Saturday 29th June Awayday…Ryde to Newport Isle of Wight

The hottest day of the year so far for our awayday ride on the Isle of Wight (again reinforcing the value of the Cyclebognor “no rain guarantee”) saw 7 meeting up at Ryde for our potter around the north of the Island.


I led Sheila and Andy (both new to the island), Andre, Chris, Alan and Bill, from Ryde pier eastward along the promenade where we stopped briefly at Appley Tower for a picture and to admire the view across the Solent.


Then continuing on a traffic free route we reached Seaview and headed inland, where the hill climbing started.

A bit of up and down followed before a stop for elevenses at Rosemary Vineyard, a favourite port of call hidden away south of Ryde.


Suitability refreshed it was time for more hills And I think on balance, more down than up as we made our way via Havenstreet and Firestone Copse to Wootton, then more traffic free riding to Wootton station where we were able to see the steam engine on the preserved line running round it’s train.



Then it was down onto the old railway track for a more or less level ride into Newport.

Last time we came this way, we had to leave the railway trail at Whippingham and take the cycle path along the main road, due to an unsafe bridge that crossed the old railway.

Today I found we were able to carry on the track for another 2 miles or so. The unsafe bridge had been demolished and replaced with a “level” crossing, but we had to leave the trail again near Belmont Farm as another dodgy bridge was clearly visible.


We dropped down to the main road cycle track where we were delayed as Bill got a puncture…. quite incidental to the off road track, I am sure. Not too much delay as the tube was quickly changed.

After a mile or so we rejoined the railway trail all the way through Newport Tunnel into Newport itself.

A pleasant lunch followed before it was time to head back. We took a recently completed cycle track (oddly constructed of a rubber mesh netting covering a pebble underlay)


This took us along the East bank of the River Medina for nearly 3 miles to the Island Harbour marina, home to the paddle steamer Ryde, now a sad decomposing wreck. This boat ran between the island and Portsmouth from 1937 to 1969, and also saw service at Dunkirk, being requisitioned in 1944.


Intended for restoration, the funds could not be raised and it now lies very seriously decayed, beyond hope.

From Island Harbour we ride via Alverstone down a seriously steep hill and up an even more seriously steep one, to Fishbourne and then on cycletrack to Quarr Abbey, our afternoon coffee stop.


Following this we made great time back to Ryde and the ferry.

Arriving at Portsmouth just after 5pm, we found the trains in utter chaos with three successive ones towards Chichester and Barnham all cancelled. Some of us cycled to Portsmouth &Southsea station where trains were terminating short, and from where we got to Havant only to progress no further until the others had caught us up.

To cut a long and not very interesting story short, Chris Sheila Andy and Bill left us at Chichester, Andre left at Barnham to cycle home and myself and Alan waited over an hour for a train down to Bognor, of course it would have been quicker to cycle. I think the  Southern Railway delay and repay team will be hearing from us.

The mileage on the island was about 24, I had done over 30 when I got home.


June 27th Evening Ride to the George at Eartham

Our summer evening cycling schedule continued with a ride to the George at Eartham on a sunny but blustery evening. I as leader was joined by Carol & Steve, David, Lisa and newbie Tessa. I decided to take a fairly direct route, hopefully minimizing our exposure to the strong north easterly breeze. So it was out to the Bognor relief road, down a very dry but bumpy Barnham cycle track, onto the Walberton cyclepath before using the A27 underpass. It was then rolling up and down roads to the pub. At this stage Tessa was wondering if she had made the right choice of destination for her first Thursday evening ride!

By now the evening air was cooling fast but it was just about ok to sit outside in the beer garden and enjoy a refreshing drink.

Earham Sized

The return journey was as promised, as mostly downhill affair via very quiet roads past Mount Noddy and Aldingbourne, crossing a deserted A27 before going our separate ways at Eastergate memorial.

Apparently a lot of people were watching the England ladies football on TV!

A very pleasant evening ride and well done to Tessa for coping with her first hills!

Total return mileage would have been 19 miles



Sunday 23 June. Ride to Forest Green

Four of us gathered at Walberton Pond on Sunday for the ride to the Parrot Inn at Forest Green: myself (Bob) leading, with Paul, Sam and Harvey. The weather was dry if a bit cloudy, and only a moderate wind.

We went by the Madehurst route, and were surprised to come across Mike a couple of times, near the start and at Whiteways, as he was attending a classic car rally there. From Whiteways we went down Bury Hill and thence via West Burton to Fittleworth, then over the hill by Bedham to Coldharbour and Wisborough Green, where we had coffee at the Old Mill. We had made quite good time, as the route, though hilly, was very direct, but I wondered whether Forest Green was feasible, partly because, despite a couple of attempts to scout the route, I hadn’t managed to get there due to various setbacks. Sam had raised the idea of going instead to the Milk Churn at Rudgwick, and as that was on the way I thought we’d make a decision when we got that far.

So we set off to Rudgwick but in fact made much better time than I had anticipated, so that when we arrived at the Milk Churn it was barely 12, and the cake I had had at the Old Mill was still in full occupancy of my stomach. So we carried on to the top of the hill above Rudgwick. As that was about as far as I had got trying to scout it out, I asked Sam if he knew the way, but he didn’t. So we set off fairly blindly; I knew there were Surrey Cycleways, one of which would be helpful but there were several and they forked. We went through Cox Green and turned right into Ellen’s Green, then at the junction with the Horsham Road Sam said he thought we should turn left and take the right hand fork, but that seemed to be going to Dorking. I thought we should take the left fork, so we did, but later came across another junction which we nearly missed, where it was necessary to take the right hand option, so perhaps that was what Sam was remembering. After a few miles we started to pass signs promising Forest Green, and after going through Walliswood got to the Parrot Inn not long after 12.30. I was extremely chuffed at this Navigation Triumph and I think I should be awarded the non-existent medal of Geographer Extraordinaire at the next AGM.


We got a pretty decent lunch at the Parrot Inn, but left in good time as I wanted to be sure of getting to Kirdford for tea before they closed. We returned the way we had come as far as Buck’s Green, and I was intending to continue that route to Wisborough Green and then leave if for Kirdford. What followed was a classic of confused communication. Sam started to tell me of an alternative route to Kirdford, but being hard of hearing I couldn’t quite get what he was saying, and did my usual but not very helpful thing when I can’t cope with a conversation of just grunting. I thought he was just telling me of some alternatives and I made a mental note to look them up on a map later. But Sam thought I had agreed to go a different route with him. So when we got to Drungewick Lane I was expecting to turn left 9and in fact did so) but he and Harvey went straight on, despite my shouting. Paul and I stopped a bit bewildered, but then followed them, however they thought we had decided not to follow so didn’t wait. We thus found our way through Loxwood and after getting trapped by a dangerously fast convoy of motor bikes, took the right hand turning into Skiff Lane and thence to Kirdford Village Shop. The route was really nice, apart from the motor bike bit, and missed out Wisborough Green, though I was making various uncomplimentary remarks about Sam along the way. However Paul and I caught up with Sam and Harvey at the shop, where the muddle was explained. I wonder, perhaps I could be given some new ears along with my geography medal?

And after a good tea break we returned via Byworth and Duncton Hill


Harvey left us at the Upwaltham turning, while Sam, Paul and I went down the Lavant valley to the Centurion Way at West Dean, My mileage from and back to Chichester was 77, so probably about 69 from Walberton.


Saturdays 22/06/2019 Ride to West Dean Village Cafe

15 Riders turned up at Chichester Library for today’s ride to West Dean Village Café.


After lining up for a photo we took a bit of a different route out of Chichester heading for the Hospital then out towards Sainsburys supermarket we then picked up Stane Street and made our way to Westhampnett. A left into Clay Lane took us past  my old Primary School of just a few years ago not that many, more than 10 yrs. Moving on we passed Goodwood Motor Circuit then took a left into New Road and made our way to Lavant we stopped half way so as to watch the Racing Cars with some expert commentary from Mike. At Lavant Church we dropped down onto the Centurion way and had a lovely cycle to the new exit at West Dean where we all struggled with the very well-engineered Cyclist friendly exit.

it was just a short distance to our destination. At this point Carol and myself didn’t have time to stop with the group as we had to get back for Carols big 50th Birthday bash, we handed the reins to our very capable backup crew Mike & Roy who led the group back via Centurion way to Chichester.

Thank you Mike & Roy for your assistance

Steve and Carol

Sunday 16th June. Ride to Midhurst

Seven of us gathered at Chichester Cross this morning for the ride to Midhurst: myself (Bob), Harvey, Linda, Mark, Paul, Trevor and Steve. This was despite it being dreary and with rain forecast, so is a magnificent testimony to the hardy adventurousness of the CTC. (Pic)


The rain was forecast to fall mainly between 9 and 11, and it began on the dot at 9. As we set off for the Centurion Way it got harder, and by the time we got to the bottom of Westgate it was fairly bucketing. We took the usual route via West Stoke and Funtingdon aiming for coffee at Compton, but between West Marden and Compton, Linda sprang a puncture, just far enough away from Compton to make walking the bike up to the coffee stop impractical. Thankfully the rain eased off just at that point, so Linda, Mark and Steve gathered round to mend the tyre while the rest of us went off and helpfully made ourselves comfortable and warm in the village shop.

When we were all gathered I opened a debate about the route post Compton (or rather post South Harting), but there was some difference of opinion. Some preferred a shorter route with better roads through Elsted due to the weather, while Paul suggested cycling on through Rogate and doing a loop via East Anglia, so I compromised in favour of going up through Nywood and then turning right through Trotton, Chithurst and Woolbeding. The road surfaces were as poor as usual and with wet mud and puddles added, so providing further proof of our sturdy ruggedness, but we arrived at Garton’s cafe in Midhurst in good time for a pretty good lunch despite an almost cataclysmic shortage of sausages.

Further debate produced a route home through West Lavington and Selham, to use quieter roads, but veering off at Graffham (thus avoiding a tea break and Duncan Hill), to go through Heyshott to Cocking, though Harvey left us at Graffham preferring the Duncton route. The Heyshott to Cocking road was of course even grottier than usual, but was no problem for our stalwart group, and we took Cocking Hill in our stride and regrouping at the top. (Pic)


That left a ride to Centurion Way at West Dean and back, though sadly Linda suffered another puncture at Lavant, this time dealt with by Mark going home to fetch the car.

My mileage from and back to Chichester was 48.


Thursday 13 June. Evening Ride to the Walnut Tree Runcton

There were 5 at the start at Felpham Leisure Centre. That was possibly more than expected after a day of threatening clouds, high winds and a few spells of light rain. I was the leader (Graham). Joining me were Edwin, Maureen, Mike and David.


We set off through town to  avoid the strong SW  winds, and went down lower Bognor Road across the tracks at Butterlees Farm to avoid the main road, then at Runcton we turned left at Mill Lane and did a wide loop around South Mundham and North Mundham to arrive back on the main road. Then it was East on the recently reopened towpath for about 1/2 mile back towards Runcton where we took our break at the Walnut Tree.


The ride was originally scheduled to go to The Anchor at Sidlesham. However Edwin had reported that the previous day the track across the fields from Pagham was very soft from all the rains causing the bike to jam up with thick sticky mud. We had come to a general conclusion that an evening ride to the Anchor seems to be only feasible if you cut across the fields or use only the busy roads. Any other route just takes too long. We therefore cut the ride short. Normally the Summer Lane route is fine this time of year but this years cool wet Spring meant it was not to be.

For the return I took the riders up Merston Lane and we joined the Bognor-Chichester cycle track to North Bersted, then through the new estate, round the back of Bognor, over Highfield Bridge and back to Felpham.

Round trip to and from the Arun Leisure centre was 17