Saturday 21 July – Awayday Ride Southampton to Fareham

An opportunity to explore a little further afield today on our awayday ride starting in Southampton. We were largely following NCN 2 route eastwards but its a very picturesque route with much to see.

The riders were Andy and Ally, Mike, Debbie, Christine and Graham and we all arrived train assisted to Southampton. There we met Graham (2) who had ridden directly as he lives much closer. So seven out in all.

The weather was perfect, with no chance of rain and a light breeze off the sea to alleviate the strong sunshine.We made our way from Southampton central station through the city centre almost entirely on cyclepath, stopping to admire the recently cleaned up Bargate.

Then to Holyrood Church, left in its bombed out condtion from the war, and its Titanic Memorial. A short ride later we started the highest climb on the day, going up over  the Itchen Bridge. We stopped at the top to admire the view. From what we could see it appeared there were three cruise ships in dock.

Then from Woolston we joined NCN2 proper, riding past Weston Heights for a short stop at the ruins of Netley Abbey.

Already lunchtime now, so we stopped at the cafe in the Royal Victoria Country Park.

Then on via cycletracks to Hamble-le-Rice and its golden pillar box, dropping down the hill through the village to the harbour, where the Hamble ferry pulled in almost as we got there.

It is astonishing how many bikes a small ferry can squeeze onboard!

On the other side of the river at Warsash we had a bit of offroading in between stretches of quiet lane until reaching the tea stop at Titchfield Haven nature reserve.

Graham (2) left us there to ride home and the rest of the group headed inland via Stubbington for about 5 miles, until we reached the finish at Fareham rail station and the train home.

The mileage from Southampton station to Fareham Station was exactly 20 miles.

Graham

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Thursday 12 July Evening ride to The Spur at Slindon

10 riders for tonight’s cycle to The Spur at Slindon, weather was warm with a slight breeze. We set off from Arun Leisure Centre, Felpham, leaders Steve and Carol, new rider Liz, Maureen and Tony, David Sinclair, Sam, David Barton, Lucy, and Julia.

We made our way through Roundle Estate and onto West Morlands Drive to the new relief road and onto the new cycle path to Littlehampton. We was all very impressed how smooth it was but could not work out how they managed to hang it out for so long, lets hope it is kept well maintained. There were a lot of other cyclists and pedestrians using it as well, so to all those car drivers who was complaining of it being a waste of money, you were wrong again. We stopped for a photo at Comet corner then made our way to Yapton.

Turned right into North End Road making way to the level crossing and turning left into Lake Lane and onto cycle path to Walberton. Left turn into Walberton Lane for a nice little hill climb up to Fontwell where we stopped at the top to regroup. We made our way through A27 underpass then into the Woods and cycled the bridal way out to Park Lane where we turned left and climbed up to Slindon. We turned right into Reynolds Lane then to T junction of busy  A29. We crossed the A29  into Mill Road and took first left into Bridal Lane. At the end of the road we turned left and reached our destination. We all had a well earned drink and a good laugh.

On the return journey Carol led us back who took us to Mill Road, with the light beginning to fade, decided to take us back via the A27 which was quiet this time of the evening. Back through Yapton to new cycle path where Sam, Tony and Maureen peeled off. The rest of us we had enjoyed the new cycle path so much we rode it again back to Bognor where the ride ended.

Thank you to all the lovely people who joined us for this Summer ride and hope to see Liz again soon. Total milage about 18 miles.

Steve and Carol

Sunday 1st July 2 Weald Ride to Cranleigh

It was another exceptionally hot day with sunny skies in the morning and more cloud in the afternoon with a NE wind and temperatures reaching 29C. The official ride was to meet for the Horsham Crawley organised Event at the start at Wisborough Green. However I emailed all regular Sunday riders with the option of meeting at 9.00 at Walberton Pond. Harvey and Chris made their own ways there while I was joined at Walberton Pond by Sam and Bob. There were similar numbers taking part from the other 2 groups.

We headed out on the usual route via lanes to Madehurst and temperatures still a reasonable 20C.

Then it was a fast descent of Houghton Hill noticing even so early a great long queue of traffic stuck behind 2 cyclists climbing up on this busy and narrow road. We now try and find another route when coming back. After Houghton it was back to lanes via Amberley. After a brief section of main road past Wiggonholt we turned off on a lane via Broomers Hill. Then it was  lanes via Northwood Farm and a track crossing the Arun and Canal and another lane to Wisborough Green.  We took elevenses here at the Old Mill Cafe. We signed in with Bob from Horsham Crawley.

Then our group and Arun Adur riders headed out together on the northern route. Out of the 4 routes available we both choose northern which has the advantage of least familiar lanes and least hills though all relative with a few little steep ones thrown in. This included on the quiet lane to Drungewick.

We continued north passing the Mucky Duck Pub, nice ring to that ones name. Then on via more lanes letting Richard Boulton from Arun Adur do the leading. At Cranleigh in sight of the North Downs we split up. We headed to Norcutts Garden Centre Cafe, Cranleigh while Arun Adur wanted to go further before lunch.

For the way back we headed south via Dunsfold where we waved to Arun Adur group ensconced at the Pub and on via Plaistow where Chris caught up with us and then Kirdford and back to Wisborough Green and tea at the old Mill Cafe again giving the cheerful owner a fair amount of custom for the day.

Our return took us via Kirdford and lanes south passing east of Petworth. At Kirdford we were behind a tractor and trailer and combine Harvester for a few miles. Sam looked like he very much would have liked to overtake but there was no room even for a bike.

Then it was on via a gradual climb of Duncton Hill. Sam and Bob turned off via the valley road to East and West Dean. I headed back via Eartham and Yapton. Mileage from and back to Walberton was 63. My mileage for the day from Pagham was 85 with 4122ft of climb.

My latest picture was taken last Sunday evening looking from near Pagham Harbour mouth at Pagham north west across the harbour at high tide and sunset.

For more details and a larger picture see https://www.flickr.com/photos/edwinjones/42133780365/in/photostream/

Edwin

Sunday 24 June Ride to the Parrot Inn Forest Green

It was another warm sunny day with temperatures reaching 24C inland and a fresher 19C on the coast. We met at Walberton Pond. Russell the leader was joined by Sam, myself, Rosie, Paul and Mike. Jeff joined us at Bury so 7 were out in all.

We headed out on the usual route with a narrow lane via Madehurst. Then a fast descent (40.5 mph) down Bury Hill to meet up with Jeff at the junction at Bury Village. Then more lanes via West Burton and north towards Coates. Not much traffic.

We had a narrow escape from Brinkwells Hill as Russell instead took us left towards Little Bognor eventually coming out on the lane to Kirdford. As we took the long descent towards Kirdford Jeff gave a good demonstration over 20 metres of almost but not quite falling off on gravel as he slithered about on the gravel in the middle of the road.

At Kirdford we took a left and a short way on turned into Kirdford Village Stores and Cafe arriving fortuitously between 2 large groups of cyclists to get our orders in for bacon sandwiches, scrambled eggs  ect. Yes it was elevenses not lunch but I think we were feeling the hills.

After elevenses I wanted a shorter ride so headed for home. The rest were planning to continue north via Loxwood and on to Forest Green, Surrey for lunch.

My return took in Petworth, Duncton Hill and a picnic lunch in Eartham Churchyard. Then it was on via Sindon Bottom Road a beautiful tree lined lane.

Then on towards home via Yapton and Middleton and onto Felpham Prom. This is usually very busy on a warm Sunday but not today it still being Match time plus the Cafes normally packed were half empty. Great advantage of riding with no interest in football. I stopped for an ice cream break.

Mileage for me from and back to Walberton was 40. My mileage from and back to Pagham was 60. Doing the full ride would have added another 20 miles to that.

I have processed another picture from my dawn visit to the Bury Hill poppies on 13th June. This one was taken about 30 minutes after sunrise at 5.20am.

For a larger picture and more details see https://www.flickr.com/photos/edwinjones/42933850931

Edwin

Saturday 23 June Ride to West Dean Stores Cafe

It was a beautiful warm day for the Saturday afternoon ride to West Dean Stores and Cafe led by Graeme Hodge. 12 of us enjoyed the ride. Temperatures reached 24C. We met for the start at Chichester Library.

The route out took us via West Street and then Centurion Way northwards and free of traffic. After Lavant we took in the extension to West Dean and then negotiated the steep steps off the old railway path and down to a quiet lane.

From here it was a very short way straight across the main road into another lane to West Dean Village and the Village Stores and Cafe for tea. Apparently one of our group had the last of the cream buns..

For the return we first retraced our steps down the Centurion Way looking very green at this time of year.

From Lavant we headed  on a lane towards West Stoke before turning off on more lanes to West Broyle and back to the Library.

My mileage from Pagham was 26 and the mileage from and back to Chichester would have been about 14.

Edwin

Sunday 17 June Ride to Hindhead amended to Kirdford

The weather today was mainly dry despite really threatening looking quite dramatic clouds. Temperatures reached 17c but it felt cooler due to the very strong SW wind. Russell was the leader and he was joined at Chichester Cross by myself, Sam, Bob, Paul and Mike. Chris saw us briefly at The Cross before going Bell Ringing and then meeting us again at elevenses and the rest of the ride so 7 out in all.

We headed out via West Street and then the Centurion Way cyclepath north to West Dean. Russell was planning to get to Hindhead and then needed to be home early so set a brisk pace. At West Dean we joined the main road and continued north to the top of Cocking Hill where we stopped to regroup and I got a photo with some dramatic clouds.

We continued with a fast descent down Cocking Hill. With no other traffic around there was no doubt that we all set off the “Slow Down” speed warning sign coming into the 30mph area for the village. Sam maxed at 41mph and I was on 38. It is notable that speed limits do not apply to bicycles, only motor vehicles. The nearest offence for a bicycle is “Wanton and Furious Riding” and only applies if injury is caused.

After braking we turned left on a quiet lane to Bepton and then Severals lane to Stedham aiming to stop for elevenses at Rotherhill Nursery Cafe, only to find on arrival that it was closed for Kitchen Renovation. Russell’s schedule was now out the window and we decided to head to Garfields Cafe, Midhurst for elevenses and amend the lunch stop to the Cafe at Kirdford.

We took a cyclepath and lane to Midhurst and stopped at the Cafe which was very busy and some parts of our order took a little time. Just as well as totally coincidentally Chris had decided to stop at the square to check his map and found us by accident.

We continued on lanes to South Ambersham where I headed south having decided on a shorter ride. The rest headed north planning to go via Lodsworth and Lurgashall to Kirdford and then back via Houghton and the Khyber Pass to Arundel.

I went home via Heyshott and then the remote lane to Cocking. I stopped at a field entry to take a picture of a field and the clouds. Only a mobile was used so some editing was needed.

My mileage for the day from and back to Pagham was 48.

My latest major picture was taken on Wednesday at 4.50am with a view looking down from Bury Hill over a Poppy field to the mist in the Arun Valley. The picture was shown on BBC South Today Wednesday Evening as one of the 3 weather pictures before the local weather. The picture has gained a lot of interest having been viewed on Facebook by 9000 people and gained over 1000 “likes” As a result a lot of people are going there and I heard today from one ladies post on Facebook that the Farmer has had enough and told her to get off his land.

For a larger picture and more details see https://www.flickr.com/photos/edwinjones/28915918308/in/dateposted-public/

Edwin

Thursday 14 June Arun Leisure Centre Felpham to the Anchor at Sidlesham.

A lovely evening for the ride, dry, Clear and sunny, with the wind dropping making perfect riding conditions. 13 riders at the start point: with Graham as the leader. Steve and Carol met us near Summer Lane, Pagham making 15 out in total.

We took the promenade route to Fish Lane at Aldwick, then dropped into Barrack Lane. Edwin directed the Group on the new route through the Aldwick Bay Estate making use of a footpath connecting Apple Grove on the Estate and Greenways off Carninals Drive outside the Estate. We then emerged eventually at Nyetimber, where we took one of our regular routes down Summer Lane and across the Pagham Rife to Honer Lane and up to South Mundham. Most of this route will become officially recognised as part of National Cycle Route 2 if Sustrans lobbying is successful.  No shortage of midgies across the fields, but the ground was hard and not quite as lumpy as I’ve known it, so no-one had any problems negotiating it and we regrouped at the end of the track on Honer Lane

Then it was north through South Mundham and south via Fisher on waymarked Route 88. After crossing the cattle Grid on Fisher Lane we came across a large herd of cows enjoying a rich pasture and had the occasional excitement of cows caught on the wrong side of the lane making a sudden dash across the road to avoid being cut off by to them this strange procession. One cow even though it was on the right side was definitely eyeing up Steve with suspicion.

After riding across 2 more field on a good gravelled surface we rejoined tarmac on a lane passing Chalder Farm before emerging on the main Selsey Road right next to the Anchor pub. This particular route probably has more off-road riding than any of our other routes, but the scenery and absence of any other road traffic at all between Pagham and Sidlesham more than makes up for it.

The Pub Cat was happy to see us but is Harvey about to hit it or stroke it.

For the return route, we had a bit of a dilemma – whether to return by road or take the shortcut around Pagham Wall and the Harbour. It was on this route that Julian and his bike once took an impromptu mud bath in the harbour. However it was quite a bit lighter tonight and after some discussions we decided to go for it. John, Russell and Harvey headed home by road. The rest of us took a short stretch of main road before turning off on Rookery Lane and across tracks to Halseys Farm to reach Pagham Wall which was accessed by an awkward gate (maybe meant to stop bikes using the footpath) We were soon through after some bike lifting helped by Steve

On this occasion the Wall path was negotiated entirely without incident though in parts it was too overgrown to clearly see the route which might have been the cause of Julian’s incident. At the end of the wall we negotiated an easier Gate.

We headed back through Nyetimber and then back along the prom, with people peeling off along the way. Mileage for the route from and back to the Leisure Centre was about 20.

Edwin for Graham