Six stoic members of the Lewes Wanderers cycling club rode the legendary Mad Jacks Audax event.
This event is not a race, it is a test of endurance, resourcefulness and the ability to navigate around a complex course.
This ride is without doubt the hardest of the local Audax events as it takes in over 2000 metres of climbing ascending tough climbs around Brightling, Fairlight and the ski slope rise at Doleham Halt.
Descending provides its own challenges as riders have to thread their way between potholes and debris strewn roads ravaged by the recent storms.
Out of a starting list of 87 only 37 rolled up to the start line reflecting the severity of conditions on the day.
Michael Turner took this opportunity to get in some hard miles as part of his extensive preparation for the National 24 hour ride which this year will take place on local Sussex roads.
Michael reported “I have ridden The Mad Jack event several times before, but this was undoubtedly the toughest ride of them all. When it was not raining it was hailing, every hill was endless and the fierce headwind made the pebble strewn pock marked roads tortuous in every respect” Despite his protestations Michael admitted he enjoyed his ride along with the other hardy, or should that read foolhardy, Lewes representatives, John Mankelow, Audax legend Peter Baker, Clint Allen, Oliver Tuckley and Richard Frost.
The following day Dominic Lowden and Bob Evans took up a different but equally demanding challenge by riding in the fearsome “Hell of the Ashdown” Sportive.
This tough ride started at Biggin Hill and takes in some quaintly named hills such as Toys, Kidds and Star Hill. These gentle sounding titles disguise their true nature, they are brutal climbs ,and after 64 miles of toil the last climb up Star Hill pushes some riders to breaking point! Both Lewes men successfully completed their rides finishing in, shock news, blazing sunshine!
More information of all club activities and events can be found at www.leweswanderers.co.uk