Sunday 30 December. Ride to Compton

A dismal but dry day for the advertised ride to Compton. The number out on the ride today depends when you counted them . In all for the day I think 18 which augers well for the New Year. Out at various times were Jeff, Graham Annaly, Bill, Roger, Chris, Christine, Russell, Michael, Sam, Gill, Paul, Julia, Maureen, Tony, Rosemary, Jason, Tim and Ann.

With Bob still nursing his knee , the lead was up for grabs.  Jeff offered to lead and provide a circular route and despite concern about the hills on the way, we set off up Centurion Way . By the time we reached West Dean we lost two going for a faster ride and two to West Dean village shop for a shorter ride.  So a dozen enjoyed the  scenic ‘motor road’   which is an undulating back road to Chilgrove. Here we stopped for a photocall before tackling the B road climb in groups of 4 as instructed.

30Dec18emerging onto chilgrove road

Everyone made it .   On our way to Compton we were joined by Paul Bayliss out on his new bike making 13 in all. We continued via North Marden and then up again to a hill above East Marden and a stop to regroup.

30Dec18regroup above East Marden

We then continued on the lane to Compton village shop for lunch.

Due to a staggering of orders there was a staggering of service which resulted in Jeff, Mike, Tim and Paul shooting off leaving the rest.  ( Sam honourably stayed with the main group lead by Russ )  Mike led the early leavers down to Walderton  at 20 mph plus, then Jeff took over with only one variation back to Chichester which included Blackboy Lane and through the Fishbourne Sports Field.    The ride distance was 25 miles as advertised.


Sunday 16 December Ride to Victoria Inn , West Marden and to Compton

9 met up at Chichester Cross for a chilly start to the final Sunday Ride of 2018. Myself as leader was joined by Sam, Paul, Michael, Jeff, Maureen, Tony and visitors Jason and Rosemary. Before we had got clear of Chichester we were joined by Chris, so 10 in total.


We took the usual route through Westbourne to our planned coffee stop at the Bumblebee Café, Rowlands Castle. The 20+ cycles outside the café suggested that it was busy, but it was absolutely heaving, indeed no room at the Inn!. Should we stay and queue up? A quick on the spot re-plan and 7 of us decided to move on to Compton for our coffee stop, leaving Sam, Paul and Michael to queue up for what turned out to be a very long tea stop.

Arriving at the much quieter Compton Village shop/café following a very pleasant ride via Finchdean, we decided to make this our main stop of the ride. After a very relaxing and also quite lengthy stop there was still no sign of the Three Amigos  (we had agreed to meet up) and worse, no phone signal to advise them where we were. They had taken the shorter route to West Marden, which also has no phone signal.


However on the return ride back to Chichester it was a case of ‘He’s behind you!’, ‘Oh no he’s not!’ as Sam and the others re-joined us just south of West Marden and ‘motored’ straight past us before waiting up as we regrouped for the final few miles back into a busy Chichester.

The ride was a very modest 26 miles, with a touch of a Brian Rix farce (Jeff’s overtrousers coming on and off) and assorted pantomimes but it was a pleasant way to finish off the 2018 Sunday Rides Schedule !


Sunday 2 December Appetite Improver Ride to Compton and then Runcton for Christmas Lunch

Three of us started out at 8.45 on the Appetite Improvement Ride from Chichester Cross: myself (Bob), Michael and Sam, on a mild but dreary and drizzly day.

2Dec18Start copy

We took the usual route down the Centurion Way to West Stoke, Funtingdon and Compton making good time despite a stiffish wind.  At Compton we had coffee, restraining ourselves from cake etc due to the impending Christmas Dinner. The weather had improved a tad during coffee break and afterwards Sam took us to look at what he said is a Lost Village, by turning left after Compton up towards Telegraph Hill and East Marden. The village hid itself behind a hedge, unsportingly. I took a selfie of us as we stopped to not look at the Lost Village (Lost Village not included in the photo):

2Dec18Selfie copy

After East Marden we returned through Stoughton and Walderton and back through Woodmancote to Chichester, where we took the canal path to Hunston and thence to the Walnut Tree pub for the festive lunch. Mileage from the Cross was just shy of 31 miles.

At the lunch there were 17 in all with the extras coming direct by bike or car. All enjoyed the lunch with generous portions and good food.

2Dec18Lunch1 copy

2Dec18Lunch2 copy

Photos on the Ride by Bob and at the lunch by Michael and Edwin

Bob Birtwell