Dots and Loops

An established ensemble, from Eastbourne, take leave of the store on Grove Road and make their way west from the town. Climbing out of the gentility of Meads and a bref sursaut de Beachy Head but climbing away to continue on to Warren Hill.

On this day the landscape was scored by the wind, intermittent rain and fast moving cloud formations watering down greens, greys and blues, as if viewing it through a smudged geometric Cubist prism. There’s sun, but it’s not up to much for the 1st of July.

The A259 busy as usual, choppy cross winds – “it’s just atoms” – on the drop into East Dean. Another climb, opting for the more serene route through the estate – the large homes resting on the side of the hill looking upon a panorama – vast green and blue beyond and a busy Downs road with chugging cars and buses – a neat line of microorganisms from this vantage point.

The Seaford Road descends from Friston Pond to Exceat, the river Cuckmere winding its way through the chalk Downs to the sea – British defence look outs and fortified pillboxes dot the land either side facing the channel – we explored these as kids and they always smelled of piss – sempiternal.

Take a right follow the Cuckmere valley. Watch as the landscape changes, Downland into Laines, young wheat fields, 2nd rape growth, the bluster of westerly’s flowing off the Bostals. It’s flat and open and the roads are good. Weave through Berwick and Ripe to Laughton, keeping tight together and drafting, then on to coffee at Bills of Lewes.

Bounce away from the cobbled Cliffe High Street out towards the industrial estate on the edge of town. Industrial units, empty Sunday car parks quickly giving way to a leafy lane, and then following the A27 on the cycle path before skirting Mount Caburn into Glynde.

Firle Beacon is there, we’re here now, why not, and it’s sort of on the way home.

From the diversion of Firle Beacon we make it a loop back to Berwick where we follow our GPS trace home, big smiles and 100 kilometres recorded.