Sunday, 12 June 2016

British Country Living (or getting soaked on the ride from Horley to Brighton)

WET. WET. FRIGGIN WET I am when I start writing this post sitting in The New Club in Brighton munching down a brioche port-sausage burger-kind of thing.  Why this combination?  How did I get here in this state?  It all starts at the hotel at Gatwick airport: 

Looking at the wet pictures in this post a month later is even more surreal. Wasn't I just in Golden Sun-Drenched Istanbul only the day before???

We are packed and ready to roll before 5 am.  British Rail doesn't transport bicycles unless they are folding bicycles.  So plan A of taking the train on rainy days failed miserably. What is plan B?  Cycling on rainy days ;-).   Rain is supposed to develop at 7:30 am, so being awake with jet lag at 3:30 am actually has its benefits!
Gatwick airport at 5 am ;-)

sunrise in the middle of nowhere
Google maps directs us along a forest road that all of a sudden turns into a golf course. It looks like the perfect spot for a pic-nic; I even have a bottle along.
But we cancel the picnic idea.  Typical MORON sign:  Just how am I supposed to beware of them? Constantly monitor the sky for incoming? YOU have been WARNED they can tell people who get knocked out.
We get lost on the golf course.  Google maps wants us to cross the green to get to some bridge.  Fortunately an early dog-walker and putting-practicer gives us directions.
It is STILL EARLY. Just look how empty the Motorway is ;-)

Bloody English. This might be designed to block horses from passing, but my handle bars are also too wide.
 Then the rain hits.  We hide for half an hour under a tree, watching the dry spot we stand in getting smaller and smaller.
Zu returning from a walk in the woods
Yes, it's miserable !
Since my 3 previous summer bike trips had been blessed by the absence of rain, I had chosen NOT to take a rain jacket on this trip. SMART move ;-(
Little rivers are forming on the road
After the rain subsides, we continue our ride, being miserably cold and getting sprinkled or poured on occasionally.

During a short shelter stay at a gas station, I have the bright idea of asking the attendant whether he has any large bin liners (That's what they call garbage bags in these parts).  After tearing holes for my head and my arms into the bag and diving into it, at least my torso is protected from further rain and cold.

The remaining 10 kms are spent in silent and rain-enduring pedaling  When we finally reach  the outskirts of Brighton we decide to walk the bikes. It's a way to lessen the feeling of being cold and wet.
When we get to the promenade, I instantly notice that something is missing.
Something I REALLY liked about Brighton.   The Brighton Wheel is no longer here !
October 2013, but no longer
Sadly, it has been replaced by this strange thing (still under construction at the time of visit)

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