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

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