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