The mighty V-Rod takes a day off for a leisurely jaunt around Sussex - the ideal place for bendy roads, tasty scenery and oddly-named ale
OH GOD. Monday morning. Five whole days lie ahead. That's five days of crap vending machine coffee, endless clock watching and tedious badinage around the photocopier. Apart from the traffic-clogged ride into work, a decent thrape is at least 130 hours away. That's a lot of hours. And if you're on the payroll, there's little in the way of a getting-out-of-the-office solution. Unless, of course, you avail yourself of the oldest trick in the book - ladies and germs, the Sick Day. Food poisoning, headache, bad back... they're all afflictions that can last around 24 hours, and you won't need a doctor's note. And unless you work for a boss with the managerial nouse of Stalin, a blind eye is sure to be turned. Just don't make a four-day week a regular habit.
So you have a whole sunny day to yourself. Granted, it's not enough time to cover vast bendy swathes of Blighty (remember, you've still got to get home and return to the next day's grind complaining of your work-avoiding malady), but there are still enough hours to complete a fair amount of ground. If you're south-east based, like me, and are set on covering a county in a day, Sussex is undoubtedly the place to go. If you're coming from further afield, find a B&B and phone in sick the next morning as well. That food poisoning can be a real bitch to shake off...
It's easy just to get onto the M25, follow it round to the M23 and head straight into Brighton for the day. But unless you enjoy the company of students and delight in perusing ethnic trinket stalls run by lesbians, why spend the whole day in Brighton? It has a pleasing seafront, yes, but there are a variety of fragrant scenic routes that will transport you there through unspoiled countryside while sparing you the multitudinous displeasures that the M25 has to offer. Granted, if you're looking for a wilderness escape, complete with untamed bracken and toothless locals, you won't find it here. Sussex is more corduroy jodhpurs than horsehair shirt, but its meandering A-roads, Olde English scenery and rustic diversions a-plenty won't disappoint the day-tripping two-wheeled miscreants amongst you. And with the fascistic 'traffic-calming' measures of the Big Smoke largely absent, you'll be able to go bloody fast to boot. The nature of the Sussex highways and byways - curvy and swirling, but largely without too many armco-clad trouser-browning twists - also makes it a perfect getaway for the less experienced or city-only biker, more used to avoiding Volvos in the rush hour than hedges in the countryside. In fact, the biggest dangers you're likely to encounter are those posed by the countless numbers of tweed-wearing octogenarians trickling blindly out of junctions and the frequent flashing interruptions of ambulances rushing their fellow octogenarian brethren to hospital.
Yup, a lot of elderly people live in Sussex. It's retirement central for ex-bank managers and insurance salesmen waiting to kick the bucket in a pastoral setting. In the sleepy villages that lie scattered between Hastings, Brighton and Chichester, the average age is dead. And that means not a lot of plod. Which means a lot less hassle - and lashings of unbridled joy - for the much-maligned motorcyclist.
So, bearing all that in mind, I feigned illness, snuck down to the office car park to purloin Shippey's long-term Harley-Davidson V-Rod and set off for a day of workshy freewheeling - with a bit of posing thrown in. I headed south, avoiding the M25 with extreme prejudice, to plot a well-mannered round-Sussex route starting from London, winding its way vaguely south east towards historical Hastings, skimming the coast road westwards through Brighton towards Chichester, then snaking in a northerly bent through the South Downs and back to Gotham.
I've gone and done all the hard work. All you have to do is read on. Just remember to bring a motorcycle, one free day and a healthy regard for old folks on the go...
Click here for the Sussex motorcycle route one
Don't know when this was written but the photes are a couple of years old - Wessons hasn't looked like that for quite a while and the cothing went a while back too.
There is now a bypass around Styning and has been for 12 years to my knowledge.
A reasonable route but beware - all is not as the artical says.
I know; I do this area very often. Plod is very active around Box Hill and on the A283 and A29 and parts of the A272.
Posted: 10/12/2010 at 18:34
Become a fan of Visordown
Follow us on twitter
Other Immediate Media Sites
Our eCommerce Platform
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk