The best was the weather.
Weather forecast was saying that it was going to rain on Saturday.
Not a single drop fell. We even enjoyed the sun for the kilometers we rode close to the coast.
But to be really honest the best of the day was Pete.
Pete Mas is a Wheeler. And so I am. We cyber-met thanks to the magic of the internet forums and and we met in person a few minutes before the start. I guess it was not difficult for him to recognize me as I was wearing a wheeler maillot with the only purpose of being recognized by him.
It was my first brevet in England and very soon it was obvious that I was not really prepared for the navigation and questioning component of the race. It was only thanks to Pete that I answered correctly all the questions and finished the race.
In my defense I have to say that none of the brevets I have participated in Spain had questions to be answered and the navigation instructions, the route sheet, was much more simpler than four pages like this one:
The next stage was Wiston - Westmeson, 25 km away from the tea room, and where we learned the interesting fact that at the post box opposite the church of Westmeson on Saturdays the post is collected at 7:30 am!!!! Spanish postmen should learn from this fact!
About 10 meters away from the church Pete had a puncture in his rear wheel. Surprisingly, come on, we just met, we were very efficient solving the incident. In a few minutes we were on the road again.
We were approaching the coast and the sun and the winter appeared at the same time. I welcome the sun and suffered in silence the winter.
For some kilometers we rode alongside a beach. No sand but pebbles, but hey! you have rode 100km and you are by the sea, those cliffs looks really beautiful, don't complain if the beach has no sand. Sadly I'm a terrible photographer (and the picture was taken while riding) and you can't appreciate the beauty of the white cliffs, you'll have to believe me.
The good news were that at the top of this third climb there was a pub and in that pub a control. 122km in the route, 15:18, we are hungry, where's that pasta salad I was carrying all day?
When we started to ride again I was really cold. The wind was blowing strongly, the road had lots of cars and we were riding very fast (we were descending the three climb we just had done). The good outcome of that speed is the 17km until the next question went very fast. We learned that in Litlington the post is collected at 4:00 pm from Monday to Friday, you never know when your are going to need this information.
24km later we were arriving Uckfield where the instructions were "Unmanned. Cotrol anywere. Obtain and keep a proof of control that shows location and date/time. For example, ATM slip, shop receipt such as Tesco or Co-Op, café till receipt etc.". We went for the Co-Op receipt. Pete bought a sandwich and I bought a pack of energy bars. Eating what we just had bought we realized if was dark. Time to put on the lights and wear the reflective jackets.
Riding in the night in the country side is a challenging experience. You realize that there are not street lights and because there was no moon everything was really dark. In these conditions, following the instruction
Take care or yourself
Javier Arias González