Sunday 27th September Ride to Midhurst

The ‘noble six’ rode out from Chichester Cross at 8.00am this morning in an eight-degree centigrade windchill towards Midhurst, via Alfred Lord Tennyson’s House, Aldworth on Black Down. Sam, Adam, Alan, Maureen, Bob and our intrepid leader, Michael ventured off up Centurion Way and out past Lavant School and Stables and on to the A286 past Anthony Eden’s former home “Old Binders” in Binderton and on through West Dean and Singleton and over Cocking Hill. The Team sped down through Cocking and turned right onto Bex Lane and rode up and down the country lanes to Graffham Village Store for morning coffee. During the coffee stop we were entertained by Sam’s stories about his taxi days, driving Charlie Watts (from the Rolling Stones) home from the Night Club; the time that Sam made an incredible retracting staircase into the basement of Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor’s house for his most challenging client – Roger’s wife; and Alan’s story about Chris Evans ordering a pink Rolls Royce from the Chichester factory and donating it to Breast Cancer Relief; and the fact that Nick Mason from Pink Floyd lives in Dell Quay, owns a host of racing cars and rents them out to clients.

After this plethora of fabulous stories, the magical mystery tour moved on out towards Lickfold and Lodsworth, where EH Sheppard, the illustrator of the Winnie the Pooh books once lived; and Lodsworth was once the home of Ranulph Fiennes, who was known to set fireworks off around the village when film crews arrived and started filming.


The ‘noble six’ soon found themselves at the foot of Black Down, and the ascent began in earnest! It was tough going climbing up Quell Lane to the house called ‘Abesters’, which included a 21% ascent. We had all crunched our gears as far as they could go and were left relying on sheer mental strength to keep ascending. Sam and Alan reached the top first, followed by Michael, then Adam and Maureen; followed by Bob, who was obviously suffering, walking his bike the last few metres to the gates of ‘Abesters’. Sam told the assembled throng of very tired cyclists that there would be no more ascents up Black Down – we didn’t realise it at the time but Uncle Sam was being economical with the truth, but these little white lies were “to help Bob and Maureen!!!” After a jolly ride up and down the country lanes on Black Down, cycling past Tennyson’s former house at Aldworth, we started the long descent towards Midhurst, riding back through Lickfold, Lodsworth and Selham. Hearts dropped when Sam thought it would be a jolly jape to turn right in Lickfold and pretend to start to climb Bexley Hill; at which point Bob and Maureen threatened to mutiny, before ‘our illustrious leader’ put an end to such jollification!


We soon realised that Maureen was tired when, every time we stopped to allow a rider to catch us up, she would do her sleeping beauty impersonation draped over the handlebars. ‘Our illustrious leader’ soon realised that he needed all his wits about him when he was sent a cropper and joined the airborne division. Following this airborne interlude – which wasn’t half as impressive as Maureen’s airborne display on the A259 earlier in the summer – we all cycled on for lunch at Garton’s Cafe in Midhurst, where we found ourselves being served by Father Ted’s housekeeper, Mrs Doyle, and Sam soon entered into some blarney with this amazing woman, who ran the cafe as her personal fiefdom. During the lunch break we discussed the concreting over of Chichester and Arun with housing developments, and we considered whether it was worth starting a rebellion in an attempt to stop the housing building; the fact that there is a lack of cycleways in the two districts; and the discovery of a Roman camp or fort in Chichester.


After lunch, it was decided that we would cycle out along the country lanes to Bepton and Cocking and ride back over Cocking Hill, on to Singleton and Lavant, from where Sam and Bob took their separate ways to Chichester; and Michael, Alan, Adam and Maureen cycled to Bognor Regis and Felpham via Tangmere and Colworth.


The ‘noble six’ cycled 54.9 miles from Chichester, back to Chichester, climbed up to 3,724 feet, with an average speed of 11.9mph and a maximum speed of 44.5mph and the most recited quote of the day was “not another hill!!!” By mid-afternoon, the sun had come out and the temperature had risen to a balmy 16 degrees centigrade.




Sunday 13th September Ride to Kirdford

Four Out.

Paul, Michael, Robert & Myself.

Singleton, Cocking, Heyshott, Graffam(Coffee)

Seaford College, Sutton, Bury, Houghton(Breakfast),


Pulborough, Garden Centre (No lunch) 11.55AM. Fittleworth, Bedham hill, Kirdford (Coffee: Lunch!),

North Chapel, Lurgashall, Lodsworth, Selham, Cowdary Polo, Heyshott, Cocking(Ice cream) Home.

72Miles Back in Chi 4.00PM . Max:43.5MPH down Cocking. Av: 13.1. MPH. Climbing : 4159’-00 Max Gradient: 20% Bignor Mill Hill

Michael has some pretty pics!!


Sunday 6th September Ride to West Liss

Five met at Chichester Cross for one of the trial 8am ride starts, destination West Liss. Sam as leader being joined by Paul, Russell, Adam and Mark, who was joining his first group ride in six months. The group took the usual route out to Rowlands Castle before continuing at a good pace via Ditcham, where Mark bade farewell to make his own way back, before stopping at  Durleighmarsh Tea rooms for a very early elevenses. A leisurely stop was enjoyed in warm autumn sunshine.
Continuing the ride it was a short fast cycle along the A272 to Roegate, up the long hill and onto West Liss, arriving at the intended destination, The Spread Eagle Inn, much too early for lunch. A quick conflab followed and we took the Hawkley road, turning off to pass through Steep Marsh and Steep before stopping for lunch at Cupacheenos in West Meon. As usual the outdoor seating was full of cyclists but we managed to bag the vacant table in the conservatory, enjoying a pleasant 45 minute stop.
The afternoon route home, again taken at a good pace ( yes, that was me hanging off the back!) saw us climb Old Winchester Hill, pass Mercury Park and take the long descent to Hinton Manor, pausing at Rowlands Castle for afternoon tea.
We arrived back in Chichester just before 4pm after a very enjoyable day
out , 67 miles Cross to Cross.

Sunday 6 September Ride to The Boulevard Café, East Wittering

Arthur was the leader on this Ride and he was joined at 10.00 at Chichester Cross by Lynn, Graham, Bill, Lawrence Dooley a newcomer to the area and myself (Edwin)

We headed out on the usual route on West Street and then picking up  Appledram Lane towards Dell Quay before turning off on the Salterns Way to Chichester Yacht Club. We stopped off for elevenses at The Beach House Café. We were lucky to avoid having to use the App to order by using an outside Caravan which does hot drinks and seemed to be open only when it is busy.

After elevenses I left the group and headed home via Hunston and completed 19 miles includingthe  ride to the start. The others continued via Birdham Pool and Birdham to the lunch stop at East Wittering.