Sunday 26 November Ride to Durleighmarsh Farm Cafe, Nr Petersfield

It was a beautiful clear blue sky day with a northerly wind and very cold. It had dropped low enough for a grass frost but borderline below freezing so no problems with ice on the road. Plenty of woolly hats in evidence though.

Jeff was the leader and he was joined at Chichester Cross by Mark, Bob and Edwin.

I had been off the bike with a nasty chesty cough for 4 weeks so had decided to go only as far as elevenses. Jeff was taking a route north via West Dean and after being told of the new Cafe at Singleton Open Air Museum decided to make an early elevenses stop there,

We headed out via West Street and then on the quiet route along the Centurion Way coming across only the occasional dog walker and jogger. After negotiating the Path exit at West Dean we rode on the lanes through the village before joining the main road for a short way to the Museum. Early arrivals were just coming in for the Museums Christmas Market and a tent took up the patio area where we usually parked bikes. We were directed to a new Bike Park nearby.

The cafe is a new building before the Museum pay point next to a beautiful pond. We got there early enough to avoid crowds in the cafe.

Here Jeff continues the story

It was a sparking winter’s day. The downside was the freezing temperature combined with a NW wind so stopping at the new Weald and Downland cafe in Singleton suggested by Edwin was a good idea. Well it was apart from the constant stream of cars heading for their Christmas Market ( it is still November!) and the disposable coffee cups from a coffee earn . Still the building was good – oak frame with stainless steel flange bolted joints.

Edwin left us at this point leaving Jeff , Bob and Mark to climb up to the South Downs Way crossing before heading down to Cocking and then on back roads via Treyford
Then it was on to South Harting. The South Downs looking their best in the winter sun.   We reached Durleighmarsh Cafe just after noon and were very impressed by the lunch .  We returned to South Harting and then it was the hard  climb up the back road to Harting top. A little known cut through to Uppark is possible when the gate is open and this avoided going down hill again !
By the time we reached Compton the skies were darkening obviously getting ready for the predicted heavy rain on Monday.  However we got back to Chichester dry by 2.40 only to find yet more people Christmas shopping.


Edwin continues

While the others headed north for lunch I retraced the route back to Chichester. On the way back it was noticeable on the cycletrack past the college that they had repainted some of the faint bicycle markings on the path. Possibly some pedestrians might pay more attention, or maybe not.

My mileage from and back to Pagham was 30.

One of my recent pictures was taken at the V&A Museum using a fisheye lens and taking advantage of the reflection in a display case .

For more details see


Saturday Ride 25th November. Bognor to Brick Kiln

A lovely autumnal afternoon with bright sunshine but cold at 5 or 6 degrees brought 13 out to this afternoon’s startpoint….. Mike L, Carol, Steve W, Julian, Alan, Steve, Matthew,,  Julia, Andy, Kathryn, Christine, and new rider Mike H.

I led the group down to Bognor seafront from where we took the prom to its end at Nyewood Lane.

Then it was Fish Lane with a turn via Chawkmere Coppice to cross Aldwick Green and the duck pond and a photo stop.

From there we took the Lower Bognor Road to Butterlees Farm where we took an off road route to Lagness.

A short bit of busy road followed before we turned right into Merston Lane then Green Lane to ride off public roads again on the bridleway through Chichester food park on the old Merston Aerodrome.

On the other side was the cycletrack which we took direct to the Brick Kiln nursery.

The Brick Kiln does Christmas in a big way and as well as a choir singing accapella carols there was an opportunity to visit Santa. Unfortunately i was refused entry to Santa as apparently I had not been a “good boy” over the course of the year.

Andy left us at the nursery to return direct to Chichester whilst I led the rest of the group down the cycletrack and the Colworth loop to Bersted and back via the usual contorted urban route back to central Bognor. By this time the temperature had noticeably dropped as the sun set. Bognor town was noticeably buzzing as the Christmas lights were due to be switched on and the ice rink and associated market were crammed with people.

Round trip Mileage from and back to the library was a modest 14.5



Sunday 19th November

Ride to Loxwood. Well at least that’s what it said in the Pedaller. Cycling out of Littlehampton this morning, with the mercury just nudging 3C and frost still showing on the car windscreens, plus the starting of a cold, it seemed a long way. I met up with just Sam and Mike at our Walberton pond rendezvous. The conversation went along the lines of: me; I’m thinking of shortening the ride today, Sam; done!

Sam in fairness was suffering with the heaviest cold. So it was, with the temperature still stuck at 3C that we cycled through Fontwell, through the A27 underpass, past the Aldingbourne Centre (after a sneaky check to see if it was open for a first coffee of the day, it wasn’t), up to Eartham, along to Halnaker, and crossing over to Goodwood. It was then a slightly laboured ascent of ‘Sculpture Hill’ as the impact of assorted colds kicked in and a cautious descent down the other side to East Dean and onto the Wattle and Daub Café, at Singleton Downland Museum.

The café was very quiet, so we enjoyed a prime spot on an inside table overlooking the duck pond. My flapjack was particularly good and Sam’s bacon bap looked impressive, although he had turned down the opportunity of having an egg and a sausage in with the bacon. ( Note to self: must try that next time).

After a very pleasureable 30 minutes it was back outside, into the now not so cold 6C air and a return to Chichester via a very leafy (and slippery under wheel) Centurion Way. At least we had some brief glimpses of the sun. When we parted company with Sam, the actual ride mileage, not including the ‘to the start or home from the finish’, was just 16 miles! Much more of this and we will be drummed out of the ‘serious cyclist’ part of Bognor & Chichester CTC!

Russell Sopp, Ride Leader

Saturday 11 November Ride to Brickkiln Cafe, Merston

Steve and Carol Cycled to the meet point for the Saturday Ride at Chichester Library meeting up with Maureen at the Royal Oak pub on the way.  At the meet 4 more cyclists turned up. We all decided that due to the bad weather we would head for Brick Kiln Nursery instead of Russell’s at Birdham.

However on leaving the Library the rain stopped as the Cycle Bognor no rain guarantee kicked in so we decided to extend the ride and cycled out to Tangmere and across the airfield to Oving village. At the end of the Airfield path we stopped for a conventional group photo and a selfie where most managed to get in the picture.


Then it was on to Drayton and along Bognor Chichester Cycle track arriving at Brick Kiln Nursery where we had tea &cakes, To our surprise there was a very good singer who entertained us for our duration.

The group split on leaving some heading back to Chichester and some to Bognor

Steve and Carol

Sunday 5 November. Ride to Rake amended to Compton

The weather today was dry and sunny but quite cold reaching a maximum of 11C. The leader today was Sam with a big bad cold and announced he was only going as far as Compton.  This suited Jeff and Bea who arrived on their tandem.  It was a perfect Autumn day and cathedral bells were ringing by the time Chris arrived so he came on the ride as did Bob. We took the normal route up Centurion Way to the Navies sculpture admiring the open countryside to the west that will soon disappear under housing. Then heading up the lane to West Stoke there were cones across the road where a lorry load of asbestos had been dumped. Hopefully that will soon disappear.

We rode a gradual incline from Walderton to Compton in glorious sunshine to a very full cafe. A roady admired the tandem and Sam’s electric bike.

we got together for a group photo.

Then Bob and Chris headed north while Sam and tandem headed back to Chi via the bumps and West Ashling .

25 miles for the day

Jeff for Sam