Sunday 13th January Ride to Stansted.

Seven met at an unseasonably mild Chichester Cross for today’s cycle to Compton, via a circular route. Bob was leading and he was joined by Sam, Paul, Michael, Tim, Gill and myself. Bob however is recovering from an off on wet leaves, so Sam and myself took over leading. Bob would follow on at his own pace to meet up for lunch.

The group took the regular route out to Westbourne, where Gill decided that she would head straight for Stansted, leaving the rest of us to ride to Horndean Garden Centre Cafe for elevenses. The café was markedly quieter than on our last visit in December and it was warm enough to sit outside for a leisurely stop.

Leaving Horndean, in a distinctly blustery NNW wind, we retraced our route nearly as far as Rowlands Castle before taking the Finchdean road and descending White Hill. Then the long climb to the top of the hill at Forestside before the long descent to Stansted. Then a problem – Blossoms Café is closed for refurbishment throughout January and February. A quick discussion followed and then we were cycling back up the long climb to Forest side before taking lunch at Compton.


After lunch I left the group and headed straight back to Chichester. Sam, Paul, Tim and Michael cycled over the hill to Stoughton and then on to Walderton and Funtington and back to Chichester.

My mileage to and from Chichester was 34 miles.

As a footnote, Bob and Gill were met by Chris and they enjoyed a nice relaxing lunch in the Café at Stansted House. So in total eight out today.



Saturday 12 January: Ride to Runcton

Our first Saturday ride of 2019 and it was a mild (for January) and calm but dull afternoon, with the sky threatening rain but never delivering. Thank goodness for the Cycle Bognor “no rain guarantee” !  (T’s & C’s apply).

Ten met at Bognor Library with 2 (Deb and Michelle) meeting us along the way, so 12 out for the afternoon.


I led Mike, Alan, Julian, Steve, Carol, Maureen, Chris, David & Michelle (S) from Bognor Library through the subway and over Highfield Bridge, then South Bersted and a twisty route through estate roads to North Bersted.  Then a cycle route through the new estate to reach the A259 and the Chichester cycletrack.

We followed the cycletrack to Colworth and then took the loop of lanes to re-emerge back on the cycletrack, as far as Merston where we turned through the village, and along the lane to Runcton. From there it was a very short hop up a busy road to Manor Nurseries and the Palm House Restaurant.

Suitably refreshed we completed a circular ride back to Bognor via the tracks through Butterlees Farm ( with a photo stop)


Then there were more twists and turns in Aldwick down to West Park,  finally finishing on the promenade in the town centre.

The round trip mileage was 13.


Sunday 6 January Mince Pie Ride

The weather today was dry and overcast but fairly cold at 8C and a light NW wind.

As usual we were hosted by Philippa and William at Bracklesham. There was a ride from Chichester Cross but many cycled there direct and a few came by car. There were 16 visitors plus Philippa, William and David so 19 in all. Philippa again put on a magnificent spread of food with savories as well as mince pies and cakes.


Everybody was replete as one group made ready to leave for home.



Sunday 30 December. Ride to Compton

A dismal but dry day for the advertised ride to Compton. The number out on the ride today depends when you counted them . In all for the day I think 18 which augers well for the New Year. Out at various times were Jeff, Graham Annaly, Bill, Roger, Chris, Christine, Russell, Michael, Sam, Gill, Paul, Julia, Maureen, Tony, Rosemary, Jason, Tim and Ann.

With Bob still nursing his knee , the lead was up for grabs.  Jeff offered to lead and provide a circular route and despite concern about the hills on the way, we set off up Centurion Way . By the time we reached West Dean we lost two going for a faster ride and two to West Dean village shop for a shorter ride.  So a dozen enjoyed the  scenic ‘motor road’   which is an undulating back road to Chilgrove. Here we stopped for a photocall before tackling the B road climb in groups of 4 as instructed.

30Dec18emerging onto chilgrove road

Everyone made it .   On our way to Compton we were joined by Paul Bayliss out on his new bike making 13 in all. We continued via North Marden and then up again to a hill above East Marden and a stop to regroup.

30Dec18regroup above East Marden

We then continued on the lane to Compton village shop for lunch.

Due to a staggering of orders there was a staggering of service which resulted in Jeff, Mike, Tim and Paul shooting off leaving the rest.  ( Sam honourably stayed with the main group lead by Russ )  Mike led the early leavers down to Walderton  at 20 mph plus, then Jeff took over with only one variation back to Chichester which included Blackboy Lane and through the Fishbourne Sports Field.    The ride distance was 25 miles as advertised.


Sunday 16 December Ride to Victoria Inn , West Marden and to Compton

9 met up at Chichester Cross for a chilly start to the final Sunday Ride of 2018. Myself as leader was joined by Sam, Paul, Michael, Jeff, Maureen, Tony and visitors Jason and Rosemary. Before we had got clear of Chichester we were joined by Chris, so 10 in total.


We took the usual route through Westbourne to our planned coffee stop at the Bumblebee Café, Rowlands Castle. The 20+ cycles outside the café suggested that it was busy, but it was absolutely heaving, indeed no room at the Inn!. Should we stay and queue up? A quick on the spot re-plan and 7 of us decided to move on to Compton for our coffee stop, leaving Sam, Paul and Michael to queue up for what turned out to be a very long tea stop.

Arriving at the much quieter Compton Village shop/café following a very pleasant ride via Finchdean, we decided to make this our main stop of the ride. After a very relaxing and also quite lengthy stop there was still no sign of the Three Amigos  (we had agreed to meet up) and worse, no phone signal to advise them where we were. They had taken the shorter route to West Marden, which also has no phone signal.


However on the return ride back to Chichester it was a case of ‘He’s behind you!’, ‘Oh no he’s not!’ as Sam and the others re-joined us just south of West Marden and ‘motored’ straight past us before waiting up as we regrouped for the final few miles back into a busy Chichester.

The ride was a very modest 26 miles, with a touch of a Brian Rix farce (Jeff’s overtrousers coming on and off) and assorted pantomimes but it was a pleasant way to finish off the 2018 Sunday Rides Schedule !


Sunday 2 December Appetite Improver Ride to Compton and then Runcton for Christmas Lunch

Three of us started out at 8.45 on the Appetite Improvement Ride from Chichester Cross: myself (Bob), Michael and Sam, on a mild but dreary and drizzly day.

2Dec18Start copy

We took the usual route down the Centurion Way to West Stoke, Funtingdon and Compton making good time despite a stiffish wind.  At Compton we had coffee, restraining ourselves from cake etc due to the impending Christmas Dinner. The weather had improved a tad during coffee break and afterwards Sam took us to look at what he said is a Lost Village, by turning left after Compton up towards Telegraph Hill and East Marden. The village hid itself behind a hedge, unsportingly. I took a selfie of us as we stopped to not look at the Lost Village (Lost Village not included in the photo):

2Dec18Selfie copy

After East Marden we returned through Stoughton and Walderton and back through Woodmancote to Chichester, where we took the canal path to Hunston and thence to the Walnut Tree pub for the festive lunch. Mileage from the Cross was just shy of 31 miles.

At the lunch there were 17 in all with the extras coming direct by bike or car. All enjoyed the lunch with generous portions and good food.

2Dec18Lunch1 copy

2Dec18Lunch2 copy

Photos on the Ride by Bob and at the lunch by Michael and Edwin

Bob Birtwell

Sunday 25 November Ride to Horndean (originally scheduled Hambledon)


  5 met at the Cross for the scheduled ride to Hambledon. I was leader and were joined by Sam, Bob, Mike and  Maureen on her recently acquired e-bike. Both Sam and Bob were feeling under the weather but decided to give the ride a go.

The mercury stated 7c but it felt cooler in a nagging NE wind as we took the direct route through Woodmancote and Westbourne towards our coffee stop at Horndean. At the top of the climb out of Westbourne, Bob declared that his ailment was not making the ride enjoyable and  decided to return home. So it was just 4 that arrived at a very busy Horndean garden centre – I don’t think I have ever seen the car park so full. They even had a parking attendant directing cars to any available spaces.

Luckily the café hadn’t got too busy ( it was only 10.20hrs)so we managed to find a table and were quickly served. During coffee it was very apparent that Sam wasn’t his normal self and it wasn’t really a surprise when he also declared that unfortunately he wasn’t feeling well enough to continue.So now down to just 3!

Leaving the café Mike discovered that he had a flat front tyre, the ride was now taking on a touch of Agatha Christie’s ‘Then there were none!’ . Luckily Mike had a spare tube and was quickly sorted, although the tyre itself looked to be nearing its last legs.

 A short reappraisal of the scheduled ride then took place,the wind was by now quite unpleasant and the decision was for the remaining 3of us to return to Chichester, but via Finchdean and Compton, whilst we still had some riders left. This stretch proved to be the best of the day,as we weretreated to some slightly warming sunshine and there was very little traffic inthe lanes. Maureen was clearly enjoying the e-bike’s assistance on the climbs!

 Arriving back in Chichester at 12.45hrs , I was relieved to find that I still had 2 companions on the ride! I already have a reputable fora high percentage of the rides I lead being wet – I don’t really need the addition of ‘he never finishes with the starting amount of riders’ , as well!

The ride mileage to and from the Cross was 31 miles.