Saturday 27th July Ride To Russells Garden Centre, Birdham


Carol & Steve lead the ride today as Philippa was unwell, (hope you are feeling better soon Philippa we all missed you) It was a bit of a quick put together ride as Carol and I had only just finished cleaning our bikes so didn’t want no any road tracks after the rain that morning.


We set off from Chichester Library and made our way towards Chichester Bus Station passing through the Tech College grounds , we turned left at the Police Station and made our way out to the A27 via Quarry Lane Industrial estate. We crossed the A27 via the footbridge into Vinnetrow Rd and came out at North Mundham School. Then  a right turn to take us out to the Selsey Rd through Hunston past the Golf Course then right into Green Lane. At this point we stopped to check everyone was ok, then it was off again to Chichester Marina where we had a mechanical adjustment to make to Catherine’s brakes, a quick squeeze with some Pliers and we were away, thanks for your assistance Roy. We crossed the Canal on the footbridge and took the Salterns way which was now drying out quite nicely to Birdham, then on the main Road to Russells Garden Centre on the left.


After securing our bikes to pallets, fencing or post we set about tackling some lovely Tea, Coffee, and Chocolate drinks, and cakes and sandwiches. Time passes quickly when you’re enjoying yourselves and soon it was time to leave, the group split into 2 and thank you to Ian as he lead the first group back to Chichester, Carol and myself lead the 2nd group back to Bognor who were a little bit naughty as we stopped at the Gribble inn for extra refreshments. Well it had now become quite warm and you need to keep your fluid levels up.

Although the day had started quite wet and miserable it was a lovely Cycle ride and we hope to see our new riders Jenny, Kate, and Gail again on future rides

Thank you to everyone

Carol and Steve

Thursday 25th July Cycle Ride To The Gribble Inn

Was it because the weather was so hot or because people are on their holidays, only 5 people turned out for Thursdays ride. We made our way out to the Bognor Littlehampton cycle path stopping at a rest area to check Grahams signage. After establishing it was still intact we made our way to Yapton via Bilsham Lane. At the T Junction we turned left into Yapton Rd and made our way to Barnham, we turned left into Church lane and at the Wilkes Head we took the Cycle path that takes you into Ivy Ln housing estate, we turned left into Westergate street then Right into Hook Ln it was then a lovely quite cycle out to Aldingbourne, we took the main rd to Woodhorn then took the quite lanes and arrived at the Gribble Inn and a surprise as Chris Merrien from Chichester was waiting for us.

We all had our cold drinks and snacks and a good chat time. Too soon it was time to make our way home. We made our way via the back lanes to Colworth and picked up the Bognor Chichester Cycle path it was a beautiful evening and a lot cooler and more comfortable cycle ride home

Carol & Steve

Sunday 21 July. Ride to Whispers Billingshurst

Just two of us met at Walberton Pond for the long ride on Sunday to Billingshurst, Sam leading and myself (Bob) providing the backing music. Sam has taken to the idea of leading from the rear, so I actually led while he bellowed directions.

It was actually really hot and sunny as we sat there at Walberton, so much so that I put my patented Lawrence of Arabia cloth under my helmet to protect the back of my neck from the blazing sun. This instantly caused the sun to go in, and we had only sporadic glimpses of it after until late afternoon. We went the usual way through Madehurst and Whiteways and down Houghton Hill to Wiggonholt for coffee, where we were greeted (or Sam was anyway) like long lost friends by the server chap, and indeed by a sparrow which ate out of Sam’s hand.


From there we continued north through West Chiltington, having to make a right turn at what Sam referred to as “Bob’s corner” where I came second in a ramming contest with a Landrover last year. I actually nearly rode straight past it, obviously an unconscious reluctance to turn there. However I managed it this time without charging at any motorised vehicles at all, and we turned left at the village to Broadford Bridge, then right off the Adversane Road to Whisper’s Cafe at Billingshurst. We had made cracking good time, and got to the cafe before 11.30.

We had a decent lunch there, debating whether to do the whole route as planned, especially as it was quite dull and the clouds looked black enough for rain. But we set off anyway, though of course had to cope with the Billingshurst Problem: that the only decent way into or out of it is the West Chiltington route we had come, so any alternative route is rubbish for traffic. Sam thought the least rubbishy route was the A272, so we took that to Wisborough Green. I’m not sure about whether it was the best route but it was certainly the quickest; we got to Wisborough Green in about quarter of an hour. Then of course we could turn off to use more civilised roads to Kirdford. The original plan had been to have tea there, but we got to the village stores slightly before 12.30. So not wanting a second lunch we carried on through Balls Cross to Ebernoe, where the road crosses through the middle of the cricket field. There we stopped for a breather; the wicket was all set up for a game with stumps in readiness but nobody at all around, so they had obviously been abducted by aliens. We stopped for a breather and made a complete pig’s ear of taking a selfie. We thought we’d take one that was of us in front of the wicket. The first attempt we missed the wicket and looked like zombies:


The second included the wicket (just), but, we thought, didn’t display our handsome side to the best.


The third also got the wicket but we still looked like mafia:


The last we were happy with the cheerful way we looked, but managed to blot out the wicket entirely:


So we gave that up and set off again, and contemplating the ashes of my ambition to be a photographer I consoled myself with a pic of a VR post box down the road:


We continued through Lurgashall, Lickfold and Fernhurst, then down to Stedham where we had tea at the greenhouse cafe in the garden centre. Our respective knees had been feeling the strain a bit getting that far, and we contemplated returning straight back from Stedham up Cocking Hill. Sam had in fact planned a hillier route involving somewhere I didn’t quite catch, sounded like Everest but I may be mistaken. But anyway the ice cream and a drink at the Greenhouse revived us and we continued as planned, through Elsted and up the steep hill at Turkey island, and thence down through North Marden to return via Stoughton and Walderton. My mileage from Chichester was 73, so about 65 from Walberton, exactly as advertised! It was a really lovely day out.

Bob Birtwell

Sunday 21 July Morning only Ride to Prinsted

There were 2 Rides today with the short morning only Ride being to Prinsted nr Emsworth. Arthur was the leader and he was joined at Chichester Cross by Edwin, Harvey, Bill Hall and Bob and Gill Marshall by Tandem. Lynn joined us at Prinsted so 7 out in all.


It was a pleasant warm and dry day with temperatures up to 20C and sunny early and late with cloud in the middle of the day.

Arthur led us via West Street and Clay Lane to stop for a preliminary elevenses stop at the Woodmancote Pub.

Then it was on via Westbourne and the path to Emsworth. Then a short stretch of main road before turning off onto minor lanes to Prinsted to the Sea Scouts at Prinsted and our second elevenses. We continued on the cycle route on the A259 to the Bosham roundabout. Arthur, Lynn and Harvey turned off here to go to Bosham for lunch. Bill and myself continued to head for home on our separate routes.


14th July. Ride to The White Lion Soberton

Three of us gathered at the Cross for today’s ride to Soberton; myself leading, Sam and Russell. It was dry and quite warm, though the weather forecast threatened some rain mid morning, which didn’t materialise thankfully.


We set off over the Fishbourne bridge to Clay Lane, through Woodmancote and Westbourne to Rowlands Castle, and thence to coffee at Keydell’s Garden Centre, Horndean. There sadly Russell had to leave us, and he returned home via Compton to a family commitment which suspiciously involved watching the cricket on the telly all afternoon.

Sam and I continued through Catherington down to Day Lane, then Broadway Lane to Crossways, turning left at Rushmere Lane, and down to Uplands Road through Anthill Common. I decided to avoid World’s End as I feel depressed enough with the news as it is, so we turned right into Broad Lane and right again into the Fareham Road, then left to Newtown, taking Liberty Road (bit more cheering) through Soberton Heath, then left and right beside Upperton Copse to stop just before a bridge over the Meon Valley Way.

With a bit of a struggle getting past a car parked by a git, blocking the entrance, we got onto a footpath leading us onto the cycleway, and turned right onto it to travel north. It was lovely, the surface is firm and smooth, the tree canopy over the old railway line high and beautiful and even I cheered up. The engineering of the railway line was so impressive even this long after closure, deep cuttings followed by high embankments, wide trackway and we passed through lovely scenery, especially where the River Meon passed close to the line. After a couple of miles or so we got to a path that lead up to the White Lion at Soberton, where we had a good lunch despite the depressing news that they don’t do their excellent fish and chips on a Sunday. This is obviously Boris Johnson’s fault.

I had intended to go back on the Meon Valley line to continue north to what used to be Droxford Station, before turning off to go through Clanfield and Chalton home. But Sam was so enamoured of the Meon Valley that he wanted to stay on it, and I thought that was a lovely idea as well. So we got back to it and went past Droxford Station, which enabled a better view than I had managed previously: the station is still intact, though a private house now, with platforms and canopy still extant. We took a selfie at the end of the platform, the only bit still on public land



We continued down the line, past Old Winchester Hill to West Meon where also the platform still stands, though in a less well preserved way. Sam looked down the line bewildered that a train due in 1955 could be so late.


The line does continue past West Meon, but isn’t open as a cycleway, or anything way it seems, but is as impressive as the earlier sections in its cathedral like tree cover


Obviously we then had to have a coffee at Cuppacheenos in West Meon


and then went through East Meon, Sam pointing out the remains of the West Meon viaduct, still amazing when you knew where to look even through the now dense tree cover. After East Meon we turned left down Frogmore to Buriton, up the steep hill and thence to Rowlands Castle for another cuppa at the Bumblebee. And from there back through Westbourne to home. My mileage was 60.

Bob Birtwell

Evening ride Thursday 11 July To the Spur Slindon

A perfect evening for a ride tonight, sunny, warm, and with a light North Easterly wind. There were 6 of us at the Arun Leisure Centre start point….John, Maureen, Harvey, brand new riders Nick, Mandi, and myself.

I led the group round the back of the leisure centre and up to the golf club where we took the traffic free route through the new estate, across the relief road and onto Stanover Lane where we joined the Barnham cycle track through to Barnham church.


Then it was onwards to Walberton pond where we took West Walberton Lane up to Fontwell. As we did so there was the unusual sight of a police vehicle screaming through this narrow lane at high speed. Before we reached Fontwell the police helicopter passed low overhead. What they were doing became clear later.

After reaching Fontwell we took the subway under the A27 and then an off road track through Slindon Woods to join Park Lane where we had a gentle climb to Slindon village. Then downhill to the A29 and a short sharp climb to the Spur and a welcome stop.


The return route was a reasonably straight route down Shellbridge Road to the A27 where we crossed on the level. However as we approached it became clear there was no traffic at all. Instead a considerable number of police and vehicles had gathered at the junction, to the West of which was the wreckage of a car.

We started to cross the carriageway and got shouted at by an officer who said we had spoiled the “reconstruction” that he was photographing. He directed us to go a bit further down behind him. I asked how we would know where to cross and he indicated I should have asked one of the 4 or 5 officers apparently not doing very much who were some way away on the opposite side to us. It seems to me that one of those officers would have been more usefully employed on the side of the road that unwitting cyclists may be likely to approach from.


Once finally across the A27 we briefly assisted another group of cyclists waiting on the other side and in need of a spare 26 inch tube. Then it was straight down to Yapton, Bilsham, and Comet Corner to the cycle track that took us back to Felpham and then back where we started.

The round trip mileage was 16.5