Started Thursday and in the three days we have had 6" of rain. Accompanied by high winds aswell so any thoughts of riding today were slim. Road riding would be out due to the debris on the roads and a lot of standing water so out came the Bianchi for a bit of offroad. Changed over to the Mud Tyres as I thought they would be needed. They were not as any mud on the Chalk trails had been washed off them to the bottom of the hills, and even that was not too bad. Also changed one of the garmin mounts to the Bianchi as I thought it was about time I found out how steep those slopes were.
So out on the ride and a Muddy trail for about 5 miles. Not steep and and this was where I noticed the trails were clean. Underlying surface was solid but you did stay away from the muddy puddles. Most of them were in potholes that gave a jolt as you went in and a bigger one as you came out. Stay in the middle of the trail and get the smoother surface. Then it was to the true hills. Climb up longman and this starts at about 7 miles into the ride. From where we joined it today it was only a 400ft climb - on a chalk trail that was covered in green chalk. Green is moss and it was slippery and I have marked on the graph the anomoly where the garmin stopped registering as I was below 3 mph. The rear wheel was slipping most of the way up and I had a hard job to keep going forward. Glad to say that none of the 4 of us put a foot down on the climb but I did come very close. The photo at the top of the climb is of Ross and he has just got over the steepest bit. Now I know this is steep- but I did not realise that it was pushing 18%. This is the second to last hill on the 100 mile South Downs Way and I always said the two steepest hills were saved till last. This 18% bit and the next one at Butts Brow that just has a lip at the end of 22% now proves it. Luckily those steep sections are not for long but why do they come at the end of a Nasty hill? The second area of slipping is at the start of Butts Brow and it is Rough brick and stone- under trees and with that moss covering again.
Then it was time for a coffee and a bun- Should have been a Doughnut for beverly but I had 3 last night and fancied something different. Don't know what they call it but it tasted as good as it looks. Then it was 8 miles back up the MUP to home and This was the worst part of the ride. Too many dogs and Walkers out on what may be the best day for weather for the next week.