This Saturday’s ride was planned as a series of 3 circuits of 5 miles each, at a slow pace and using only quiet routes, to mark World Car Free Day and provide the opportunity for not so confident cyclists to experience group riding.
Unfortunately the weather was not encouraging to newcomers, with drizzle starting around 12 noon and the forecast indicating progressively worse conditions.
Regrettably Cycle Bognor’s world-renowned “no rain guarantee” could not apply this afternoon, one of the policy exclusions being that rain was falling.
By the time i got to the start point it was raining hard but my plan to turn round and go back home was thwarted as 5 riders were waiting for me. No newcomers unfortunately…the weather was just too bad…but the “usual suspects” Keith, Maureen, Steve, Mike, and Michael.
After a brief debate on where to go it was agreed we would continue with the planned first 5 mile circuit. So off we went via Hotham Park to the prom, then East to Summerley, a circuit of the KGV field and then back to the library via Downview School, the Leisure Centre, and Mead Lane subway. 5 miles exactly.
By this time it had come to everybody’s attention that no cycling gear is fully waterproof if the rain is hard enough and you are out in it for more than half and hour. But on the basis that we were already wet the consensus was, astonishingly, that more cycling was needed.
So off we set on the 2nd planned circuit, to Aldwick via back streets. We planned to stop at West Park Cafe but on arrival the shutters were coming down and it was being locked up. So it was a short sprint along the prom to the Waverley, with its undercover cycle parking and hot drinks all round.
After a suitable refreshment stop i decided to end the ride there and, as the rain had eased slightly, everyone headed off home in different directions. Continuing back into town i calculated that we had completed about 9 miles of the ride route; I did 15 including to and from home.