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Get On Your Bike

On Sunday I went out on my bike for the first time since September last year! My poor Trek Lexa…I’ve definitely neglected her, mostly because I’m a fairweather cyclist (!) but also because I’ve moved house and Croydon really isn’t a cycle friendly area. I’ve also been pretty busy training for my first half marathon and just haven’t had time to fit in cycling as well.

However, once the half was done (woop woop!) I was determined to try and get back onto two-wheels and explore the area a little further afield from my new flat.

I researched some traffic-free routes to get my confidence back and then headed out on the train on Sunday…

My starting point was Three Bridges, at the beginning of the Worth Way.

This 7mile route follows the old railway line that used to run to East Grinstead. Since it’s closure in the 1960’s the route has become a “green corridor” of habitats and wildlife…

…with some seriously gorgeous views!

The Worth Way forms part of the National Cycle Network Route 21, but is a shared-use route for walkers, and horse riders as well, so there was a fair bit of overtaking/avoiding- I got to use my bell a lot!
The route itself isn’t really aimed at road bikes, but the surface was pretty compact and flat with some small sections of gravel/mud. Most other cyclists were on mountain/hybrid bikes, and I was slightly worried I would give myself a puncture but my bike survived fine, and it was definitely fun speeding along on the clear sections!

Aside from the lovely views the route also has reminders of it’s history such as the Rowfant Station building which still stands.

 

 

The route arrives into East Grinstead by the station, where you can easily make a return trip home. On this occasion however, I chose to cycle through the town and join another traffic-free route, The Forest Way.

 

The Forest Way continues along the disused railway line all the way to Groombridge- a total of 10miles.

Shortly after joining the route, I spotted a sign for Tablehurst Farm Shop & Cafe, so decided to take a detour to check it out!

 

 

 

I love Farm Shops with their local and fresh produce, and couldn’t resist stopping for lunch! I had a vegetable pasty with a lovely vibrant salad, enjoyed in their Cafe Garden, overlooking the fields and tractors.

 

I also made friends with this guy πŸ™‚

 

After lunch, and sunbathing in the sunshine for a little while, I rejoined the Forest Way and headed towards Groombridge.

 

The Forest Way was a better surfaced track (again shared with walkers and horse riders) and I flew along here!

While the Worth Way was mostly shaded in a “tree tunnel”, this track was more open so I got pretty hot in the sun. It did make for some beautiful views though, and I had Zero High 5 in my water bottle to ensure I didn’t get dehydrated.

 

Eventually I made it to the end of the route and tacked a couple of extra miles, past some grazing horses, to arrive at Eridge Station for the trip home.

The Spa Valley RailwayΒ also departs from Eridge, running steam and heritage diesel trains to and from Royal Tunbridge Wells.

My legs felt good considering I’d completed nearly 20miles, albeit with a lunch break and numerous photos stops πŸ™‚ My bum on the other hand definitely needs a little more adjusting!

 

 

I rewarded myself with YooMoo froyo on the terrace when I got home, followed by a duck roast for dinner!

 

 

 

Stats:
Distance- 19.64miles
Time- 1:46:37
Average speed- 11.1mph
Max speed- 21.7mph

I loved getting back on my bike after such a long break- you don’t forget, it’s true! πŸ™‚ It was really nice to explore the Sussex countryside, and I recommend checking out the Worth Way and Forest Way if you fancy a peaceful walk or cycle. You could even finish up with a ride on a steam train!

Any tips on building “saddle stamina”? Have you discovered any new tracks or trails recently?

Beki x

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  • Reply Lauren @Poweredbypb

    This looks like an awesome route, really pretty. Love your bike too, I need to get a road bike, my cheap hybrid is so heavy and slow.

    June 11, 2014 at 9:08 pm
  • Reply Beki Cadd

    Yeah I love that my road bike is so light! Makes it much easier to ride- I just need to get more confident riding on roads… πŸ™‚

    June 16, 2014 at 7:39 am
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