the choice of two routes. A shorter, more family-friendly, 6-mile circuit took in the delights of Highlands, Ailies, Stalkers and Smithlands lanes before descending Scrapers Hill into Muddles Green and back to Chiddingly. A longer 13-mile circuit shared the same start and end as the 6-miler but also climbed four of Chiddingly’s infamous hills (Stone Hill, Pick Hill, Gun Hill and Thunders Hill), plus the long slog up Moat Lane to Waldron – that’s 930 feet (285 m) of elevation gain.
As you can see from the photos of the event, everyone had a great time, with the final riders on the 13-mile route returning to the Six Bells after 1 hour and 9 minutes (yes, I timed it). It was great to see such a wide cross-section of the community represented, meeting new people and making new friends over a drink and a bite to eat.
I need to finish with a few words of thanks. A great big "thank you" from everyone at Greening Chiddingly to:
Roll on next year and the Tour de Chiddingly 2024!