Saturday 6th October 2012 – Day 55

Brighton – Brookland (on the A259)

55.52 miles

2226 feet climbed

2222 calories burnt

Cumulative miles cycled = 3,217.94 miles

Cumulative feet climbed = 175,302 feet

Cumulative calories burnt = 145,113 calories

After last nights rain, I was wondering what the weather was going to be like when we woke. Surprisingly, all though it rained early on, it steadily cleared whilst we ate our breakfast. Time moved on quite quickly and we were running behind schedule to meet with Christine and Stephen Armstrong, a couple who are cycling the coast of Britain over the course of four years.

By 9:30am Dad and I were kitted up and ready to set off, half and hour late-but wrapped up and ready to battle the chilly morning. I quickly rang Stephen to re-arrange our meeting point, they had caught the train in to Brighton to see us, but as we were delayed they’d pushed on. In the end we reached them in Saltdean, a couple of miles on from Brighton.

Over the course of the morning, the sun was trying to push the clouds away. To our right, over the sea it looked as grey and as gloomy as anything, but to our left, inland, the sun was out and the sky was that beautiful vivid blue you can only get on such a cold, autumnal morning.

The four of us traced NCN Route 2 for some time; this gave us all a chance to chat about cycling the coast of Britain. We all agreed that Scotland, specially the North West was one of the most beautiful coastlines and that we’d all be back up there at some point! Stephen was also telling me that their ultimate aim on retirement was to cycle the world!

Unfortunately, as with all cycle paths, it ended too soon and we were thrown back on the road making it difficult to talk and just before Westdean on the A259 we were confronted with a couple of steep climbs on a narrow part of the road. As the weather was sunny, there was a lot of traffic on the road, which made it even less enjoyable. Just after Friston, we stopped in a lay-by and took some photographs of the four of us. This was also where we said our goodbyes to Christine and Stephen; it had been such a pleasure to meet some more like-minded cyclists.

Dad and I then continued on the A259 for a while, before turning right on to a country lane to take us down to near Beachy Head. I wasn’t keen on going all the way down to Beachy Head as it’s infamous for people committing suicide – not one of the top 10 seaside destinations I’d been waiting to see. We managed to find NCN Route 2 again, and it took us on a lovely cycle path that ran directly alongside the sea. It didn’t take us long to then reach our lunch stop.

Lunch was at Bexhill and as the sun was shining, we were able to eat outside on a bench in front of the Motorhome. As Gavin and Pat were coming to see us tonight, we didn’t have that far to cycle in the afternoon so we took our time eating lunch, looking out over the English Channel.

We only had about 26 miles to cycle before we would reach Brookland where Pat had booked a couple of BnB’s for us all to stay in. We traced Route 2 all afternoon, until we got to Rye. On reaching the town, I was nearly taken out by a lovely chap who decided to drive at me whilst I was already on the roundabout. After that, we took the incredibly flat and for once quiet A259 all the way to Brookland. I think we managed to average about 21mph, with a slight headwind. It’s amazing how much a little bit of a breeze can take it out of you, even on the flat.

As we arrived at The Royal Oak at Brookland, I had a much-needed bath and got ready for Pat and Gavin’s arrival. Dad followed suit and it wasn’t long before we also had another set of visitors, my aunty Pam and my cousin Thomas. Although we hadn’t really cycled that far today, I was quite tired and it was difficult to make conversation over dinner, but a couple of glasses of wine soon sorted that out!

Gavin and I took the room in the other BnB so we set off after saying our goodbyes across the roundabout to find it. It was a lovely quaint little ‘house’ attached to the owners property. The owners had even set us up a sky box so we could watch some films!

Chris, one of my cycling friends is joining us tomorrow – he’s off cycling to Africa in a couple of weeks with my best friend Roxy (incredibly jealous, wish I were going with them!)

Please remember that Kirsty Medlock and her Dad, Stephen are cycling the 4,400 miles round the coast of Britain to raise £10,000 for Clifton’s Children Society (CCS) Adoption, the agency that facilitated an adoption for family friends. Please follow this link to donate as much as you can

Many, many thanks in advance!

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