Sunday 2nd April Freewheel

The weather on Sunday was fair being cloudy in the morning and Sunny later in the afternoon reaching 10C.

Starting out from Chichester Cross were Sam (Leader) Adam, Bob,  Maureen and Harvey. I (Edwin) met the group at Lunch. After changing a chain the previous day with the wrong type of link Sam had too much slippage and had to turn back

All 3 West Sussex Groups were originally due to meet for lunch at The Rising Sun Nutbourne. However that and all the other local pubs were booked up (maybe start of School holidays) Thus we changed lunch stop to the Meadows Café and Store, Thakeham.

After lunch we went to the hilltop the start of the Freewheel competition on Broadford Bridge Road north of West Chiltington and first regrouped at the top.

The idea of the Freewheel is to start with one turn of the pedals to get started and then not pedal and go as far as possible and the winner is the furthest. No prizes for winning.  The hill is quite steep and tarmac but rough in places but at least fairly quiet so far as traffic goes. Although my Electric Bike is faulty at the moment I still made sure to turn it off for the event. Probably the extra weight helped. I used the simple expedient of not braking and going down the middle of the road.

Paul Price (Arun Adur) was the winner

Adam Bell (Bognor Chi) second

Edwin Jones  (Bognor Chi) Third

Maureen Flint (Bognor Chi) Best Lady

Edwin Jones

26 March Ride to Butser Hill

8 out of 10 cyclists, they know who they are, turned up on a wet dismal day to ride to Butser Hill Roundhouse Cafe. 2 out of the 10 originally booked cancelled when they saw the rain in the morning.

 The ride started on Centurion Way and diverted onto the Florida marshlands riding on boardwalks overlooking lakes and marshes before returning and riding up to the Chichester Navvies sculpture and Maze then onto West Stoke. A different route to Compton for elevenses, via Watery Lane and Common Road. It turned out to be twelveses due to diversions and later start to compensate for BST .  Some liked it, some didn’t ( the later start time that is ).

I gave the group the option of a shorter ride as it was a grim day but almost all voted to go the distance.  ( I voted for the shorter ride) , (Maureen abstained )  So on we went up to Buriton and  eventually up the long hill to the Cafe where the skies were clear enough to see the Isle of Wight.   

On the return via Charlton , where Max peeled off, we stopped to help an adventurous couple from Guildford  sort out a broken chain, well Adam did !  Good turn done we returned to Rowlands Castle where the group split , some to head home, some to stop for a drink.  A new rider, Graham said he enjoyed it, but we shall see if he was telling the truth if he comes again!

Jeff Lander

Note cast of characters – Jeff (leader) Maureen, Sam, Adam, Max, Bob, Paul and Graham

Sunday 5 February Ride to Durleighmarsh

A ride led by your esteemed ride leader Adam is expected to have hills.  And just recently it seems water as well.  So on today’s adventure we had both.  There were 8 of us in total with Paul, Sam, Maureen, Alan, Bob, Max & Jeff setting off from Chichester at 9am on a bright and slightly chilly morning. 

The first part of the route was one I’d shamelessly nicked from Cycle Bognor, heading out to Bosham on the A259 and then cunningly cutting across to head up through Woodmancote before stopping at the very nice Pavilion Tearooms at Stansted House.  Even Sam was impressed by the surroundings, pronouncing the coffee to be the best he’d had and when his 2 egg bap turned up, he was even more ecstatic.  Which made a nice change.

Reluctantly leaving the café, it was then a long slow slog up the slope, to then drop down through Deanlane End before brazenly ignoring the Road Closed signs in Finchdean to wade through the water, which did seem to have gone down since a couple of weeks ago.

Then we started climbing again, up through Ditcham Park School.  An interesting addition was spotting a dead white dear by the side of the road.  After stopping to clear our lungs, then it was back down the other side and then after a few miles we crossed the A272 to the lunch stop at The Tea Barn, Durleighmarsh Farm.  I continued my recent tradition of opting for a Ploughman’s which turned up with corn bread and a mini cylinder of butter, whilst others enjoyed the soup and cakes on offer.

In fact, Max was enjoying his soup so much, he didn’t want to turn round for the camera. 

Suitably nourished, we headed off south.  Despite having a headwind in the morning, we still seemed to have some wind around as we rolled along the quiet lanes through West Harting, South Harting, to then head towards East Harting.  For some reason there wasn’t a North Harting. 

At Turkey Island, Max zoomed off home to Midhurst, leaving the rest of us to “enjoy” the climb up the appropriately named Hill Lane.  Which rises up at a gradient of up to 15.9%.  When I last climbed this nearly 2 months ago, I had to stop a couple of times to get my breath back, so I was quite pleased to make it up to the top without stopping.  After regrouping at the top and spotting all the birds and hang gliders enjoying the uplifting air currents, we then turned off at North Marden which is where things unravelled slightly as Paul and Sam got into their aero positions and pointed themselves downhill, but unfortunately they didn’t hear me call out to turn next right.  After trying and failing to catch them and then doubling back to the others, the rest of us followed my original route to then head down through Up Marden before catching up with Paul and Sam in Walderton. 

The rest of the ride was then fairly uneventful, through Funtingdon, where I declined Sam’s suggestion of Watery Lane and carried on through West Stoke before turning towards Chichester where unfortunately Alan discovered that despite his display confidently assuring him that he still had 36% battery left, it was deceiving him as the built-in battery indicator was glowing red.  This meant he had intermittent power and ultimately none, so no doubt his legs got a good workout on the final stretch home.

I took a slight detour on the way back and ended up with 59 miles for the day. For the published route to Chichester it was over 2,800 feet of climbing, so I think we all did well.

Adam Bell

Sunday 29 January Ride to Petworth

Good turnout on a gloomy day, Adam, Alan,Bob,Jeff(ride leader) Max,Maureen,Paul & how could we forget Sam. After a wiggle through the back streets on Chi on a cycle route we headed up to the Goodwood ridge past the sculpture park for a group photo with an estate lodge house as background. The fine flint work shows we were still south of the Downs where the chalk geology yielded this once cheap building material gathered when the fields were dug over .

The Cadence Cafe at Upwaltham was closed for the winter due to lack of patronage .Not they would have got any from the Marathon runners crossing on the South Downs Way. After winding through the muddy back lanes to Sutton we climbed up to Byworth where timber framed buildings gave the backdrop to the second photo.

After a sweep up and down the Shimmings valley we entered Petworth . Rather than go to Tiffins ( poor cycle parking but reasonably priced good grub inside) we headed to the Hungry Guest al fresco cafe to enjoy some expensive but quality small portions of soup and toasted sandwiches.

After an early lunch we headed south and turned off through the heathlands emerging on the A286 Midhurst Road. The Cadence cafe at the top of Cocking was open so we enjoyed a stop there. Some joined the smoker outside while Bob, Max and I enjoyed the leather settees and warmth inside.

From Singleton we turned left, some heading east to Bognor , others up the hill from Charlton then Lavant and home 41 miles

Jeff Lander

The  ride to Steep on Sunday 15th January was Epic

The  ride on Sunday 15th January was epic, or even character forming as Sam put it.  “Avatar: The way of Water” and “Waterworld” both had less water than we encountered. 

The day started well, with your intrepid ride leader Adam, Sam, Maureen, Alan, Bob and Jeff setting off northwards on a cold, breezy but bright sunny day.  On the way towards Lavant there were a few minor puddles, but after turning off the A286 onto the B2141 towards Chilgrove, we immediately had to ride through a lake covering the road.  And shortly afterwards, another one.  And then another one.  In fact, for the next couple of miles there were numerous stretches where either one side of the road was completely underwater, or the entire width was. 

Fortunately, most drivers were considerate, and in fact often it was easiest to follow closely behind a car in order to travel in their wake due to the momentarily dispersed water.  Fortunately we soon reached higher ground and were able to turn off towards the coffee stop at Compton.  As Jeff was feeling the cold, he opted to go inside, whilst the rest of us sat outside.

We weren’t the only otherswimmers cyclists out and about – just as we were leaving, several groups turned up including a large Breeze ride with at least 10 riders in, which was good to see.  Jeff opted to stay in the warm for a while and make his own way back whilst the rest of us set off to start on the hills towards Uppark House.  This was a slow steady climb for myself and Bob, less so for the other 3 who merely upped the power level on their motors!  Heading down the other side towards South Harting, I had a shock as a hunched and grinning Sam suddenly appeared alongside me looking like a Horseman of the Apocalypse astride his monster tractor of an e-bike, before he carried on down the hill.

The miles ticked away as we carried on through Rogate and up the hill on the other side.  We paused for a while to ponder how a car could end up off road when there weren’t any skid marks in the mud.

We then dropped down through Liss and followed the A3 for a while before turning to arrive at the Harrow pub in Steep, which is a quirky old-fashioned pub.  Bob had his own log stump to eat alongside a bowl of soup.

Alan and I each had a Ploughman’s which contained several enormous slabs of bread which also fortified the other riders.

Heading off again, we quickly zipped through Petersfield, through Buriton and then on the run in to Rowlands Castle we encountered lots more run-off from the hills.

At Rowlands Castle Sam opted to stop, leaving the rest of us to head back to Chichester where we used the footbridge over the ford, seeing as it was a foot under water.

We arrived back in Chichester after around 46 miles.  What will we encounter next week?

Adam Bell

Sunday 30 October. Ride to Cocking

Dreary day but sociable ride with variable number of Rides from 9 to 3 at end.

Losses from exhaustion, weather or peeling off to go home. It was enhanced by being warm for the time of year and the stunning autumn colours in places. I tried to capture the group riding through the autumn leafed lanes, but herding cats comes to mind.

I put in a few unusual changes to the ride to Rowlands Castle which one ignored, one doubted and one praised. The format continued to Ditcham school and a circuit of the Hartings before Cocking. We opted for Cadence Cafe at the top for lunch, always a good welcome and good to support his initiative on the South Downs Way.

Sam has a good moan about the development and its effects along Centurion Way and who can blame him.

Thanks to Anne, Gill, Maureen, Adam, Bob, Sam, Max, and Trev for turning out so 9 in all.

Jeff Lander

Sunday 4 September Churches Ride

We held the last DA Event of the year on Sunday 4 September, The Churches Ride organised by our group. Very good turnout with 20 in all taking part, 3 from Arun Adur, 9 Bognor Chichester and 8 Horsham Crawley. This concludes the years DA Events. The group with the most points in all the DA Events was Horsham Crawley on 360, Arun Adur was 2nd on 220 and Bognor Chichester 3rd on 180.

Best Individual is a tie between  Bob Moore and Richard Boulton both on the maximum of 45. The winner will be decided later using the tie break of attendance on summer Sunday Rides. Best Lady was Ros Furley on 40 from Horsham Crawley.

So far as Sundays Event is concerned all groups answered all questions correctly and on the Tie Break the 3 main groups all answered just one of the 3 tie break questions correctly so we will call it 3 winners.

Following  is a  picture by me of the start followed by a sequence of some of the pictures taken by Anne Marshall of Bognor Chichester Group on the route.

The weather for the ride was very good, warm and not too hot, cloudy in the morning and sunny in the afternoon. It was dry all day. This was in contrast to the weather forecast  given 7 day days before when it was due to be  heavy rain.

Bob changes hearing aid battery

Picture of Anne by Bob at Greatham Church


Sunday 5 June Ride to Hayling

The overnight rain had cleared by morning and it was just cloudy all day. On the short ride Arthur was the leader and he was joined by Lynn, Harvey, myself (Edwin) Jason, Rosemary and Graham.

We headed out via West Street with a short walk for a Street Party preparations just after the roundabout. Then onto Clay Lane and down to Bosham for a stop for the first time for me at the fairly new Café of The Crate at the back of the Co-Op.

Then on to Hambrook and a lane across to Westbourne and into Havant. Here I left the group and they continued to Hayling Island and lunch at Northney Farm Tearooms

Edwin Jones

Sunday 29th May Ride to Petworth

6 out for the ride on a chilly north wind day tempered by the welcome sun. I returned after an absence  to lead this ride to Petworth. I was joined by Adam, Bob  Mark Paul & Sam. Sam signs on as GOG , his own acronym ‘Grumpy old Git’ and with a dodgy back, who can blame him.  

 We were passed by a young group of racers before we left the outskirts of Chichester but thanks to road works and traffic lights we overtook them as the lights changed in our favour. They passed us again without a nod and Paul rode their wheel for a bit.   On the hills Sam and I used our electric assistance to keep up . I was frugal with my assistance as I had only one battery compared to Sam’s three.  Also it is good to exercise the lungs . Sam does that by having a smoke at every stop.

Our route took us through Sutton , Coates, Fittleworth

Then it was up and down the Little Bognor loop and it was a joy to ride the Sussex Lanes again.  The A272 was extremely busy not helped by the leader turning the wrong way but Petworth was reached where we meet Chris the bell after his cathedral bell ringing stint.

Our return took us down on a back lane loop through and over Rotherbridge.

 The old road to Petworth used to go this way before  it was diverted when the park was created around the 1750’s.

On through Graffham , Heyshot and up Cocking hill for our last coffee  at the Flint Barn on the South Downs  Way then home via Centurian Way .  43 miles and a day well ridden.

Jeff Lander

Sunday 15 May. I Spy Ride. DA Event

It could be said the I-Spy Ride went quite well at least in terms of numbers attending. The only problem was that a lot of people had been wishing for rain for their gardens for months. Did it all have to come in one go on Sunday daytime though. There was a lot more rain than forecast.

I went there train assisted to Pulborough. Bob, Sam, Maureen and Max rode there starting 8.00 Chichester Cross. There were for 4 from Arun Adur and 9 from Horsham Crawley.

It was just about dry when we met at Pulborough Station but started raining as the Event started and kept raining for the rest of the Ride. With no Bognor Chichester at the Start time I joined the Arun Adur team Richard Boulton, Dave Fox, Paul Price and Mick McCormack. Bognor Chichester had a late start of the Event. The Event route organised by Bob Moore of Horsham/Crawley took us via Fittleworth, Sutton and Bury to Houghton where the Groups met up for lunch at Houghton Bridge Tea Rooms. The rest of the route took in Amberley to finish at The Five Bells, West Chiltington.