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 !