Sunday 1st December Ride to the Club Christmas Lunch

Six of us turned out for the Appetite Improvement Ride before Christmas dinner at the Walnut Tree today.  At the Cross at 8.45 were myself leading, Sam, Rosemary, Jason, Michael and Recently Published Author (of a letter in this month’s Cycle magazine) Maureen. Weather was pretty cold, but clear, dry and sunny.


So off we went down West Street, Compton bound. I had thought it would be nice to change from the usual route down Centurion Way and through West Stoke, and I’ve developed an aversion to Centurion Way until the leaves have all decomposed. Instead I was determined to Seek Out New Roads and Boldly Go Where No CTC Ride has Gone Before. But actually there aren’t any new roads so I just went a slightly different way, down Clay Lane to turn right at Southbrook Road and up to West Ashling, then Watery Lane to Funtingdon, where we couldn’t help but notice a suspicious lack of any alien life at all. After that we were back on the usual route anyway, my adventurous spirit exhausted, so we continued through West Marden etc to Compton.

The weather was so sunny by this time that we comfortably sat outside. Well, reasonably comfortably, the lady gave us some blankets to hold off the worst of the ice and snow, and I don’t think anyone lost more than a few fingers to frostbite. Over coffee I was pleased to excite the company with news of my Amazing New Hearing Aids and demonstrated their superbness by being able to hear Sam taking the piss. Mostly.


After coffee, my Spirit of Adventure rekindled, we reboarded the Enterprise and shot off to Little Green, and thence up and down hills towards Idsworth. Up to there an unwary observer may have been lulled into thinking we were taking the same boring route as usual to Rowlands Castle, but I had another trick up my sleeve. In a swashbuckling act of audacity I turned left instead of right after Finchdean, and we climbed up the long hill to Forestside, where Maureen and Rosemary spotted a pair of Red Kites apparently attacking another, smaller, bird of prey. The brains of the men in the party hadn’t been active enough to do more than watch Sam having a fag, but after the women pointed the birds out we were able to see them wheeling round each other, though they had stopped fighting by then, presumably miffed that we hadn’t been taking any notice. Don’t blame them.

So we turned right and had the Reward of All Our Efforts after hill climbing whizzing down the long straight hill past Stansted, then up again and down Monks Hill to Westbourne, and back through Woodmancote. The party began to fragment going into Chichester; we turned off at St. Bartholomew’s to go through the college, but Rosemary and Jason went back into Chichester for their cars to drive to the Walnut Tree. The rest of us went down Kingsham and Quarry Lane to go over the bridge. As we were in good time I thought we would go the longer route down the cycle path along the Bognor Road to Marsh Lane to avoid the traffic on Vinnetrow Road, and despite Sam’s exasperated cries of “THE PUB’S ABOUT 2 MILES THAT WAY” we did that, Maureen leaving us as she didn’t want any dinner.

And dinner was jolly good, at least mine was. Seemed to be lots of us, not sure how many exactly. (Edwin reports 21) Highlights for me, apart from the good conversation and company, were: my sea bass, perfectly cooked; the successful summoning of the United Nations as a mediator when I realised my name wasn’t on the Pudding List, but Dave obviously dealt with this by telepathy because I grabbed one anyway and then there was still one to spare, which we scoffed between us; me putting Sam right about his Mistaken Political Opinions (though apparently his granddaughter agrees with me so I must congratulate Sam on his grandparenting skills), and Michael shouting from the other end of the table to Sam about next week’s ride, which Sam couldn’t hear but I COULD due to my Amazing New Hearing Aids, so I was able to patronise someone else about their hearing, which was even more delicious than the pudding.


In fact I think it was after 3 we left, so the dinner was well over 2 1/2 hours. The three of us who had eventually arrived together (me, Michael and Sam) left together, going at first down to Marsh Lane again which Sam was now reconciled to, and then he wanted to go on a detour, so in further Spirit of Discovery we turned right instead of left on the Bognor Road. Michael left us to continue back to Bognor, and Sam and I went down Colworth Lane and Woodhorn Lane. The light in the now setting sun was just beautiful, a thrilling golden lambency, making a rural peacefulness luminous and joyful.



Sam pointed out various parts of the old Tangmere Airfield in the arable fields; a place where engines were tested, and where boundaries and old roads had changed. We crossed to go behind Oving and giggling, sneaked up on the Gribble from behind to shake it up a bit, scurrying away before we were caught.

And from there back. My computer seemed to have gone wrong, I think I must have reset it by accident half way through, but Sam reckoned we had done 33 miles up to the Walnut Tree, so I think about 40 in total, not bad for a half day ride and with a jolly good lunch and jolly good company in the middle.


Pictures in order from Michael, Edwin and Bob

Sunday 24 November. Amended Ride to Hambledon

For the 2 rides yesterday both Rides had a change of destination on the day and ended up coincidentally doing parts of the same route

For the ride starting 9.00 Chichester Cross It was a short ride yesterday; 34miles. Coffee at Horndean; but coffee machine not working!.  Then it was on to Chalton then Idsworth through Compton down to Funtington. Watery Lane and home. There were  4 out. Russell, Paul, Mark Jones & Myself

Sam Roberts

Sunday 24th November Morning Ride to Rowlands Castle

The Three Musketeers, Ann, Jason and Michael had a super bike ride today from the Royal Oak in North Bersted to the Bumblebee Cafe in Rowlands Castle, for bake well tart and bread and butter pudding.


Then it was back via Compton with a photo stop at the top of Idsworth Hill.



Then on via Funtington  and West Stoke. The Autumnal colours were breathtaking. The company was fun and entertaining and you made for amazing Cycle Buddies. We were impressed by Jason’s ‘Flying Gate’ handmade bike. Keep in touch and see you on another bike ride before the end of 2019.

Check out my ride on Strava


Michael Eastham

Saturday Ride 23rd November from Chichester Library to Hilliers Garden Centre,

 Six cyclists gathered at Chichester Library, namely Philippa (leading), Steve, Maureen, Terry, Dave & Lucy, for a ride to Hilliers Garden Centre in Bosham.  The weather was dull and overcast, but it was nonetheless fairly mild for the time of year and, most importantly, dry.

Heavy rain was forecast for later on in the afternoon, so Philippa decided to lead a short ride around the Bosham Hoe loop.

The group set off and made their way towards West Street and Westgate.  Crossing over the roundabout at Westgate, they continued down towards the footbridge over the level crossing, to take them into Fishbourne Road East.  The route then continued under the A27 and along the cycle path past Fishbourne Roman Palace and soon emerging onto the A259.  A left turn was then taken down Old Park Lane providing much relief from the busy traffic.

At the first t-junction, the group turned left to go down Hoe Lane in a southerly direction.  The road then bent round to the west to change into Smugglers Lane and north, changing into Lower Hone Lane.  Before too long, the group was greeted with the magnificent view across the water from Shore Road to the village of Bosham, and everyone stopped for a moment whilst Philippa took some photos.


Unfortunately, at this point, poor Terry toppled from his bike.  Fortunately he was unhurt, save for being bruised and rather shaken up.  After checking that Terry was able to continue cycling, Philippa led the group down Stumps Lane and then on to Taylors Lane where the wind whipped across the open fields, slowing down the pace.

At the end of Taylors Lane, heading north, everyone took a right turn into Walton Lane and then another right turn into Chequer Lane, emerging onto the A259.  From there, it was a short trip along the cycle path to Hilliers Garden Centre, arriving at approximately 2.15 pm.

At Hilliers, we met up with Steve’s wife, Carol, and their delightful 3-year old grandson, Otto, who provided much amusement.  Whilst tucking into tea and cake (and the odd early mince pie!), the group noticed that the weather had deteriorated and had turned into heavy rain.  The route back was direct – straight along the A259 cycle path – as it was the quickest option back to Chichester!  The time of arrival back in town was approximately 3.45 pm.


Sunday 17 November. Ride to Blossoms Cafe, Stansted

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.

1. Start17Nov19

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.

2. Elevenses17Nov19

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.

3. Lunch17Nov19

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.

4. WestAshling117Nov19

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.

5. WestAshling117Nov19

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.

6. Tea17Nov19

Mileage was around 30 from and back to Chichester.


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!