Sunday 12 May Ride to Stedham

Four of us met up at the Cross for today’s ride to Stedham: myself leading, Russell, Alan and Sam. It was bright and warm in the sun, but not that warm out of it. Thankfully the wind was fairly light, as it was forecast to be northerly, so against us, going, and helpfully veering to southerly to be against us coming back.

Start 12May19Stedham

We set off up Centurion Way, through Funtingdon to Compton for a cuppa, where we did get a seat despite a lot of cyclists, so not as bad as last week’s ride. From there we went north through South Harting, turning right at Nyewood to go through the little used and delightful if also badly surfaced lanes through Trotton and Chithurst and down Hammer Lane to Stedham. We had lunch outside the Hamilton Arms, glad of the shade still though we noticed it seemed to get colder.

After lunch we went north again briefly to go through Woolbeding and down to Midhurst, then through West Lavington and along to Selham, where we chose the route going east of Gallows Hill through Great Bury to Graffham. The village shop was still open for drinks and ice cream and we were served by a very friendly lady who was so enchanted by Sam’s banter that she suggested we let his tyres down. However we had a good chat instead, and planned our route, I had intended going though the school grounds to go back via Duncton Hill, but Russell wanted to go the shorter route via Cocking as he hadn’t been well in the week, so we decided to go with him, despite Sam’s conviction that he was bound to get a puncture on the Heyshott road. We managed (just) to get everyone in a selfie.


We went down the Graffham Common Road as I was intrigued by a post card I have, sent to my great aunt in 1912, who was a servant to a family who lived there. I had previously found the spot the photo was taken from, which is just next to the house where she was a maid. And just out of sight round the corner is a VR post box in a wall, so likely the same box the card was originally posted in, and Sam was kind enough to say he wanted a look at it. Shown below are the postcard and the same location now.



The Heyshott to Cocking road wasn’t too bad in the event (or no worse than its usual appalling state). At Cocking Sam pointed out the Moonlight Cottage tea rooms which seem to be open again, at least Friday, Saturday and Sunday so would be good to consider for a future tea stop. After I staggered up Cocking Hill to rejoin the others, we went as usual to Singleton and joined the Centurion Way at West Dean. A very satisfying ride, my mileage was 50 from and back to Chichester.

Bob Birtwell


Saturday Ride 11 May – Bognor Library to Edgcumbes at Ford

Believe it or not, there are still cynics who are not convinced that our Cycle Bognor “no rain guarantee” (terms and conditions apply) is genuine.

I can give no better example than today. With a forecast of intermittent showers, a threateningly dark sky, and an absolute downpour before the ride started, things didn’t look too good. But not a drop of rain fell for the whole ride, and indeed the return was done under a a scorching sun.

I led Mike, Steve, Harvey, Chris, Suzanne, Robert, David, Sam, Dave, Lucy,  Emma, new riders Valerie, & Tessa, out from Bognor library, then  picked up Carol and Steve by arrangement at Felpham, meaning 16 out this afternoon.


Our route took us via the Arun Leisure centre, The Golf Club, Blake’s Mead and some alleyways


Then the Barnham cycle track up to Barnham where we took Lake Lane, crossed the railway by way of the foot crossing at Maypole Lane, then straight down Ford Lane to Edgcumbes. There we met up with John Maxim, who had come out to take  tea with us.


But after an uneventful ride out a bit of excitement was introduced when Steve found he had clicked his padlock round his bike but left the key at home.  A number of options were considered but we are grateful to another customer at Edgcumbes who retrieved a large hacksaw from his van. Steve then found that his “cheap lock” was more robust than he had given it credit for.   Nonetheless after sterling efforts it was cut off and we set out for home.


Chris Harvey and John went their separate ways and the rest of us returned via Ford Lane, Horsemere Green and down to the Oystercatcher. Then the cycletrack to Comet Corner, Middleton, Summerly and the prom all the way back to central Bognor.


Round trip mileage from, and back to, the library, was 15.3


Sunday 5th May, Ride to the Izaak Walton, East Meon

The winter gloves were back out as five met at a distinctly chilly Chichester Cross for today’s ride to East Meon. I, as ride leader, was joined by Paul, Mike, Michael and Alan. Chris was to meet up with us for lunch, making six in total. (Top temperature was 11c but only feeling like 6c in the wind chill).

We used  a direct route, riding into a gusty northerly wind, to Compton, intending to have elevenses at the village café. However on arrival there were approximately 30 cyclists, all wearing Sportive jerseys, milling around the café. Michael popped inside to “” ask how long the wait was going to be “15-20 minutes”, but on further enquiry we found out that around another 70 cyclists doing the Sportive were expected anytime soon. So it was on to Plan B, into Petersfield for a coffee stop.

Once on the road again, Plan B soon mutated into Plan C and we (I) decided to add a loop into the ride to East Meon, which would give Chris a chance to catch us for lunch but would mean missing out the morning stop. The cycle through the Buriton valley was glorious, definite signs of summer in the trees. The sky was a vivid blue and you could easily have thought it was summer bar for the fact that fingers and toes were decidedly cold! It was then onto Frogmore and our first sighting of the lunch destination before starting the climb to Chidden and the ridge road. This climb is quite steep and goes on a bit and there were the first murmurings of mutiny in the ranks, that maybe the additional loop wasn’t such a good idea!

The effort of the climb was rewarded by fantastic views out to the Isle of Wight and the Solent. Also the road along the ridge has been resurfaced and is wonderfully smooth, at least for a while. We continued climbing to the top of Old Winchester Hill before descending into West Meon on a painfully poor road surface – obviously no money for this section! We soon viewed the pub for the second time in the day and settled down for lunch and Chris’s arrival about 20 minutes later.



Heavy clouds rolled in during lunch, dropping the already none too balmy temperature a few more degrees. Our return route using the Petersfield to QE park cycle path and then Chalton and into Rowlands Castle was wind assisted, resulting in a very healthy pace and an early afternoon coffee stop at Bumblebee’s Café. Alan’s e-bike had no issues keeping up, a very impressive piece of kit.

The new owners of the café really excel in the cake department and we all enjoyed a leisurely cake and coffee stop. I can’t help thinking though that the salted caramel slices that Michael and myself enjoyed should have some sort of addiction health warning – they are truly delicious mega calorie treats, just perfect after a day in the saddle!


The final ten miles back to Chichester were knocked off in good fashion, again benefiting from tailwinds. For the route see map


Distance for the round trip to the Cross was 57 miles but with everyone riding to and from the start, total mileage for the riders was nearer 75-90 miles for the day.

Report by Russell with pictures from Michael

Sunday 28 April Ride to Fernhurst

After Saturday’s gales the weather for Sundays ride was calmer but still fairly breezy and about 14C.. It was a good solid ride. Eight Out meeting at Chichester Cross and Nine coming home. Including 3 “E” bikes!!

At the Cross there was Electric Maureen (Maureen Flint), Linda & Mark (CHI), Electric Alan (Alan Harding) from Bognor, Paul, Mike “The Bag” (Mike Healey with the shoulder bag), Harvey  & Myself.

Sun 28 April19 Start

We went out on the Centurion Way and then Cocking, A286 , Heyshott,  Petworth Rd. at Heath End Duncton, Stopham Bridge, Now revelation!! Tiffin’s for Tea at Petworth. This has changed hands; much better and far more friendly.

After tea: A272 to Tillington; right up the side of Petworth Park Wall to Lurgashall, Lickfold And then Lunch at Red Lion. Found Chris “The Bell” (Chris Dart Bellringer) asleep on The Green.

Sun 28 April19 Lunch

After lunch it was straight through Fernhurst, up through Redford to Stedham. More Tea & Bickies  Then it was onto Iping Crossroads, Left down to East Didling, Bepton, Cocking and Singleton. Then we split: 5 over the Downs & 4 on to Chi via Centurion Way. Cold, dry and windy. Only incident: Linda became bored climbing out of Tillington & threw her chain “Out the Cot”. Mike “ The Bag” took a couple of Pics!

It was 57 miles from and back to Chichester. Average speed for Sam was 12.9

Sam Roberts


Words by Sam (with nickname translations in brackets from Edwin) Pictures thanks to Mike Healey

PS Picture below from Edwin’s visit on Saturday to photograph Storm Hannah at Newhaven

Storm Hannah Blue Sky Wave Attack


Alan has added this report on his new Electric Bike –

Yesterday was the first ‘Real Ride’ on my e-Bike

I bought a Giant Road E = 2 pro a couple of weeks ago from the Giant store in Shoreham by Sea. I rode it home a distance of some 24 miles. I didn’t switch on the power until I was about a mile from when I thought that I should check that it works.

Yesterday I set off on a club ride which started at Chichester 7.5 miles from my home, which I did without switching on the power. Three of us on the ride had electric bikes.

From Chichester Cross we rode to the Centurion Way, the base of an old railway line. This has a gentle climb (referred to as a false flat in racing circles) with a small kick up towards the end of the first section. I have done this section countless times over the last few years at a reasonable speed. Sometimes I drop down a gear for the kick, but most times just honk over the top without changing gear.

The electric bike is a very different kettle of fish! I started to drop back from the group and had to switch on the power to keep up, the extra weight was taking it toll. Weighing in at 25kg that’s probably twice the weight of the Specialized road bike I normally use.

Not having ridden it on a long ride before I kept a careful eye on how much battery power I was using and switched off the power whenever I could.

The motor switches off at over 15mph so on flattish roads when the peloton got moving, I was pushing harder than I would normally have to too keep in the group.

The E Bike only comes into its own on long steep hills. There are four power settings and I used eco the lowest setting whenever I needed to. On most club rides I will use my Specialised road bike and only use the E Bike on long rides over the downs.

It’s going to take some time to get used to it. Door to Door 74 miles with 3,900 ft of climbing.


Sunday 21 April. Long ride to West Marden

Four of us met at Chichester Cross on a disturbingly warm Easter Sunday for the long ride to meet up with the short ride at West Marden: me leading, Russell, Sam and Roger.


My carefully laid plans to have coffee at Horndean, followed by a pleasant ride through Blendworth, Chalton and possibly Up Marden if time allowed were shattered before we even started as Russell pointed out that the Garden Centre at Horndean would be shut as it was Easter. I said “goodness gracious what a nuisance” or words to that effect, and we set off with a vague plan in my mind to go to Rowlands Castle and possibly salvage much of the original plan after that.

However when we got to Westbourne the ranks started to become revolting and wanted to go to Emsworth. So we went to the Greenhouse cafe at Emsworth where Sam and Russell gorged themselves on breakfast, while Roger and I behaved in a more restrained manner. Afterwards we returned through Westbourne and went the usual way to Rowlands Castle, where Sam left us for more coffee and a piddle at the Bumble Bee cafe, having gleaned our intended route up through Finchdean and Idsworth and down through Compton to West Marden. However Russell and Roger had decided not to come for lunch, so when we got past Idsworth I saw the chance to resurrect a bit of my original plan, and the three of us turned left off the South Harting to Compton road, up the steep hill towards Apple Down, where I turned off to Up Marden while Roger and Russell carried on to return via East Marden and Chilgrove.

I got to the Victoria at West Marden to find Sam, slightly miffed at my change of route, plus the short ride led by Arthur, with Lynn, Andrew and Chris.


After a very satisfying lunch I half heartedly offered to lead a longer way back if anyone really wanted. Chris showed unnerving signs of taking my up on this offer, mentioning alarming words like “Kirdford”, but fortunately Lynn explained to him that I was only offering for show and didn’t really want to. So the danger passed and we followed Arthur who, being a man who knows the value of tradition, took us through Funtingdon for tea at the Fishbourne Roman Palace, though we had lost Andrew by that stage.


And from there back to Chichester. My mileage from and to Chichester was 39.

Bob Birtwell

Thursday 18th April Evening Ride to Murrell Arms, Barnham

12 Riders met at ALC for our first evening cycle ride to the Murrell Arms at Barnham 3 new riders Brenda, Beppy, Jenny joined us which we hope to see again.


We made our way via our usual route West Morland Drive to the new relief road and picked up the Bognor/Littlehampton cycleway where we met up with our 13th rider Russell. We made our way past the Oyster Catcher Pub and onto the roundabout that takes you to Ford Prison turning into Horsemere Green Lane then right at T Junction and on into Yapton, we turned right into church lane and past the lovely St Marys Church, at Yapton level crossing we turned left into Lake Lane which as been much improved having the huge pot holes filled which we encountered the last time we took that route, at the end of Lake Lane we turned left under Barnham Rail Bridge and reached our destination on the right, as it was still light and such a lovely evening we all decided to sit in the beer garden where we sat and had a good chin wag.


time past very quickly and it was soon time to leave, as usual Steve had lead the group out and Carol would lead the group home we took the direct route back along Hoe Lane

Thank you everyone for a lovely evenings cycle ride

Steve &Carol

Sunday 14 April. Long Ride to Milland and Short Ride to Singleton

Sunday 14th April ride to Milland

Six met at Chichester Cross on a cold but sunny morning for today’s cycle to Milland. The thermometer may have said 6C but  it felt much colder, It would eventually reach 11C but with a brisk Northerly wind it was a thick gloves day. Regulars Sam, Mike and Bob were joined by Linda and Mark. Sam and myself were doing a joint lead in the absence of the scheduled leader.

After our usual ‘how shall we get there’ discussion, I led the group up a very quiet Centurion Way, past Singleton and over Cocking Hill before turning sharp right past the garage to take the ‘track’ through to Heyshott ( I had recced this earlier in the week and it had dried out nicely), past the polo pitches at Ambersham and into Midhurst. 11s were taken at Garton’s Café where it was just sufficiently sheltered to sit outside. Just as we were preparing to leave, we were approached by a young lady cyclist asking for an allen key to tighten up her bottle cage. This was quickly accomplished but in discussion she mentioned that she was cycling to Amberley Station, but without a map. The next twenty minutes were spent giving her detailed instructions ( which she noted on her phone) on how to use the minor roads , north of the Downs. I wonder if she reached her destination!

By now we were behind schedule, so Sam led us on a shortened , more direct route to the Redford road, and the long climb up to the Fernhurst/Petersfield road. This certainly warmed us up!

Arriving in Milland, we chose the Community shop/café over the pub option for lunch. We had timed our arrival perfectly – we bagged the best inside table and polished off all of the remaining pasty and sausage roll stocks. All agreed it was very tasty! We had a quick game of ‘guess the accent’ with the friendly lady server ( Sam was closest, we are not saying, you will have to visit for yourself and support the community café!) whilst the café filled up.

Post lunch we opted for very quiet lanes taking us through Borden Wood, the long descent into Rogate and a wriggly route through Nyewood, West Harting, Quebec and Goose Green, crossing the Downs at Ditcham. It was here that Sam suffered a rapid blowout puncture, which slightly ruptured the tyre casing. (Ed’s comment: only last week he was telling me how good the Schwalbe Duranos were, on the basis of which I ordered a pair. I wonder if I can change my order to Contis……….)

Luckily a new tube sufficed to get him home, but a tyre is needed asap. A quick coffee at Rowlands Castle and 10 mile cycle into a by now very cold breeze and we were back in Chichester, albeit a little later than planned.

Distance for the ride was 53 miles with an higher than usual elevation gain.



Sunday 14 April. Half Day Ride to Singleton

Harvey led today’s bike ride to the Weald and Downland Museum Cafe, Singleton. We gathered outside for a Photo.


Richard Carlisle also joined us

For the return David Sinclair led me and Rosie back to Felpham and Bersted via Knight’s Hill up to Goodwood and home through Eartham, Walberton and Yapton. Perfect.

Michael Eastham