After leaving Beaconscroft yesterday along the favoured bridlepath to Telscombe village, we managed to get about half a kilometre before Abi’s bike became hopelessly clogged with mud.
She had decided on a different route because of this very problem but under persuasion from me (I was towing a fully laden trailer for the first time and the other route involved descending a very steep hill), and advice from Dave and his wife Vee, she relented.
Abi’s touring bike had been fitted with mudguards that were so close to the wheels that anything more solid than water just jammed at the closest point (the brakes) and stopped the wheel from turning.
We managed to get almost to the tarmac at the village before she came to a grinding halt again, unable even to push the bike and 50lb. of luggage.
So the wheels had to come out and the blockage removed, we obviously didn’t make too good a job of replacing them, because after stopping to pump my trailer tyres just outside Lewes, we set off again and her rear wheel fell out of the lug! Not a problem at practically no speed on the flat but I shudder to think of the results had it happened on a downhill stretch. Later that day, Abi gleefully reported that her bike computer had shown a speed of 31mph at the bottom of one such hill.
After stopping for refreshment at a hideously expensive coffee house in Lewes, we moved on. I was getting the hang of the trailer now, although the slightest hill meant using the ‘granniest’ of gears and left me feeling like I should have an oxygen bottle strapped on too! Abi streaked ahead, that girl is sooo fit (easy tiger!), but waited for the old man to catch up.
We arrived at our destination late afternoon, Abi’s original plan had been to ride on and get a bit closer to her next Wwoofing farm, which is 90 miles away. I persuaded her to ask the farmer I was staying with, if it would be OK for her to pitch her tent in one of his fields.
Mr & Mrs Turton did better than that, and said that Abi should stay in the house too. After a very welcome shower, we rode into town to explore and eat. When we returned, we were introduced to all the animals. Two donkeys, two goats, lots of rare breed Southdown sheep and countless poultry.
After meeting all the livestock and learning that donkeys like to eat fleece jackets, blue jeans, and ankles encased in blue jeans, we were invited to eat with the family. Abi thought she’d died and gone to heaven!