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Winging It

Oh I’m here. Didn’t recognise it coming from that direction.

A few hours of getting lost on home roads. Not lost as such but wandering, no fixed itinerary, no list of place names, no destination other than back home. Making it up as I go along. Reaquainting myself with Sussex. Apart from commuting it feels as though I’ve not ridden locally much this year. I’ve cast my eyes over other maps, Michelins rather than OS. Routes plotted and researched and re-plotted across other places, ferries and aeroplanes factored into rides. Recent rides to distant places has meant following a predefined route, deviating from it involving the need to pull a map from a pocket. Here I can meander, make it up as I go, change my mind as the fancy takes me. The only map needed the one in my mind.

“Ah hang on if I go down here it joins up with that one and from there I can get to there and then to there.” Memories and lanes intertwine. Hundreds of previous rides imprinted on my memory. No route mapped out, no gps track to follow. A train of thought takes the place of a line on a little screen on my handlebars. Just ride and see where I end up. Maybe up to the Ashdown Forest. Over the Downs and zigzag north and east, looking for the little roads no one uses. It’s overcast and occasionally not-quite-rain floats in the air. Sunken lanes are dark and moist like cellars. Heavy trees wrap around me blocking what light is available. Within sight of the Ashdown I decide to turn for home, I don’t need or want the extra miles needed to loop over the forest.

Flicking through the Rotadex of tea rooms in my head I turn south.

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