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.

Thurs18April19Start

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.

Thurs18April19Barnham

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

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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.

Russell

 

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.

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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

Saturday 13 April. Ride to Aldingbourne Country Centre

Sat13April19StartThe first of our Saturday rides since the clocks went forward meant a 2pm start from Bognor library. An excellent turnout of 17.

I led Richard, Steve, Alan, Maureen, Sam, Kim, Julian, Mike, David, Chris, Suzanne, and  Clair with Emma, Jeanette, & Barbara through the back streets on one of our normal contorted routes via the ALC to Bognor Golf Club, then the cycle track through the new estate to join the Barnham cycle track.

Just before we had completed the trip along Stanover Lane however,  Maureen had a slight accident when a small branch caught in her wheel and toppled her over. Luckily (or not) a puddle broke her fall.  She continued albeit a bit soggy.

At Barnham we continued on the cycle route to Walberton, turning down Eastergate Lane to join a quiet A29  for about 300 yards then into Level Mare Lane up to the A27. We crossed this without incident with the assistance, astonishingly, of 2 vehicles which stopped to let us cross. There is no previous report of this ever happening!

On the other side of the A27 it was a shot half mile ride up a quiet lane to the country centre and their fab new building. However just after crossing the A27 I noticed my back tyre was looking a little flatter than it had when we set out. I made it without difficulty to the country centre when with Mike’s able assistance we changed the tube and found the culprit to be a small but very sharp flint. When the old tube came off unfortunately the rim ribbon snapped which presented a bit of a problem. However with the very kind loan of a roll of sellotape from Aldingbourne’s gift shop, a temporary fix was effected.

Sat13April19Puncture

Sat13April19Tea

Whilst this was going on a small rain shower came down. Luckily our “no rain guarantee” was in force. It had stopped when we set off for home again so all the riding time was in the dry.  Thus the guarantee held ( as usual).

Maureen, Sam and Kim had to get back so left us to take a direct route home. For the rest,  I took the riders a little further north via Halnaker Barn Lane down to the Winterton Arms where we crossed back over the A27 again (no cars stopped this time).  Then Aldingbourne village, Woodhorn,  Colworth, and back to central Bognor via North Bersted to complete a circular ride of just a tad over 19 miles.

Graham

Sunday 7 April. DA Event – Free Wheel Competition

Today was the first event in this year’s series of DA events. As I cycled towards the meet up at Walberton Pond I wondered if we would see a repeat of last year, an increased turn out of Bognor & Chichester riders which had led to us scoping the cup for the first time ever. It was a slight surprise to see Sam  (leader), Bob, Mike, Michael, Maureen, Harvey and newcomer Steve ready and raring to go. So with myself and Chris meeting us at Sumner’s Pond, it was 9 in total.

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We headed off into a nagging wind via Slindon and Madehurst for a rapid descent of Houghton Hill, then on through Amberley and Rackham to elevenses at the RSPB café, Wiggonholt. This has improved in popularity as a cyclist stop and we arrived just behind one group as another was leaving. The Eccles cakes are particularly good and at £2 great value for money.

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From there it was a direct route via West Chiltington, up the Broadbridge Road, across to Coneyhurst and into Barns Green. Enroute we encountered a smaller than usual Horsham contingent (just 3). We also had a mechanical – Michael’s pedal fell off on the road into Coneyhurst. It was fairly quickly replaced but more was to follow……….

Sumners Pond café is now a very popular spot, indeed there are signs warning that unless you book ahead at peak times they cannot guarantee to cater for walk ins. Luckily this early in the season and on an overcast 12C day, there were plenty of tables available outside. In the picture is our newcomer Steve tucking into a burger

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Arun Adur arrived as we were tucking into lunch (4) making a very respectable 16 for the post lunch sporting activity. As this involved just freewheeling down a slope and up another, it wasn’t too strenuous. Paul from Arun Adur won, Bognor and Chichester packing the ‘also run’ places.

Honour maintained by virtue of having the largest attendance, we headed back on our return. We had already decided on a mirror route when Michael informed us that his pedal was now unscrewing again – the spindle bearings having seized up. There is just one way around this – pedal forward a few revolutions, then back a few revolutions. Easier said than done but he coped gamely fully until reaching Amberley Station and the option of a train home. Here we split up – a group having a further coffee at the village café in Amberley, before either going over the Khyber and home or more directly over Houghton Hill.

A very pleasant days ride – a good turnout at the DA event (thanks to organizers Arun Adur) and a useful reminder of the need to check the bikes over after winter! Mileage for the day was between 60 -65 miles depending on the end of day route options.

Russell

Sunday 31 March Ride to East Meon

Six of us met up at Chichester Cross on a fine but blustery day, with a stiff north easterly wind; Sam, Michael, Rosie, Russell, Harvey and Bob leading the ride scheduled for Fort Nelson. The picture includes Chris as well, on his way to bell ringing at the cathedral.

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We made good progress down Clay Lane through Westbourne and Rowlands Castle to the garden centre at Horndean for coffee.

But by then the wind seemed more of a problem than the forecast had suggested (to be fair, it had said it would be worse in coastal districts). The worry we had was not getting to Fort Nelson, but returning along the top of Portsdown Hill; the wind threatened to be both a headwind and a cross wind, and potentially dangerous on the busy and narrow Portsdown Hill Road. We considered going anyway but returning on the coastal route from Portchester to Havant, but that isn’t a very pleasant ride with the M27 thundering just alongside. Russell, who had pointed out the problem, suggested East Meon instead, which seemed the nicest idea, so we set off through Catherington and Clanfield, up to Chidden Down. We joined the road from Old Winchester Hill which was very exposed, and the wind was terrific, which made us glad we had altered the plan. After Sam’s chain came off and he’d got it back on, we had the pleasure of zooming down the hill to to the Issac Walton at East Meon for probably a better lunch than we would have got at Fort Nelson.

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Afterwards we cycled towards Petersfield, but instead of the usual route up past the Butser quarry next to the A3, we carried on to Buriton and up the steep hill at Kiln Lane. From there we returned via Rowlands Castle where Russell left us but the remaining five had a cuppa at the Bumblebee cafe with another cyclist, who kindly took a pic.

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Harvey left us soon after to go home by a more direct route, and the remaining four returned to Chichester the way we had come, through Westbourne and Woodmancote. My mileage to and from home (Chichester) was 48.

Bob Birtwell

Sunday 24 March Ride to The Milk Churn, Rudgwick

Six met at Walberton Pond on a bright but initially chilly morning for the ride to Rudgwick. Sam, Mike, Michael and Maureen joined myself (leader) and Steve, a newcomer. Steve’s bike caused some interest, being a very up to date all carbon machine, complete with lightweight carbon wheel – making some of our bikes positively retro!

After a brief discussion about possible routes and the battery range of the e-bikes, I came up with a revised route of about 60 miles, to ensure that everyone had sufficient amps to return successfully!

Our outward route took us through Madehurst, a rapid descent of Bury Hill (first motorbikes of the season very much in evidence), through Coates and Fittleworth, over Riverhill for elevenses at Kirdford. We didn’t time it too well and had to join a queue with a lot of other cyclists, taking just over 20 minutes to get served our coffees. Sam didn’t waste this time, helping/advising on a broken gear cable replacement.

Sun24March19Kirdford

Leaving Kirdford around 11.30hrs, we took a fairly direct route to Loxwood (using the short bridal way to view the water mill restoration and cross the Wey canal), turning left at the Mucky Duck pub to go towards Hornhill and then ascend Cook Hill before dropping back into Loxwood and the Milk Churn, which was surprisingly quiet when we arrived, allowing us to bag a prime spot on the veranda, in the now very pleasantly warm sunshine. The kitchen staff were ultra efficient and aided by hi-tec buzzers which alerted one to their order being ready, we were all served within 5-10 minutes of sitting down.

Sun24March19Lunch

A quick check of everyone’s status showed the e-bikers to both have good reserves remaining but our newcomer, Steve, not surprisingly was feeling the hills in his legs. The return ride was therefore almost a rerun of the outwards one, with an ice cream stop planned for Bignor Roman villa before the final decision of the day – the Khyber or Duncton Hill.

Our newcomer left us at the White Swan, Fittleworth while we pushed on to Bignor, where ice creams, tea and coffee were enjoyed in warm mid afternoon sunshine.

Sun24March19tea

Just like Brexit we couldn’t all decide on a route home, so we decided to split the ride and all use the most direct for us individually – I returned via the Khyber, whilst the others took the Duncton Hill option.

My overall mileage for the day was 75 miles, the circular round trip to Walberton Pond would have been 65 miles, our longest so far this season.

Russell

Saturday 23rd March 2019 Ride to The Quarterdeck Café, West Itchenor

The weather dawned cloudy but dry with sunny spells for a ride to The Quarterdeck Café in West Itchenor.

An unprecedented 22 cyclists gathered at Chichester Library for the ride.  As a consequence, Philippa split the group into 2 smaller groups with Steve Woods leading the second group, which set off 10 minutes after the first group had left.

Sat23Mar19Start3

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The first group set off and headed west towards Westgate, over the Fishbourne crossing and then carried on until the end of the road, before heading through the A27 underpass towards the A259.  After emerging from the underpass, everyone then took a sharp left to take the cycle path alongside the A259, crossing the road in order to then turn right down Appledram Lane.

After a few yards, the group turned left onto Salterns Way, and carried on along the cycle route via Dell Quay Road and through Salterns Copse, eventually emerging at Chichester Marina.  The bridge over the lock wasn’t due to open for another 10 minutes, so the group took the long way round the marina, eventually crossing Salterns Lock over the old Chichester Ship Canal, to emerge into Birdham Pool.

After regrouping with the second group at Birdham Church, the first group then set off again, with the route going along Salterns Way down Westlands Lane and towards Westlands Farm.  Salterns Way then continued west towards Itchenor Road.  As Philippa wasn’t keen on a large number of cyclists travelling down the bendy, narrow road through Itchenor, she decided instead to go straight on towards Westlands Copse which came out in Spinney Lane.  After admiring some very expensive mansions (most of which looked uninhabited), the group took a short path along the coast to Itchenor Sailing Club, eventually emerging onto The Street at Itchenor.

From there, it was just a short cycle to The Quarterdeck Café.  Philippa had considered splitting the group between the café and pub, but in the end, the café coped admirably.  Fortunately, it wasn’t very busy and they seemed more than happy to accommodate us.

By this time, the sun had come out and the group enjoyed sitting outside with their drinks and food.  After staying for about 40 minutes, everyone got back on their bikes and the same route was taken back to Chichester.  At Chichester Marina, those wanting to go back to Bognor branched off to take the canal home.  A great time was had by all, and it was great to see so many new faces.

Philippa