The ride today wasn’t far as the crow flies but offered plenty of scope for a circuit around the countryside. That was however before the weather took an unseasonable turn for the worse.
The Cyclebognor no rain guarantee was never in danger of being tested as the problem today was wind. At the ride start time a South- westerly was blowing at 32mph with gusts of 53mph. Many local events had been cancelled due to the forecast conditions.
With this in mind I didn’t expect to see anyone at the start point. In fact there were 5, with Edwin joining us at Pagham making 6 out in all. Apart from Steve, David, Sam and me, we had a brand new rider, Fiona with us.
To avoid as much wind as possible I decided not to go too far afield and took a sort of “tacking” route from the library over Highfield Bridge to South Bersted, then Hawthorn Road, Nyewood Lane, some contortions through Aldwick to Rose Green, then Nyetimber and after 6 or so miles, to Pagham where we stopped at the Beach Cafe.
The route back was much easier with the wind now behind us.
I took the group through the Bay Estate and then, new to us all, a detour through Bluebell Wood at Craigweil, thanks to Fiona’s local knowledge.
Then estate roads to Dark Lane. As a born and bred Bognorian I used to go to the beach at the bottom of Dark Lane when that was where Dark Lane went to. Now Dark Lane is no longer dark with overhanging trees, instead it is severed by new roads serving new estates. And it seems some of the riders weren’t aware the beach was accessible. So we took a very short detour to see it, and noted the restored memorial there as well.
From there we joined the prom and with the wind behind were literally blown along all the way back to Bognor.
A slightly shorter ride than normal due to the bad weather, the round trip mileage was 12.