Sunday 25 November Ride to Horndean (originally scheduled Hambledon)


  5 met at the Cross for the scheduled ride to Hambledon. I was leader and were joined by Sam, Bob, Mike and  Maureen on her recently acquired e-bike. Both Sam and Bob were feeling under the weather but decided to give the ride a go.

The mercury stated 7c but it felt cooler in a nagging NE wind as we took the direct route through Woodmancote and Westbourne towards our coffee stop at Horndean. At the top of the climb out of Westbourne, Bob declared that his ailment was not making the ride enjoyable and  decided to return home. So it was just 4 that arrived at a very busy Horndean garden centre – I don’t think I have ever seen the car park so full. They even had a parking attendant directing cars to any available spaces.

Luckily the café hadn’t got too busy ( it was only 10.20hrs)so we managed to find a table and were quickly served. During coffee it was very apparent that Sam wasn’t his normal self and it wasn’t really a surprise when he also declared that unfortunately he wasn’t feeling well enough to continue.So now down to just 3!

Leaving the café Mike discovered that he had a flat front tyre, the ride was now taking on a touch of Agatha Christie’s ‘Then there were none!’ . Luckily Mike had a spare tube and was quickly sorted, although the tyre itself looked to be nearing its last legs.

 A short reappraisal of the scheduled ride then took place,the wind was by now quite unpleasant and the decision was for the remaining 3of us to return to Chichester, but via Finchdean and Compton, whilst we still had some riders left. This stretch proved to be the best of the day,as we weretreated to some slightly warming sunshine and there was very little traffic inthe lanes. Maureen was clearly enjoying the e-bike’s assistance on the climbs!

 Arriving back in Chichester at 12.45hrs , I was relieved to find that I still had 2 companions on the ride! I already have a reputable fora high percentage of the rides I lead being wet – I don’t really need the addition of ‘he never finishes with the starting amount of riders’ , as well!

The ride mileage to and from the Cross was 31 miles.


Saturday 24 November: Afternoon ride- Bognor library to Edgcumbes

A miserable Saturday afternoon with an Easterly wind and almost continuous drizzle for our ride to Edgcumbes at Ford. Arriving at the Bognor library start point i was surprised to see anybody waiting at all. But there were 8… Mike, Alan, Steve, Samantha, Harvey, Chis, Steve Woods and me.


After discussion as to whether the Cycle Bognor “no rain guarantee” would hold-which it did as the continuous drizzle never turned into actual rain- we set off via back lanes past Felpham cricket pitch to the Arun Leisure Centre where we stopped to collect Claire.

Then it was via Bognor Golf Club to and through the Blakes Mead estate, into North Road and Hoe Lane at Flansham. The Barnham cycle track was officially closed for repairs and although unofficially passable it is very muddy. So we turned right instead of left at Hoe Lane to ride down past the duck pond to the A259 and the Littlehampton cycletrack.

At this point Steve Woods, who had been having bike troubles, decided to abandon the ride and head for home to investigate wheel and tyre issues.

The rest of us followed the cycletrack to Comet Corner then up to Yapton, through Tack Lee Road and over the old canal bridge, then to Barnham turning right under the bridge  into Lake Lane, then the foot crossing over the railway into Maypole Lane, from where it was a straight ride to Ford Lane and Edgcumbes. As we arrived Andy joined us, having made his own way there and making 10 out in total.

After a convivial coffee, we headed for home via Ford Road to Horsemere Green where Alan pulled up with a puncture. For unknown reasons it proved quite difficult to strip and replace the inner tube but with several pitching in to help it was eventually done, although Alan decided to head straight back as it looked as though the new tube might deflate as well. “Alan writes – Many thanks to the entire peloton who stopped with me today in the rain while my puncture was fixed. Special thanks to Mike who managed to get the tyre off the rim and back on again”


After this we went down to the Oystercatcher pub where we joined the cycletrack towards Bognor.  With people people peeling off for home along the way, we turned down to Middleton and through estate roads to the sea then followed the prom into central Bognor where the ride ended and we were in time for the grand Christmas lights switch on.


The round trip mileage from and back to Bognor library was 17.2


Sunday 18 November Ride to Durleighmarsh Tea Barn

Jeff was unable to lead this ride, so Sam and myself stepped in.

Six riders met at a chilly 6c Chichester Cross for the ride to Durleighmarsh, near Petersfield. Sam and myself were joint leaders, we were joined by Ann, Rosie, Paul and Roger. We took the usual route via the Centurion Way and West Stoke to Compton for our morning coffee. Sitting outside, away from the nagging north east wind in the sunshine, it felt much warmer than the indicated 9c.

After a pleasant 20 minutes we headed off to Durleighmarsh, again taking a direct route via South Harting and West Harting, arriving to find the Tea Barn already busy. Luckily there were two vacant tables outside in the sun, ideal for a relaxing chat during lunch.

Our return route took in the exceptionally quiet lanes through the exotic sounding hamlets of Quebec and Goose Green to Nursted. Then a quick 1/2 mile on the busy Petersfield road to turn up the lane to Ditcham Park School and the long gradual climb over the Downs. The views were spectacular in the strong Autumnal sun. Arriving at Rowlands Castle there was a choice of stopping for a coffee in Bumblebee’s or heading straight back to Chichester. Myself, Sam and Paul opted for the former with Ann, Rosie and Roger heading back. The refurbished café has a nice ambience and very reasonable prices.

Eventually we pulled ourselves away to battle a strong headwind for a fast ride back to Chichester, arriving just before 3pm.

Return mileage was 41 miles.


Saturday 10th November 2018 Ride from Chichester Library to The Boathouse Café, Chichester Marina

The weather dawned cloudy with sunny spells for a ride to The Boathouse Café in Chichester Marina.

Twelve cyclists gathered at Chichester Library – Philippa, Steve & Carol, Chris, Maureen, Roy, Julian, Mike, Iain and newcomers Rosemary, Jason and Susie.

Philippa had an issue with her bike rack and knew she would be a bit late in arriving to lead the ride, so sent a message to everyone to let them know.  The group were about to set off when the heavens opened and everyone was forced to take shelter at the library.  Just as well Philippa was late!

The heavy shower soon passed, so the group headed west towards Westgate, over the Fishbourne crossing and then carried on until the end of the road, before heading through the A27 underpass towards the A259.  After emerging from the underpass, everyone then took a sharp left to take the cycle path alongside the A259, crossing the road in order to then turn right down Appledram Lane.

After a few yards, the group turned left onto Salterns Way and were almost immediately greeted by the dulcet tones of Sam, who was taking the cycle path back home to grab some lunch.  After a cheery wave and “goodbye” to Sam, everyone carried on along Salterns Way, via Dell Quay Road and through Salterns Copse, eventually emerging at Chichester Marina.

Iain is a member of Chichester Yacht Club and kindly suggested that we could use the restaurant there instead of going in The Boathouse Café, which was extremely busy.  Whilst the rest of the group followed Iain into the Yacht Club, Philippa went to the café to see if anyone had arrived there independently.  No one was there so she joined the rest of the group.


Everyone sat outside, with a lovely view over the water.  After about 30 minutes, the skies were starting to darken in the direction of Chichester, so Philippa suggested it might be a good idea to begin to make our way back home.  The same route was taken on the return journey, via Salterns Way, in order to get back as quickly as possible. Those returning to Chichester got there around 4 pm, with the rain starting about 20 minutes later and quickly becoming torrential!  A very wet end to a very enjoyable ride!


Sunday 4th November Ride to Rake Garden Centre Café, Rake, nr Petersfield.

Sunday was dry and mild with temperatures up to 13c with a brisk southerly wind.

Sam was the leader and he was joined for 9.00am at Chichester Cross by Bamboo Keith, Landrover Bob, Lost bag Mike(Healey), Electric Maureen, Selsey Paul (on new Bike).  Martin Bingham joined briefly for Centurion Way.

The route was Centurion Way, West Stoke and then a stop for “Elevenses” at Compton village Tea Rooms.

Then it was on via South Harting, Rogate and on to lunch at the Garden Centre Cafe, Rake. We were joined for lunch by “Chris de bell”. The return route was:  Old A3 through Petersfield, Keith dropped away at this point (looking for book shop); Butser cycle path, Rowlands Castle for tea (Bob beaten by size of cake portion!!) and Home.

Total 50miles.(49.96)  Counted: 6 Out & 5 Back!! Bob took a selfie including the rest of us.