Saltdean to Hove, via Newhaven

Day 84  Sun 12 June:  A day of low cycle mileage, with more time to enjoy some good company. First, I must ride back to Newhaven. A very wet start. Cycling back is not really necessary, having already pedalled there yesterday. But Fondo needs to be there and I’m ready to go, thanks to a good night’s sleep and the nourishing, high protein breakfast. Thank you Monica.

There’s probably a name for that very fine but heavy rain. The sort that feels soft and light until you start moving through it at speed. Apologies to Mike, the Newhaven LOM, for dripping all over his lovely Lifeboat house and leaving a high definition wet imprint of a cyclist’s rear end on his chair.

Not long after Mike’s ceremonial signing of the damp chart, the rumbling of the returning Severn Class Lifeboat coincided with the arrival of a familiar family group. My neice Vicky & her husband Dante, with my great nephew & niece, Emilio and Clara. Thanks Mike (LOM) and crew for the warm welcome and full tour of the boat and the modern “shore facility” as the RNLI describes Lifeboat Stations that are not really a boathouse.

Thanks Dante, for bringing your bike and being my guide and ride partner along the coast via Brighton and on to Hove. It had stopped raining but there were plenty of chalky puddles to splash through on the promenade beneath the white cliffs. I’d forgotten how long the combined Brighton & Hove sea front is. A good few miles, with civilised separation of well defined cycle lanes. Time to put the bike away for a while, join the rest of the gang, including Monica (Dante’s mum), sister Patricia, niece Mandy, and to rediscover the pleasures of walking, talking and sharing a table for eight in a Mexican restaurant.

Thanks everyone for making my day. My only regret was that we missed the opportunity to take part in one of Brighton’s big annual events. By the time I’d ‘d realised, Fondo was locked away in Mandy’s flat. Today is Naked Cycling Sunday.

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