Cream Tea with all the lumps
Southern Section diary
Southern Section diary
Without wishing to state the obvious, a ride out comprises two elements. The destination and a suitably entertaining route to that destination. The Cream Tea Run is no exception.
Mrs. M and I decided to do Battle, East Sussex, with its myriad of tea rooms, and eponymously named abbey looking promising for the 2019 Cream Tea Run. With our mid-week day off, the route was meticulously planned and executed through to the point of departure. Mr Garmin intervened however, revising our set route sending us on a very long and circuitous ride to Battle.
Despite our diversion, what became clear was that from our point of departure, the route intersected just about every radial route from London. As a result, many of the pretty sounding villages had become little more than over-populated dormitories that had lost their charm. To be fair, it’s probable that a route heading further south, towards the coast, may have overcome some of these pitfalls but, equally, would have added miles to an already longish ride.
Learning from our experience, the sights were adjusted to a less ambitious visit toTangmere Aviation Museum, near Chichester. Tangmere opened as an RAF Fighter base in 1918 and was used extensively during the Second World War for both fighter squadrons and for more clandestine missions, dropping members of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) into enemy occupied France. The base remained operational until 1958 before being opened as a museum in 1982. From there onwards, it went from strength to strength becoming the fascinating place it is today.
Tangmere - a fascinating visit
Having already plumped for Billy’s On The Road near Billingshurst as a start point, Tangmere was only about 35 miles ride. The route planning required a little creativity. We optimistically hit Basecamp and put a route together, heading North from Billy’s, into the Cranleigh hinterland, before looping around and heading back through some of the hidden villages of Surrey and West Sussex. The twisty route finally emerged onto the A285 just before Duncton village and its magnificent climb up the South Downs Escarpment before giving way to open, flowing roads, passing, Goodwood, and on to Tangmere.
Fortunately, we had the foresight to do another trial run. Basecamp didn’t identify Billy’s precise location and, having calculated where we thought it should be, discovered we were about 200 yards the wrong side of the café. The test run became a competition to see how many times Mrs. Garmin would instruct me to do a U-Turn and yet, still show the route on the display. Ignoring the instructions, we enjoyed the test.
On the day, the more observant of our riders may have spotted us shooting past the café, en-route to the roundabout about 1/2 mile down the road, before returning to Billy’s from the ‘wrong direction’.
Sunday was overcast but we missed the rain showers that were scudding around the South-East corner of the UK. We had a good turn-out of 12 bikes and the only mistake on the journey was an impromptu turning into somebody’s driveway (previously a railway station entrance) with, fortunately, only ourselves and our immediate tail falling into this trap.
Thanks to everyone who joined us making this a special day out.
Return to Events