Today the weather was dry with clouds and some sun mainly in the morning but cold starting at about 4C rising to 10C and light winds. It made for a fair day for a bike ride. 8 started from Chichester Cross with a 9th, Graham joining us soon after we started. Arthur was the leader joined by myself, Edwin, Lynn, Sam, Maureen, Jason, Rosemary and new member Paul.
We headed out on West Street picking up Graham on Westgate. Then it was following the South Coast Cycle Route lanes via Clay Lane and passing close to West Ashling to Woodmancote. It is reassuring to know that when following Arthur on a ride going west elevenses will be at the Woodmancote Inn and Tea at Fishbourne Roman Palace Cafe. At Woodmancote some of us took advantage of the deal for a Coffee and a very large slice of Cake. It is not for nothing that the Pub has a sign, The Cyclists Pits stop. Sam left us here to go home. He had wanted to get out but it sounded like he had real Flu.
We continued to Westbourne but rather than taking the usual route up the Hill Arthur took us on a new route taking a loop. We continued west towards Havant but a little way on turned right on Hollybank Lane up a hill and onto Long Copse Lane. Unbeknown to us we were now heading east and ended up, a little dizzy by know nearly back where we started at Westbourne. Sorry about that comment Arthur must be picking up bad habits from Bob Birtwell’s Reports.
Now back on track we took the long Monks Hill road to a T Junction with the busy Emsworth Common Road where it was right and quickly a left onto a lane to Stansted Park. Our cafe for lunch Blossoms Cafe is in the Garden Centre and has had a full renovation and is much improved. Before lunch Graham took a try out of Maureen’s Electric Bike and returned unscathed.
As we were leaving many people took advantage of a Photo Call.
We returned on a similar route minus the loop and after Woodmancote went into West Ashling Village and stopped for a Photo call at the Pond.
A swan and 5 of its Cygnets headed towards us probably hopeful of food but sadly nobody had any or was willing to share it.
Then it was on the short way to tea at Fishbourne Roman Palace Cafe. Arthur obtained the important information about their mid winter closing times. They will remain open for December and January only at weekends. Mid week they are closed.
Mileage was around 30 from and back to Chichester.