The first Saturday ride of the new year and an astonishing 22 riders with 21 bikes … yes Bob and Gill came on their tandem. The numbers surely a record for January. This is possibly partly due to publicity around the cyclebognor Facebook group now affiliating to CyclingUK from 1st January and becoming a new group in West Sussex, from which there were many members and supporters.
The weather was windy and dull with rain constantly threatening and in fact a few drops fell before we set off but in the end the whole ride was completed there and back with the wet weather gear unused. So the no rain guarantee held again!
We split into two groups with nominated leaders and back markers for each team and set out down a few Bognor side roads to join the prom at West Street. Here we encountered a strong headwind which made it hard going.
However we came off the prom at Marine Park and took a more inland route after which the wind was a lot less noticeable.
I took the group via Chawkemere across Aldwick Green and then the duck pond where we joined the lower Bognor road for a short hop to Parigo Farm where we took the concrete off road farm tracks to Lagness.
From there a short hop along a busy B road took us past Manor Nursery and a right turn towards Merston.
where we turned again down Green Lane and the Bridleway through the food park to reach the Chichester road. We were slightly delayed reaching the Chichester cycle track as Andy pulled up with a puncture. But he had slime in the tyres, and so he pumped up the flat, it inflated, the slime did it’s work and it gave no trouble for the rest of the ride.
Then down the cycle track to the Brick Kiln where the restaurant was quiet and had plenty to tempt.
On the way back we first crossed the road to the cycle track near Merston
The return trip was straight down the cycle track to Colworth where we took the loop round the village, then estate roads and tracks to North Bersted, South Bersted and central Bognor, with riders dropping off all along the way to make their own ways home.
The round trip mileage was a modest 13.2