Three of us met at the Cross for the ride to the Royal Oak at Hooksway, myself (Bob) leading, plus Harvey and Sam. Chris looked in on his way to bell ringing and hoped to catch us up for lunch, and Edwin had said he aimed to be there for lunch as well but taking a shorter route after his long period off the bike.
We started down West Street at a good pace in the warm weather, and took the usual Clay Lane route through Westbourne to Rowlands Castle, where we stopped for coffee at the Beehive. There we noticed a small group including our own members Mark and Linda, who it turned out were on their way to a pop up cafe at the Bat and Ball, which evidently opens on the last Sunday of each month, something to remember for future rides.
Afterwards we continued towards Horndean, but turned right beforehand down Pattersons Lane through Blendworth, then down the hill to Chalton. We turned right there to go through Idsworth and after several streams of mini cars (presumably a mega-rally of Minis) crossed the Compton to South Harting road to continue past East Marden and through North Marden to Hooksway.
There as he planned Edwin was waiting and Chris joined us.
We had a good lunch and decided on a hill free route back, so we could all travel together, and as we started off Sam pointed out the remains of the old road to Petersfield at the top of Hooksway and at North Marden.
Edwin continues the report with some of his pictures
We continued the ride from North Marden down via East Marden and the pretty Well in the middle of the road. Then we continues on a narrow road through Wildhams Wood with a Police Car giving way to us and calling out have a good one (ride) as we passed. Then more gentle downhill past Stoughton and Walderton. We went straight on down the B2147 past the climb to Funtington to the T Junction. After some discussion about 1st or 2nd right we turned off towards the lower road from Woodmancote.
Bob and Edwin were ahead and not seeing Sam and Chris assumed they had turned at the second turn. After a short wait at the junction Sam and Chris turned up to report that Chris had a puncture but reported that it had swiftly but messily been repaired because Chris had come gooey tyre repair sealant. More of that anon though.
We continued towards West Ashling turning off on the usual route back when after a swift discussion on the ride a decisions was made for a tea stop at the Fishbourne Roman Palace Cafe, Arthur style. We were soon ensconced in the hot sunshine with refreshments
Soon after Arthur and Lynn coincidently turned up and joined us. When Chris got ready to leave he found his tyre was down again with too much sealant having been lost previously. On the Cafe wall above the Cycle Stands was a friendly and appropriate sign.
Sam reported that mileage from and back to Chichester for the main group was 38.
Report by Bob and Edwin