Thursday 13 June. Evening Ride to the Walnut Tree Runcton

There were 5 at the start at Felpham Leisure Centre. That was possibly more than expected after a day of threatening clouds, high winds and a few spells of light rain. I was the leader (Graham). Joining me were Edwin, Maureen, Mike and David.

Start13June19

We set off through town to  avoid the strong SW  winds, and went down lower Bognor Road across the tracks at Butterlees Farm to avoid the main road, then at Runcton we turned left at Mill Lane and did a wide loop around South Mundham and North Mundham to arrive back on the main road. Then it was East on the recently reopened towpath for about 1/2 mile back towards Runcton where we took our break at the Walnut Tree.

Runcton13June19

The ride was originally scheduled to go to The Anchor at Sidlesham. However Edwin had reported that the previous day the track across the fields from Pagham was very soft from all the rains causing the bike to jam up with thick sticky mud. We had come to a general conclusion that an evening ride to the Anchor seems to be only feasible if you cut across the fields or use only the busy roads. Any other route just takes too long. We therefore cut the ride short. Normally the Summer Lane route is fine this time of year but this years cool wet Spring meant it was not to be.

For the return I took the riders up Merston Lane and we joined the Bognor-Chichester cycle track to North Bersted, then through the new estate, round the back of Bognor, over Highfield Bridge and back to Felpham.

Round trip to and from the Arun Leisure centre was 17

Graham

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Sunday 19th May I-Spy Ride

Just 4 met at Walberton pond for an early start to the I-Spy Ride organised by Horsham & Crawley section. Sam was nominal leader for the day and he was joined by Paul, Bob and Russell. We had two hours to cycle to the start at Billingshurst Station, which necessitated taking a direct route using mostly main roads. We arrived in good time to find a small contingent of Arun Adur and a much larger group from the hosting section.

Bob M.(Horsham) , briefed us on the day’s event, highlighted the need to reach the lunch stop by noon and doled out the route sheet with 34 slightly cryptic observational questions to be completed during the morning ride. The other sections cycled off whilst we enjoyed a coffee at the station. when we finally got going, we were immediately held up by the railway crossing gates closing, much to Bob’s  ( M) amusement.

The route used a series of quiet lanes and it wasn’t long before we overtook a confused  Arun Adur team and then the first of the host teams. We were a bit surprised but as we seemed to be finding the answers quite easily, pushed on. A few miles further and we were the lead team on the road, having passed the second Horsham team, this was to be significant later on………

Some lovely lanes and devilish questions later, we arrived at the George& Dragon, Dragon’s Green at 12.15pm, the first team in. Bob M., tucking into his lunch,  greeted us with a warning that the pub had a big party booked in for Sunday dinner and that food may not be available. Well it wasn’t for the other 3 teams, we were served but the late comers weren’t!

A quick review of the answer sheets revealed that all 4 teams were more or less level, with everything to play for in the afternoon’s 20 questions.

So with some rumbling stomachs the teams set off for stage 2, more lovely lanes, more devilish questions and a deadline to meet at Whispers in Billingshurst before they closed at 3pm. We were first to head off and didn’t see any of the other teams before arriving at Whispers around 2.15pm, to be greeted by Bob M. enjoying a slice of cake. We enjoyed assorted cake and baguettes in the afternoon sunshine as the other teams started to arrive, with the exception of Arun Adur. 3pm came and went, the café closed before they eventually turned up, having ‘mislaid their way’ enroute.

Much to our surprise, we had answered all of the afternoon’s questions correctly and thus emerged as the winning team, albeit by a single point. After a very modest rendition of ‘We are the champions’ and ‘You’re not singing anymore’, we gave the trophy back to Bob M. for save keeping. We returned via the quieter roads , splitting up at Wiggonholt as Bob and myself tackled the Khyber, Sam and Paul ascending Dunction Hill.

A great day out, mileage for the event was about 26 miles, mileage including riding to the start was between 80 to 90 miles. And an away win in the DA Events!

Russell

Sunday 12 May Ride to Stedham

Four of us met up at the Cross for today’s ride to Stedham: myself leading, Russell, Alan and Sam. It was bright and warm in the sun, but not that warm out of it. Thankfully the wind was fairly light, as it was forecast to be northerly, so against us, going, and helpfully veering to southerly to be against us coming back.

Start 12May19Stedham

We set off up Centurion Way, through Funtingdon to Compton for a cuppa, where we did get a seat despite a lot of cyclists, so not as bad as last week’s ride. From there we went north through South Harting, turning right at Nyewood to go through the little used and delightful if also badly surfaced lanes through Trotton and Chithurst and down Hammer Lane to Stedham. We had lunch outside the Hamilton Arms, glad of the shade still though we noticed it seemed to get colder.

After lunch we went north again briefly to go through Woolbeding and down to Midhurst, then through West Lavington and along to Selham, where we chose the route going east of Gallows Hill through Great Bury to Graffham. The village shop was still open for drinks and ice cream and we were served by a very friendly lady who was so enchanted by Sam’s banter that she suggested we let his tyres down. However we had a good chat instead, and planned our route, I had intended going though the school grounds to go back via Duncton Hill, but Russell wanted to go the shorter route via Cocking as he hadn’t been well in the week, so we decided to go with him, despite Sam’s conviction that he was bound to get a puncture on the Heyshott road. We managed (just) to get everyone in a selfie.

Elevenses12May19Stedham

We went down the Graffham Common Road as I was intrigued by a post card I have, sent to my great aunt in 1912, who was a servant to a family who lived there. I had previously found the spot the photo was taken from, which is just next to the house where she was a maid. And just out of sight round the corner is a VR post box in a wall, so likely the same box the card was originally posted in, and Sam was kind enough to say he wanted a look at it. Shown below are the postcard and the same location now.

OldCard12May19Stedham

CardLocationNow12May19Stedham

The Heyshott to Cocking road wasn’t too bad in the event (or no worse than its usual appalling state). At Cocking Sam pointed out the Moonlight Cottage tea rooms which seem to be open again, at least Friday, Saturday and Sunday so would be good to consider for a future tea stop. After I staggered up Cocking Hill to rejoin the others, we went as usual to Singleton and joined the Centurion Way at West Dean. A very satisfying ride, my mileage was 50 from and back to Chichester.

Bob Birtwell

Saturday Ride 11 May – Bognor Library to Edgcumbes at Ford

Believe it or not, there are still cynics who are not convinced that our Cycle Bognor “no rain guarantee” (terms and conditions apply) is genuine.

I can give no better example than today. With a forecast of intermittent showers, a threateningly dark sky, and an absolute downpour before the ride started, things didn’t look too good. But not a drop of rain fell for the whole ride, and indeed the return was done under a a scorching sun.

I led Mike, Steve, Harvey, Chris, Suzanne, Robert, David, Sam, Dave, Lucy,  Emma, new riders Valerie, & Tessa, out from Bognor library, then  picked up Carol and Steve by arrangement at Felpham, meaning 16 out this afternoon.

Start11May19

Our route took us via the Arun Leisure centre, The Golf Club, Blake’s Mead and some alleyways

Alley11May19

Then the Barnham cycle track up to Barnham where we took Lake Lane, crossed the railway by way of the foot crossing at Maypole Lane, then straight down Ford Lane to Edgcumbes. There we met up with John Maxim, who had come out to take  tea with us.

Tea11May19

But after an uneventful ride out a bit of excitement was introduced when Steve found he had clicked his padlock round his bike but left the key at home.  A number of options were considered but we are grateful to another customer at Edgcumbes who retrieved a large hacksaw from his van. Steve then found that his “cheap lock” was more robust than he had given it credit for.   Nonetheless after sterling efforts it was cut off and we set out for home.

LockTwo11May19

Chris Harvey and John went their separate ways and the rest of us returned via Ford Lane, Horsemere Green and down to the Oystercatcher. Then the cycletrack to Comet Corner, Middleton, Summerly and the prom all the way back to central Bognor.

Seafront11May19

Round trip mileage from, and back to, the library, was 15.3

Graham

Sunday 5th May, Ride to the Izaak Walton, East Meon

The winter gloves were back out as five met at a distinctly chilly Chichester Cross for today’s ride to East Meon. I, as ride leader, was joined by Paul, Mike, Michael and Alan. Chris was to meet up with us for lunch, making six in total. (Top temperature was 11c but only feeling like 6c in the wind chill).

We used  a direct route, riding into a gusty northerly wind, to Compton, intending to have elevenses at the village café. However on arrival there were approximately 30 cyclists, all wearing Sportive jerseys, milling around the café. Michael popped inside to “” ask how long the wait was going to be “15-20 minutes”, but on further enquiry we found out that around another 70 cyclists doing the Sportive were expected anytime soon. So it was on to Plan B, into Petersfield for a coffee stop.

Once on the road again, Plan B soon mutated into Plan C and we (I) decided to add a loop into the ride to East Meon, which would give Chris a chance to catch us for lunch but would mean missing out the morning stop. The cycle through the Buriton valley was glorious, definite signs of summer in the trees. The sky was a vivid blue and you could easily have thought it was summer bar for the fact that fingers and toes were decidedly cold! It was then onto Frogmore and our first sighting of the lunch destination before starting the climb to Chidden and the ridge road. This climb is quite steep and goes on a bit and there were the first murmurings of mutiny in the ranks, that maybe the additional loop wasn’t such a good idea!

The effort of the climb was rewarded by fantastic views out to the Isle of Wight and the Solent. Also the road along the ridge has been resurfaced and is wonderfully smooth, at least for a while. We continued climbing to the top of Old Winchester Hill before descending into West Meon on a painfully poor road surface – obviously no money for this section! We soon viewed the pub for the second time in the day and settled down for lunch and Chris’s arrival about 20 minutes later.

1LunchMay19

2LunchMay19

Heavy clouds rolled in during lunch, dropping the already none too balmy temperature a few more degrees. Our return route using the Petersfield to QE park cycle path and then Chalton and into Rowlands Castle was wind assisted, resulting in a very healthy pace and an early afternoon coffee stop at Bumblebee’s Café. Alan’s e-bike had no issues keeping up, a very impressive piece of kit.

The new owners of the café really excel in the cake department and we all enjoyed a leisurely cake and coffee stop. I can’t help thinking though that the salted caramel slices that Michael and myself enjoyed should have some sort of addiction health warning – they are truly delicious mega calorie treats, just perfect after a day in the saddle!

3TeaMay19

The final ten miles back to Chichester were knocked off in good fashion, again benefiting from tailwinds. For the route see map

4MapMay19

Distance for the round trip to the Cross was 57 miles but with everyone riding to and from the start, total mileage for the riders was nearer 75-90 miles for the day.

Report by Russell with pictures from Michael

Sunday 28 April Ride to Fernhurst

After Saturday’s gales the weather for Sundays ride was calmer but still fairly breezy and about 14C.. It was a good solid ride. Eight Out meeting at Chichester Cross and Nine coming home. Including 3 “E” bikes!!

At the Cross there was Electric Maureen (Maureen Flint), Linda & Mark (CHI), Electric Alan (Alan Harding) from Bognor, Paul, Mike “The Bag” (Mike Healey with the shoulder bag), Harvey  & Myself.

Sun 28 April19 Start

We went out on the Centurion Way and then Cocking, A286 , Heyshott,  Petworth Rd. at Heath End Duncton, Stopham Bridge, Now revelation!! Tiffin’s for Tea at Petworth. This has changed hands; much better and far more friendly.

After tea: A272 to Tillington; right up the side of Petworth Park Wall to Lurgashall, Lickfold And then Lunch at Red Lion. Found Chris “The Bell” (Chris Dart Bellringer) asleep on The Green.

Sun 28 April19 Lunch

After lunch it was straight through Fernhurst, up through Redford to Stedham. More Tea & Bickies  Then it was onto Iping Crossroads, Left down to East Didling, Bepton, Cocking and Singleton. Then we split: 5 over the Downs & 4 on to Chi via Centurion Way. Cold, dry and windy. Only incident: Linda became bored climbing out of Tillington & threw her chain “Out the Cot”. Mike “ The Bag” took a couple of Pics!

It was 57 miles from and back to Chichester. Average speed for Sam was 12.9

Sam Roberts

 

Words by Sam (with nickname translations in brackets from Edwin) Pictures thanks to Mike Healey

PS Picture below from Edwin’s visit on Saturday to photograph Storm Hannah at Newhaven

Storm Hannah Blue Sky Wave Attack

PPS

Alan has added this report on his new Electric Bike –

Yesterday was the first ‘Real Ride’ on my e-Bike

I bought a Giant Road E = 2 pro a couple of weeks ago from the Giant store in Shoreham by Sea. I rode it home a distance of some 24 miles. I didn’t switch on the power until I was about a mile from when I thought that I should check that it works.

Yesterday I set off on a club ride which started at Chichester 7.5 miles from my home, which I did without switching on the power. Three of us on the ride had electric bikes.

From Chichester Cross we rode to the Centurion Way, the base of an old railway line. This has a gentle climb (referred to as a false flat in racing circles) with a small kick up towards the end of the first section. I have done this section countless times over the last few years at a reasonable speed. Sometimes I drop down a gear for the kick, but most times just honk over the top without changing gear.

The electric bike is a very different kettle of fish! I started to drop back from the group and had to switch on the power to keep up, the extra weight was taking it toll. Weighing in at 25kg that’s probably twice the weight of the Specialized road bike I normally use.

Not having ridden it on a long ride before I kept a careful eye on how much battery power I was using and switched off the power whenever I could.

The motor switches off at over 15mph so on flattish roads when the peloton got moving, I was pushing harder than I would normally have to too keep in the group.

The E Bike only comes into its own on long steep hills. There are four power settings and I used eco the lowest setting whenever I needed to. On most club rides I will use my Specialised road bike and only use the E Bike on long rides over the downs.

It’s going to take some time to get used to it. Door to Door 74 miles with 3,900 ft of climbing.

Alan

Sunday 21 April. Long ride to West Marden

Four of us met at Chichester Cross on a disturbingly warm Easter Sunday for the long ride to meet up with the short ride at West Marden: me leading, Russell, Sam and Roger.

Sun21April19Start

My carefully laid plans to have coffee at Horndean, followed by a pleasant ride through Blendworth, Chalton and possibly Up Marden if time allowed were shattered before we even started as Russell pointed out that the Garden Centre at Horndean would be shut as it was Easter. I said “goodness gracious what a nuisance” or words to that effect, and we set off with a vague plan in my mind to go to Rowlands Castle and possibly salvage much of the original plan after that.

However when we got to Westbourne the ranks started to become revolting and wanted to go to Emsworth. So we went to the Greenhouse cafe at Emsworth where Sam and Russell gorged themselves on breakfast, while Roger and I behaved in a more restrained manner. Afterwards we returned through Westbourne and went the usual way to Rowlands Castle, where Sam left us for more coffee and a piddle at the Bumble Bee cafe, having gleaned our intended route up through Finchdean and Idsworth and down through Compton to West Marden. However Russell and Roger had decided not to come for lunch, so when we got past Idsworth I saw the chance to resurrect a bit of my original plan, and the three of us turned left off the South Harting to Compton road, up the steep hill towards Apple Down, where I turned off to Up Marden while Roger and Russell carried on to return via East Marden and Chilgrove.

I got to the Victoria at West Marden to find Sam, slightly miffed at my change of route, plus the short ride led by Arthur, with Lynn, Andrew and Chris.

Sun21April19Lunch1

After a very satisfying lunch I half heartedly offered to lead a longer way back if anyone really wanted. Chris showed unnerving signs of taking my up on this offer, mentioning alarming words like “Kirdford”, but fortunately Lynn explained to him that I was only offering for show and didn’t really want to. So the danger passed and we followed Arthur who, being a man who knows the value of tradition, took us through Funtingdon for tea at the Fishbourne Roman Palace, though we had lost Andrew by that stage.

Sun21April19Tea

And from there back to Chichester. My mileage from and to Chichester was 39.

Bob Birtwell