Seven cyclists met at Walberton Pond on a sunny but fresh 8c morning, Regulars Mike and Bob were joined by new/occasional Sunday riders Ann, Dave, Michael and Rosie. So quite good numbers considering a group of regular Sunday riders were indisposed.
I was leading today and had decided to take the coastal route option on the outward leg. We made maximum use of cycle paths and quiet estate back roads to wend our way through Littlehampton, Rustington , Ferring and Goring before picking up the sea front promenade cycle path through Worthing. Our planned tea stop at Coast Café didn’t go to plan, unfortunately the sun has brought many cyclists out but the café only had one person taking orders, so the decision was taken to press on to the lunch stop.
We used the cycle path to Widewater lagoon, before circumnavigating Shoreham airport to cross the A24 at the traffic lights. Cycling up Coombes Lane we encountered the usual high volume of fellow cyclists, this really is a popular route that will be largely lost when the Ikea ‘road improvements’ are implemented and the traffic light crossing removed. It was then on through Steyning, a quick crossing of the bypass and down Spithandle Lane to our lunch venue, arriving 12.10hrs.By now the sun had warmed the air to a very pleasant 17c.
Although busy, we found a table and the very friendly staff kept us updated on the progress of our order. All agreed that the service and food was very good. After a leisurely hour or so, it was time to make the return journey. It had clouded over during lunch and was now distinctly chilly, so it was a fairly direct route through Ashington, skirting West Chiltington and back to the RSPB Café at Wiggonholt for more tea and cake. This set us up nicely for the climb over the Khyber and the run back to various homes.
Mileage to and from Walberton would have been 57 miles, as all had cycled to the start most would have completed around 75 miles for the day.