Sunday 25 March Ride to Whispers Billingshurst

The weather today was dry and mainly cloudy with some distant mist over the other side of the Downs. Temperatures were mild reaching 11C. Sam the original leader had a Chest Infection so Russell substituted. The original destination was way north at The Milk Churn, Rudgewick. Without Sam to keep us in line that soon slipped to elevenses at Billingshurst and Lunch at Kirdford. By the time we got to Wiggonholt that slipped again to Elevenses at Wiggonholt and lunch at Whispers Cafe, Billingshurst. Joining Russell for the ride start at Walberton Pond at 9.00am there was myself, Mike and Bob.

I had noticed coming from home that it was much quieter than usual and the likely reason was that many people didn’t put their clocks forward until they got up. We took the usual route out from Walberton over the A27 and up Shellbridge road between the woods. Here I saw a deer nip across the road a little way in front of us. First time for that in this area, it probably hadn’t changed its clock yet. Then a short stretch of main road before turning off on the back road via Madehurst ending up near Whiteways after a final climb.

Then it was down Houghton and on via Rackham to stop for an early elevenses at Wiggonholt.

After elevenses we headed on via Stream Lane to West Chiltington and up Broadford Bridge Road where we were overtaken by a Horse and rider going up a hill, wrong way round really. Notable at the top were all the Vines planted to replace the Golf Course, much better use of the land. Then it was down to Broadford Bridge and a little further on we turned off on a quiet lane to Billingshurst and our lunch stop at Whispers Cafe.

After lunch we split up with Russell, Mike and Bob headed west to return via Cocking Hill. I decided on a much shorter flatter return catching the train from Billingshurst to Arundel and then riding back from there via Ford and Yapton.

My mileage for the day was 42 increased by getting from home to Walberton Pond before the start

My latest picture to be processed was taken in London on Thursday after finding a public access to the Thames foreshore at low tide by the Millennium Bridge. The bed of the Thames is full of detritus from the centuries including bricks from buildings destroyed in the Great Fire of London.

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Saturday 24 March Ride to The Quarterdeck Cafe West Itchenor

For the Ride today 11 of us met at Chichester Library to Ride to a recently opened Cafe and a first for us at the Quarterdeck Cafe, West Itchenor. Graeme Hodge was the leader. It was cloudy but stayed dry with a light SE wind and mild temperatures up to 9C

Graeme led us out via West Street and the Cycle Bridge over the Railway. Then it was down Appledram Lane . We picked up The Salterns Way off Del Quay Road passing some really sodden fields and making our way past some really large puddles on the lane. Then on to Chichester Yacht basin and Birdham Pool to Birdham. To avoid more mud on the Salterns Way we took a short stretch of main road before turning off on a lane to Itchenor and West Itchenor. The cafe is at the end of the road by a boat yard making for a different sort of ambience. We were made very welcome and the Cafe is one to add to the list for further visits.

Most of us settled outside in a very sheltered location for tea and cake

The Cafe dog was very interested too

We  mainly retraced our route to Chichester Yacht basin but then headed for the main road exit. Graeme led the Chichester bound riders left and a short way along the main road to avoid the mud and then back on Appledram lane. The Bogor bound riders went right and then left over to Hunston, Runcton and the lane to Merston and back to Bognor on the Cycle Path.

Edwin Jones

Sunday 11 March Ride to Singleton

The weather was relatively mild today with overnight at 8C and reaching 12C during the day. Despite a weather forecast of showers all day there was nothing all day during the Ride with a SE mainly tailwind and even a brief spell of sunshine in the early afternoon.

I was the leader and I was joined at Chichester Cross by Sam, Russell, Jeff and Guest Rider Tim Morley a friend of Jeff’s from Selsey.

It was a special day for Sam with the first proper ride of his newly converted electric bike. This was one of Sam’s Roberts Bikes with added crank mounted motor and ginormous battery. The advantages are much lighter at 19 lbs   and possibly a range of up to 100 hilly miles. Being a test ride though we gained a running commentary on the various thing going wrong possibly due to operator error or setup. Mileage went wrong due to gloves being too big and pressing too many buttons. The motor was running too powerfully possibly needing some more precise setup.


We headed out via Centurion Way turning off on lanes to go via West Stoke to Funtington via some fairly muddy lanes. Then on via the B-Road and West Marden to Compton Tea Rooms arriving at 10.10 just in time to beat the worst of the cyclists rush from various groups and Clubs.

The nearby destination gave us the chance to explore some lanes not used much of late. After going very briefly further north we turned right before leaving the village on an even muddier lane. This took us over some steep hills via Apple Down to North Marden. We then turned off on the road coming down from Harting and on via Chilgrove. Then lanes via Colworth Down with a long uphill where Sam’s chain came off but his motor kept going. The down hill to West Dean is a beautiful descent through woods, so quiet that some beautifully coloured pheasants had to get off the road and retreat through the hedges

A short stretch on the main road took us to the Weald and Downland Museum Cafe. Russell left us to head straight home for a Mothers Day lunch. The rest of us continued to lunch at the cafe. The menu there is too basic to attract too many mothers for special lunches so we got a table fairly readily.

The way back was fairly direct with a bit of main road and then the Centurion Way back to Chichester. After using the entry at West Dean we diverted briefly to go look at the Tunnel where they had cleared away some trees and undergrowth.

Mileage from and back to Chichester was 30. My mileage from and back to Pagham was 43.

My latest processed picture was taken in London a few weeks ago at Clapham Common, one of the few underground stations in London where trains travelling in opposite directions can be caught from the same central platform which makes for a great photo with a wide angle lens.

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Saturday Ride…Bognor library to The Forge, Slindon

If anyone had any doubts about CycleBognor’s “no rain guarantee” they must surely have been dispelled today. A night of heavy rain, followed by a morning of rain and drizzle, all stopped just before the ride was due to set off from Bognor library. Seven met at the start with 2 joining at the Forge for the return ride meaning 9 out in all. Not bad considering the earlier weather was probably an off-putting factor.

I led the ride in place of Steve and Carol, who couldn’t make it.

Me, Maureen, Sam, Harvey, Michelle and two Mikes set off via the subway to Felpham cricket pitch, then via the ALC to Bognor Golf Club where we took the recently rebuilt cycle path through  to the new estate and the northern relief road.

Crossing over we dropped down into Satanover Lane to reach the cycle track to Barnham. This part of the route had plenty of puddles but overall was not nearly as muddy as we have known it. The bikes were still pretty clean when we arrived back on the tarmac at Barnham church.

From there it was the cycletrack to Walberton, then West Walberton Lane to Fontwell  and through the subway to Slindon woods.

By democratic decision we eschewed the long dragging Court Hill instead taking a track through the woods to emerge on Park Lane on the edge of Slindon village. Again this track was puddly but not muddy, with a firm flint surface.

Two or three minutes further riding brought us to our destination at the Forge. David and George were there to ride back with us.

After spending too long lingering over tea, we completed a circular route back to Bognor by  way of Slindon Common, Avisford, North End, Yapton, Bilsham and Middleton, in the process crossing an empty A29, a suspiciously quiet A27, and inspecting cycle track  construction progress at Comet Corner.

Round trip mileage from and back to Bognor library was 17.8.


Sunday 4th March Ride to Tangmere

After the week’s snow and bitter wind with temperatures below freezing all day the temperatures today were a welcome relief. It has been a while since I have left home for a Sunday Ride at 8.00am with temperatures of plus 5C or the daytime temperatures reaching the giddy heights of 8C. Rain forecast for midday didn’t in the end get any closer than Littlehampton.

Russell was the leader for the ride from Walberton Pond scheduled to go to Wisborough Green. However, only the 2 of us turned up. We decided to make it a half day ride and avoid any remaining ice on the other side of the Downs. We decided on Tangmere for a coffee stop.

We took a route via Fontwell and the Underpass and a short climb to Eartham. Then it was left past the Church and down to turn off on Thicket Lane across to the A285. Then down via Halnaker and Boxgrove and across on the cycle Bridge over the A27 to Tangmere. A brief look at a helicopter to take some time.

Then it was on to the Cafe to enter dead on opening time at 10.00am.

We headed home across the Airfield and split up to go our separate ways home at Woodhorn. Russell arrived home 10 minutes before the rain.

On my way back I took the lane via Colworth. It turns out that the last bit of the lane is totally blocked off for roadworks. However at the point near the Mercedes Garage where a diversion is possible there was no road closed sign and the first one was ½ a mile further on by the old canal bridge. I turned back one cyclist coming the same way and a car came that way and had to turn round. Coming from Bognor it is obvious as the lane is closed at the Main Road but not clear at all coming from the other direction. I have put in a complaint.

My mileage from and back to Pagham was 25

Last Sunday in my back garden I took a Star Trails picture. 2 and half hours of 2 minute exposures done with a timer device while I stayed indoors watching telly

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