Sunday 28 April Ride to Fernhurst

After Saturday’s gales the weather for Sundays ride was calmer but still fairly breezy and about 14C.. It was a good solid ride. Eight Out meeting at Chichester Cross and Nine coming home. Including 3 “E” bikes!!

At the Cross there was Electric Maureen (Maureen Flint), Linda & Mark (CHI), Electric Alan (Alan Harding) from Bognor, Paul, Mike “The Bag” (Mike Healey with the shoulder bag), Harvey  & Myself.

Sun 28 April19 Start

We went out on the Centurion Way and then Cocking, A286 , Heyshott,  Petworth Rd. at Heath End Duncton, Stopham Bridge, Now revelation!! Tiffin’s for Tea at Petworth. This has changed hands; much better and far more friendly.

After tea: A272 to Tillington; right up the side of Petworth Park Wall to Lurgashall, Lickfold And then Lunch at Red Lion. Found Chris “The Bell” (Chris Dart Bellringer) asleep on The Green.

Sun 28 April19 Lunch

After lunch it was straight through Fernhurst, up through Redford to Stedham. More Tea & Bickies  Then it was onto Iping Crossroads, Left down to East Didling, Bepton, Cocking and Singleton. Then we split: 5 over the Downs & 4 on to Chi via Centurion Way. Cold, dry and windy. Only incident: Linda became bored climbing out of Tillington & threw her chain “Out the Cot”. Mike “ The Bag” took a couple of Pics!

It was 57 miles from and back to Chichester. Average speed for Sam was 12.9

Sam Roberts


Words by Sam (with nickname translations in brackets from Edwin) Pictures thanks to Mike Healey

PS Picture below from Edwin’s visit on Saturday to photograph Storm Hannah at Newhaven

Storm Hannah Blue Sky Wave Attack


Alan has added this report on his new Electric Bike –

Yesterday was the first ‘Real Ride’ on my e-Bike

I bought a Giant Road E = 2 pro a couple of weeks ago from the Giant store in Shoreham by Sea. I rode it home a distance of some 24 miles. I didn’t switch on the power until I was about a mile from when I thought that I should check that it works.

Yesterday I set off on a club ride which started at Chichester 7.5 miles from my home, which I did without switching on the power. Three of us on the ride had electric bikes.

From Chichester Cross we rode to the Centurion Way, the base of an old railway line. This has a gentle climb (referred to as a false flat in racing circles) with a small kick up towards the end of the first section. I have done this section countless times over the last few years at a reasonable speed. Sometimes I drop down a gear for the kick, but most times just honk over the top without changing gear.

The electric bike is a very different kettle of fish! I started to drop back from the group and had to switch on the power to keep up, the extra weight was taking it toll. Weighing in at 25kg that’s probably twice the weight of the Specialized road bike I normally use.

Not having ridden it on a long ride before I kept a careful eye on how much battery power I was using and switched off the power whenever I could.

The motor switches off at over 15mph so on flattish roads when the peloton got moving, I was pushing harder than I would normally have to too keep in the group.

The E Bike only comes into its own on long steep hills. There are four power settings and I used eco the lowest setting whenever I needed to. On most club rides I will use my Specialised road bike and only use the E Bike on long rides over the downs.

It’s going to take some time to get used to it. Door to Door 74 miles with 3,900 ft of climbing.


Sunday 21 April. Long ride to West Marden

Four of us met at Chichester Cross on a disturbingly warm Easter Sunday for the long ride to meet up with the short ride at West Marden: me leading, Russell, Sam and Roger.


My carefully laid plans to have coffee at Horndean, followed by a pleasant ride through Blendworth, Chalton and possibly Up Marden if time allowed were shattered before we even started as Russell pointed out that the Garden Centre at Horndean would be shut as it was Easter. I said “goodness gracious what a nuisance” or words to that effect, and we set off with a vague plan in my mind to go to Rowlands Castle and possibly salvage much of the original plan after that.

However when we got to Westbourne the ranks started to become revolting and wanted to go to Emsworth. So we went to the Greenhouse cafe at Emsworth where Sam and Russell gorged themselves on breakfast, while Roger and I behaved in a more restrained manner. Afterwards we returned through Westbourne and went the usual way to Rowlands Castle, where Sam left us for more coffee and a piddle at the Bumble Bee cafe, having gleaned our intended route up through Finchdean and Idsworth and down through Compton to West Marden. However Russell and Roger had decided not to come for lunch, so when we got past Idsworth I saw the chance to resurrect a bit of my original plan, and the three of us turned left off the South Harting to Compton road, up the steep hill towards Apple Down, where I turned off to Up Marden while Roger and Russell carried on to return via East Marden and Chilgrove.

I got to the Victoria at West Marden to find Sam, slightly miffed at my change of route, plus the short ride led by Arthur, with Lynn, Andrew and Chris.


After a very satisfying lunch I half heartedly offered to lead a longer way back if anyone really wanted. Chris showed unnerving signs of taking my up on this offer, mentioning alarming words like “Kirdford”, but fortunately Lynn explained to him that I was only offering for show and didn’t really want to. So the danger passed and we followed Arthur who, being a man who knows the value of tradition, took us through Funtingdon for tea at the Fishbourne Roman Palace, though we had lost Andrew by that stage.


And from there back to Chichester. My mileage from and to Chichester was 39.

Bob Birtwell

Thursday 18th April Evening Ride to Murrell Arms, Barnham

12 Riders met at ALC for our first evening cycle ride to the Murrell Arms at Barnham 3 new riders Brenda, Beppy, Jenny joined us which we hope to see again.


We made our way via our usual route West Morland Drive to the new relief road and picked up the Bognor/Littlehampton cycleway where we met up with our 13th rider Russell. We made our way past the Oyster Catcher Pub and onto the roundabout that takes you to Ford Prison turning into Horsemere Green Lane then right at T Junction and on into Yapton, we turned right into church lane and past the lovely St Marys Church, at Yapton level crossing we turned left into Lake Lane which as been much improved having the huge pot holes filled which we encountered the last time we took that route, at the end of Lake Lane we turned left under Barnham Rail Bridge and reached our destination on the right, as it was still light and such a lovely evening we all decided to sit in the beer garden where we sat and had a good chin wag.


time past very quickly and it was soon time to leave, as usual Steve had lead the group out and Carol would lead the group home we took the direct route back along Hoe Lane

Thank you everyone for a lovely evenings cycle ride

Steve &Carol

Sunday 14 April. Long Ride to Milland and Short Ride to Singleton

Sunday 14th April ride to Milland

Six met at Chichester Cross on a cold but sunny morning for today’s cycle to Milland. The thermometer may have said 6C but  it felt much colder, It would eventually reach 11C but with a brisk Northerly wind it was a thick gloves day. Regulars Sam, Mike and Bob were joined by Linda and Mark. Sam and myself were doing a joint lead in the absence of the scheduled leader.

After our usual ‘how shall we get there’ discussion, I led the group up a very quiet Centurion Way, past Singleton and over Cocking Hill before turning sharp right past the garage to take the ‘track’ through to Heyshott ( I had recced this earlier in the week and it had dried out nicely), past the polo pitches at Ambersham and into Midhurst. 11s were taken at Garton’s Café where it was just sufficiently sheltered to sit outside. Just as we were preparing to leave, we were approached by a young lady cyclist asking for an allen key to tighten up her bottle cage. This was quickly accomplished but in discussion she mentioned that she was cycling to Amberley Station, but without a map. The next twenty minutes were spent giving her detailed instructions ( which she noted on her phone) on how to use the minor roads , north of the Downs. I wonder if she reached her destination!

By now we were behind schedule, so Sam led us on a shortened , more direct route to the Redford road, and the long climb up to the Fernhurst/Petersfield road. This certainly warmed us up!

Arriving in Milland, we chose the Community shop/café over the pub option for lunch. We had timed our arrival perfectly – we bagged the best inside table and polished off all of the remaining pasty and sausage roll stocks. All agreed it was very tasty! We had a quick game of ‘guess the accent’ with the friendly lady server ( Sam was closest, we are not saying, you will have to visit for yourself and support the community café!) whilst the café filled up.

Post lunch we opted for very quiet lanes taking us through Borden Wood, the long descent into Rogate and a wriggly route through Nyewood, West Harting, Quebec and Goose Green, crossing the Downs at Ditcham. It was here that Sam suffered a rapid blowout puncture, which slightly ruptured the tyre casing. (Ed’s comment: only last week he was telling me how good the Schwalbe Duranos were, on the basis of which I ordered a pair. I wonder if I can change my order to Contis……….)

Luckily a new tube sufficed to get him home, but a tyre is needed asap. A quick coffee at Rowlands Castle and 10 mile cycle into a by now very cold breeze and we were back in Chichester, albeit a little later than planned.

Distance for the ride was 53 miles with an higher than usual elevation gain.



Sunday 14 April. Half Day Ride to Singleton

Harvey led today’s bike ride to the Weald and Downland Museum Cafe, Singleton. We gathered outside for a Photo.


Richard Carlisle also joined us

For the return David Sinclair led me and Rosie back to Felpham and Bersted via Knight’s Hill up to Goodwood and home through Eartham, Walberton and Yapton. Perfect.

Michael Eastham

Saturday 13 April. Ride to Aldingbourne Country Centre

Sat13April19StartThe first of our Saturday rides since the clocks went forward meant a 2pm start from Bognor library. An excellent turnout of 17.

I led Richard, Steve, Alan, Maureen, Sam, Kim, Julian, Mike, David, Chris, Suzanne, and  Clair with Emma, Jeanette, & Barbara through the back streets on one of our normal contorted routes via the ALC to Bognor Golf Club, then the cycle track through the new estate to join the Barnham cycle track.

Just before we had completed the trip along Stanover Lane however,  Maureen had a slight accident when a small branch caught in her wheel and toppled her over. Luckily (or not) a puddle broke her fall.  She continued albeit a bit soggy.

At Barnham we continued on the cycle route to Walberton, turning down Eastergate Lane to join a quiet A29  for about 300 yards then into Level Mare Lane up to the A27. We crossed this without incident with the assistance, astonishingly, of 2 vehicles which stopped to let us cross. There is no previous report of this ever happening!

On the other side of the A27 it was a shot half mile ride up a quiet lane to the country centre and their fab new building. However just after crossing the A27 I noticed my back tyre was looking a little flatter than it had when we set out. I made it without difficulty to the country centre when with Mike’s able assistance we changed the tube and found the culprit to be a small but very sharp flint. When the old tube came off unfortunately the rim ribbon snapped which presented a bit of a problem. However with the very kind loan of a roll of sellotape from Aldingbourne’s gift shop, a temporary fix was effected.



Whilst this was going on a small rain shower came down. Luckily our “no rain guarantee” was in force. It had stopped when we set off for home again so all the riding time was in the dry.  Thus the guarantee held ( as usual).

Maureen, Sam and Kim had to get back so left us to take a direct route home. For the rest,  I took the riders a little further north via Halnaker Barn Lane down to the Winterton Arms where we crossed back over the A27 again (no cars stopped this time).  Then Aldingbourne village, Woodhorn,  Colworth, and back to central Bognor via North Bersted to complete a circular ride of just a tad over 19 miles.


Sunday 7 April. DA Event – Free Wheel Competition

Today was the first event in this year’s series of DA events. As I cycled towards the meet up at Walberton Pond I wondered if we would see a repeat of last year, an increased turn out of Bognor & Chichester riders which had led to us scoping the cup for the first time ever. It was a slight surprise to see Sam  (leader), Bob, Mike, Michael, Maureen, Harvey and newcomer Steve ready and raring to go. So with myself and Chris meeting us at Sumner’s Pond, it was 9 in total.


We headed off into a nagging wind via Slindon and Madehurst for a rapid descent of Houghton Hill, then on through Amberley and Rackham to elevenses at the RSPB café, Wiggonholt. This has improved in popularity as a cyclist stop and we arrived just behind one group as another was leaving. The Eccles cakes are particularly good and at £2 great value for money.


From there it was a direct route via West Chiltington, up the Broadbridge Road, across to Coneyhurst and into Barns Green. Enroute we encountered a smaller than usual Horsham contingent (just 3). We also had a mechanical – Michael’s pedal fell off on the road into Coneyhurst. It was fairly quickly replaced but more was to follow……….

Sumners Pond café is now a very popular spot, indeed there are signs warning that unless you book ahead at peak times they cannot guarantee to cater for walk ins. Luckily this early in the season and on an overcast 12C day, there were plenty of tables available outside. In the picture is our newcomer Steve tucking into a burger


Arun Adur arrived as we were tucking into lunch (4) making a very respectable 16 for the post lunch sporting activity. As this involved just freewheeling down a slope and up another, it wasn’t too strenuous. Paul from Arun Adur won, Bognor and Chichester packing the ‘also run’ places.

Honour maintained by virtue of having the largest attendance, we headed back on our return. We had already decided on a mirror route when Michael informed us that his pedal was now unscrewing again – the spindle bearings having seized up. There is just one way around this – pedal forward a few revolutions, then back a few revolutions. Easier said than done but he coped gamely fully until reaching Amberley Station and the option of a train home. Here we split up – a group having a further coffee at the village café in Amberley, before either going over the Khyber and home or more directly over Houghton Hill.

A very pleasant days ride – a good turnout at the DA event (thanks to organizers Arun Adur) and a useful reminder of the need to check the bikes over after winter! Mileage for the day was between 60 -65 miles depending on the end of day route options.