Sunday 14th April ride to Milland
Six met at Chichester Cross on a cold but sunny morning for today’s cycle to Milland. The thermometer may have said 6C but it felt much colder, It would eventually reach 11C but with a brisk Northerly wind it was a thick gloves day. Regulars Sam, Mike and Bob were joined by Linda and Mark. Sam and myself were doing a joint lead in the absence of the scheduled leader.
After our usual ‘how shall we get there’ discussion, I led the group up a very quiet Centurion Way, past Singleton and over Cocking Hill before turning sharp right past the garage to take the ‘track’ through to Heyshott ( I had recced this earlier in the week and it had dried out nicely), past the polo pitches at Ambersham and into Midhurst. 11s were taken at Garton’s Café where it was just sufficiently sheltered to sit outside. Just as we were preparing to leave, we were approached by a young lady cyclist asking for an allen key to tighten up her bottle cage. This was quickly accomplished but in discussion she mentioned that she was cycling to Amberley Station, but without a map. The next twenty minutes were spent giving her detailed instructions ( which she noted on her phone) on how to use the minor roads , north of the Downs. I wonder if she reached her destination!
By now we were behind schedule, so Sam led us on a shortened , more direct route to the Redford road, and the long climb up to the Fernhurst/Petersfield road. This certainly warmed us up!
Arriving in Milland, we chose the Community shop/café over the pub option for lunch. We had timed our arrival perfectly – we bagged the best inside table and polished off all of the remaining pasty and sausage roll stocks. All agreed it was very tasty! We had a quick game of ‘guess the accent’ with the friendly lady server ( Sam was closest, we are not saying, you will have to visit for yourself and support the community café!) whilst the café filled up.
Post lunch we opted for very quiet lanes taking us through Borden Wood, the long descent into Rogate and a wriggly route through Nyewood, West Harting, Quebec and Goose Green, crossing the Downs at Ditcham. It was here that Sam suffered a rapid blowout puncture, which slightly ruptured the tyre casing. (Ed’s comment: only last week he was telling me how good the Schwalbe Duranos were, on the basis of which I ordered a pair. I wonder if I can change my order to Contis……….)
Luckily a new tube sufficed to get him home, but a tyre is needed asap. A quick coffee at Rowlands Castle and 10 mile cycle into a by now very cold breeze and we were back in Chichester, albeit a little later than planned.
Distance for the ride was 53 miles with an higher than usual elevation gain.
Sunday 14 April. Half Day Ride to Singleton
Harvey led today’s bike ride to the Weald and Downland Museum Cafe, Singleton. We gathered outside for a Photo.
Richard Carlisle also joined us
For the return David Sinclair led me and Rosie back to Felpham and Bersted via Knight’s Hill up to Goodwood and home through Eartham, Walberton and Yapton. Perfect.