Sunday 10 November Ride to Pulborough and the DA AGM

On Sunday it was a remarkably sunny day after recent weather. Three of us met at Walberton Pond for a ride to the AGM at Pulborough Village Hall on Sunday 10th; myself, Maureen and Harvey. Our expected leader Sam was not well, so I led and thought as we had time it would be good to go the relatively traffic free route rather than the A29. So we went up through Madehurst to Whiteways, and down Houghton Hill to turn off to Amberley and thence to Wiggonholt. I didn’t know the route from there, but Harvey led us round the bend (so to speak) to Pulborough. We had made good time, arriving at about 10 for the meeting which started at 10.30.

There was pretty good attendance for the AGM, ably chaired as usual by Bob and in an election shocker all the current officers were re-elected unopposed. Edwin plus Dave and Jan Parsons had come up separately; Dave had won the cup for the best Peddler article, and Edwin in his report took the meeting through the trauma of the Great Decision regarding Dissolution-And-Resurrection-With-Affiliation versus Staying-As-We-Are-But-Not-Quite, with the drama of the discussion (the meeting went “Ooooh!”), followed by the tied vote (the meeting went “Erhhhh!”), then the second tied vote (the meeting went  “Eeeek!) followed by the chairman’s casting vote (the meeting went “Aaahhh!”) by which time there was hardly a dry eye in the house.

There were other things going on as well which I sadly couldn’t really hear, so as usual I just clapped when everyone else did.

Afterwards we retired to the Oddfellows Arms. I’m not sure if they were having a temporary crisis or if there has been a change of policy, but there was only very limited basket meals on offer, in contrast to their previous far more solid menu, but it was ok, and good conversation with our Horsham and Arun companions compensated for the food. We returned a different way from the outward journey, travelling west; Edwin joined us as far as Pulborough Station and we continued through Stopham to Fittleworth, where again I wasn’t quite sure of the route, but with Harvey’s help we turned south, then west again through Coates to Barlavington, and up Duncton Hill. I turned right after that to go through the East Dean and Charlton, then up to the racecourse and back through Lavant; Maureen and Harvey continued on the Petworth to Chichester road.

My mileage was 47 (75 kilometres), so about 40 (64 k) from Walberton.


Ride report Saturday 9 November: Bognor to Edgcumbes at Ford

Before we start, let’s make it clear that unfortunately our “no rain guarantee” did not apply to this ride. This is due to the T’s and C’s excluding any pre-existing conditions. It was raining before the ride started which, ipso facto, meant the “no rain guarantee”was void for today’s ride.


Not to worry. There were still six out this afternoon who decided that a Met office warning for heavy rain meant nothing more than a minor inconvenience.

It was the group’s view that we should set out for our intended destination of Edgcumbes Coffee Shop at Ford, so I led Clair, Sam, Steve, Kim, and Maureen under the subway to Upper Bognor from where I took a different route down Mead Lane, through the University grounds to their new Technology Park and out at the new entrance on the Felpham bypass. Then it was up to the Leisure centre and round the back emerging at the rear of  Felpham school.

At this point it was becoming clear that the elements were against us and that getting soaked whilst riding against a headwind was not all it was cracked up to be. We considered what to do and the idea was put forward to divert to the new cafe on the Blakesmead Estate. I’ve been past  “Wishfield Coffee” which is next to the Premier Convenience store several times but never ventured in.

So today seemed like a good time!

A couple of twists and turns brought us to New Barn Lane and the re-surfaced bridleway (well, there’s no sign saying it isn’t) that leads into Blakesmead. Then the cafe was easily found. It’s nicely presented with copious supplies of cake. They also seem to do what might be termed ‘light lunches’ so possibly would be a suitable destination for a short Wednesday ride.



After whiling away time in there, the rain was if anything, getting worse so Sam Maureen and Kim headed straight for home whilst I led Clair and Steve back into Bognor where I ended the ride after an embarrassingly short 5 3/4 miles. But at least we got out there and did it!


Sunday 3rd November, Ride to Durleighmarsh Tea Barn, Nr Petersfield

A good turnout for the long ride to Durleighmarsh on Sunday: myself (Bob) leading, with Mike, Sam, Maureen, Martin, Russell, Michael and Paul, on a cheerily sunny day, if also a bit cold, and Michael dragooned another cycle club to take a picture of us, returning the favour for them:


We went the usual way through Rowlands Castle to our coffee stop at Keydell’s, Horndean, Martin and Sam pointing out a golf club along the way I’d never noticed before, as by that stage in the journey my attention is already focussing on the joyful anticipation of the George VI post box along Links Lane. We sped past both of these notable landmarks however, and made good time to Horndean in the light winds.

After coffee we turned right off the main road to go through Blendworth and down the hill to Chalton, where sadly Martin left us to return home. The rest of us went up the hill towards Idsworth, but at the junction just past the railway bridge turned left to go up past Ditcham School, as it was still half term. The stop for a breather at the top was especially lovely, the bright weather making the stunning views from there quite fabulous. After the downhill to Ditcham we turned left onto the main road; I had a wobble of confidence just before the fork at Nursted, wondering whether I had taken a wrong turning at the junction with the main road (I had ridden the route last Tuesday but had thought I would be able to remember it better than turned out to be the case). Anyway Sam assured me that we were on the right road, and after the fork went round the expansively beautiful countryside to Durford, where the Rother os crossed by a narrow stone bridge, with several arches. Looking it up just now, it seems Durford Bridge was constructed about 1600 and is a scheduled monument.

The good weather had begun to cloud over a little, but was still fine enough for us to eat outside at the Tea Barn; you do get a good lunch and service there. Michael managed his usual trick of persuading someone to abandon their wife and children to take our likeness:


After which we returned over the road back to Durford but then continued through West Harting. I added a bit at the top of South Harting, to turn left instead of right so as to go up and right through East Harting. Sadly my memory wobbled a bit again at some of the turnings, but with Sam’s prompting we arrived at Turkey Island. I had intended to go up the hill there, but was feeling a bit knackered so turned off left to go through Elsted. Russell had intended to leave us and go up the Turkey Island hill if we did that to take a shorter route back, but in the event stayed with us as the hill road surface looked a bit grotty (it had been so last Tuesday and after the heavy rain on Saturday was bound to be worse). But the route through Elsted and Treyford (where I was careful to point out the VR post box to everyone’s delight, encapsulated eloquently by Sam’s comment of “Oh for God’s sake don’t you start”),

to Bepton and Cocking does take in some of the best of Sussex countryside.

The Moonlight tea rooms at Cocking were shut for some reason, so we went up the hill and decided on a split: Maureen and Mike turned off at Singleton to go back via the Petworth road; Michael and Russell at West Dean to take the Centurion Way, Paul and Sam at Hunter’s Lane, but I alone, heroically and steadfastly carried the Flame into the very centre of Chichester where I bought some socks.

My mileage was 47 (75 kilometers).

There follows the Route taken from Michael which was longer as he started from Bognor