Sunday 5 August Ride to DA Picnic at West Wittering Beach

Today was the annual West Sussex CTC Group picnic held at West Wittering beach. 3 clubs headed down there from Bognor Chichester, Worthing area and Horsham and Crawley. In the end 18 met there as far away as possible from the crowds at the main beach meeting near the Harbour entrance.

For Bognor Chichester Graeme was the leader and he was joined at Chichester Cross by myself Andrew and  Michael Eastham we picked up Graham Annaly soon after leaving so 5 in all.

We took a fairly direct route via West Street and then Apuldram lane to pick up the Salterns Way Cyclepath. On rejoining Apuldram Lane there was a traffic jam of cars heading to West Wittering. We overtook them and then turned right away from the cars to pick up the Salterns Way  to Chichester Yacht Basin. We got to the Boat House Cafe for an elevenses stop. The outside there has been changed from grass to gravel which seems a change for the worse in a dry summer but will no doubt be better in the wet. Graeme was generous as usual and bought us all hot drinks.

Then we continued down the Salterns Way first via Birdham Pool when a kind lady volunteered to take a picture of the group. Graeme was exploring a short way further on.

Then it was on via lanes via Birdham and more paths down to Itchenor. Between Birdham and Itchenor the path has been cut out and widened to much improve the previous singletrack. I heard later that this was due to a very keen Sustrans volunteer moving into the area from elsewhere.

From Itchenor it was more pathways and farm roads all traffic free. Eventually we came out at the far northern end of West Wittering to join the queue of traffic probably jammed up from near Chichester. It was really quite pleasant to overtake them all.

Then it was on to the road to West Wittering Car Park which was packed full of cars. We smugly bypassed the booth charging cars for parking. We went on to the agreed meeting point at the far end by the large Red Flag visible from some distance. This area at the entrance to the harbour is banned to swimming so the beach there had far fewer than the main beach near the car park. It was though much busier than previous years for the picnic which is not surprising with the hot temperatures. We were second to arrive with Horsham Crawley Group already there and Arun Adur arriving 30 minutes later. There were 7 from Horsham Crawley and 6 from Arun Adur

On the return ride Graeme led us and Arun Adur via a private estate back route to pick up the road to East Wittering.

At East Wittering we stopped for Ice Creams at Tesco. Arun Adur led by Richard Boulton decided to move on as they had much further to get home. Again Graeme bought us all ice creams. DISCLAIMER – this is not to be expected of any other leaders!!.

Then it was on via  Bracklesham Bay and then lanes via Earnley, Almodington and Sidlesham Common. Then it was a lane to pick up Route 88 across fields. Then it was back to Chichester via Fisher and Runcton. I peeled off with Michael at South Mundham to take lanes and tracks direct to Pagham. Mileage from and back to Chichester was about 27. My mileage from Pagham was 33.

My latest picture to be processed was taken at Nore Woods near Slindon during bluebell time a few years ago and processed with a special effect in Photoshop I leaned a few weeks ago

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Saturday 4th August Ride to Bluebird Cafe, Ferring Beach

It was a beautiful day today, sunny and really hot reaching 28C even on the coast with light winds. These were NE on the way out and NW on the way back so head winds both ways but light enough not to matter much. The ride was amended from the original plan of a train assisted ride to Christ’s Hospital, hence the start being at Bognor Station. I (Edwin) was the leader and I was joined at the start by Clair, Alan, Maureen, Harvey, Rosie and Steve. Denise and Mike joined us at Edgcumbes for elevenses so 9 in all out for a full day ride.

From the Station we headed into the Coach Park and across into Hotham Park where we found there was a big event on. Still one of the exhibitors drove a car into the park which we followed in to clear the way of pedestrians. Then it was onto the seafront and later cutting trough the Summerley Private Estate and then into Flansham Park Road and across the main road to Flansham and up the Barnham Path. Then it was Lake Lane and on to Edgcumbes for a much needed break in the shade by 11.15 about 30 minutes late from the ETA I gave Denise.

Clair returned home soon after elevenses so the remaining 8 of us rode the rest of the route. Next it was on to Ford and Littlehampton via the footbridge and then along the seafront with a packed beach very much to be expected for a hot summers Saturday in the School Holidays.

After the seafront we turned off on back lanes and onto private estates. Basically the route through the estates are a real maze. There are roads marked as dead end which can be used by bikes and other roads which are real dead ends. I had planned a route using Google maps highlighted on a printed out copy. It seemed like miles of twists and turns but the benefit is the peaceful absence of the motor car.

Towards the end of the route we found an entry onto the greensward by the sea by footpath with an open gate rather than having to lift the bikes over a gate which we have done in the past further on. Near the sea there was a threatening sign say Cycling is Illegal. This is designed to intimidate cyclists into not using it and ignores the distinction between cycling on a pavement which is a criminal offence and potentially a police matter and cycling on a footpath away from a road which is a minor civil wrong requiring the landowner to sue for damages in the county court, not going to happen.

After a short way we reached our lunch stop of the Bluebird Cafe next to the beach. Despite a big crowd there service was quick and reasonable prices so worth a return visit sometime.

We discussed a different but busier route back but decided to return the way we came with more private estates and absence of traffic.

Back in Littlehampton there was a stop for ice creams. The picture is thanks to Denise, presumably, hopefully these were for more than one person.

We proceeded the short way to The Look and Sea Cafe for a full tea stop.

The return was via the new Cyclepath to Flansham. Return mileage was 30.


Ride to ‘The Crab & Lobster’, Sidlesham, Saturday 28th July 2018

On a sunny and windy day, fortunately less humid of late, thirteen cyclists gathered at Chichester Library, for a ride to ‘The Crab & Lobster’ in Sidlesham.

The group set off from the library heading west towards Westgate, crossing over the mini-roundabout and heading straight on before turning left to pick up the cycle path which runs in front of Chichester College, ending at Chichester Railway Station.

After negotiating heavy traffic passing over the railway crossing, everyone turned right and then left to go down Canal Wharf, left into Basin Road and right into Kingsham Avenue.  Carrying on until the end of the road, the group then turned left at the junction with Whyke Road and right, to pick up the cycle path along Quarry Lane which led to the footbridge over the A27.

Emerging the other side of the footbridge, the group then immediately took a track alongside Vinnetrow Road, which eventually came out into School Lane in North Mundham.  Crossing the road, the group then proceeded to go through North Mundham, picking up Regional Cycle Network Number 88 towards Fisher and eventually emerging at Mill Lane, Sidlesham, the location of ‘The Crab & Lobster’.

The group arrived at the pub at 3.20 pm.  The staff were quite surprised to see so many cyclists and ran out of tea pots for everyone!

Following tea, the group made their way back to Chichester via the same Number 88 path, but changing the route slightly at North Mundham, by heading towards Hunston.  At Hunston, those still remaining in the group headed along the canal path, which by this time was very quiet apart from a couple of fishermen, arriving back in Chichester via the canal basin.

Turning left to reach the junction with Stockbridge Road, the group then turned right, crossed over the railway line and again took the cycle path in front of the Westgate Leisure Centre and Chichester College.  At Westgate, the remaining cyclists headed east back into the city, arriving back in the town at approximately 5.30 pm.


Evening Ride Thurs 26 July to The Gribble at Oving

A ride with two starts and one end point.

The ride was to the Gribble at Oving.

10 riders set out from Chichester Cross and went direct via Tangmere.

15 set out from the Arun Leisure Centre and luckily i decided to join them…as I only realized I was supposed to lead the group when i got there!

A good mix of people tonight; regulars, not so regulars, and a new rider Beppy, who we hope to see again soon.

Due to numbers, we split into two groups, one closely following the other. All went well around back streets and over Highfield Bridge to South Bersted where unfortunately one group went one way and one another.

Luckily fail-safe procedures kicked in and we met up again at a pre arranged point.. From there on all went well with no further issues. From South Bersted we cycled to North Bersted and Shripney Lane to Shripney.

Then up the A29 to Woodgate where a slight delay was encountered with half the group getting across the railway crossing and half not, when the barriers went down.

After regrouping we took Hook Lane to Aldingbourne, then Woodhorn Lane around the back of Oving, approaching the Gribble from the rear.  The Chichester group were already well settled into their seats.

For the return ride to Felpham we were joined by another 4 riders who came out from Chichester but wanted to return to Bognor.

The route was straightforward…over the railway bridge and around the lanes to Colworth, Elbridge and then into Bognor via Bersted.

Round trip mileage from and back to the Arun Leisure Centre was 15.0


Sunday 22 July Ride to The Scarlett Arms, Walliswood

This ride was a train/car assisted one starting from Amberley Station to enable a reasonable mileage and still get into little visited territory in Surrey. Jeff the leader came by car and I came by train while Russell, Mike and Paul came by bike. Weather was hot and humid and mainly sunny with temperatures of 25C on the coast and 28C inland

Most of us met up at the Station and we joined up with Jeff at Amberley Village with better parking. We then continued on back roads via Rackham and the road past Parham Park.

Then it was on via Wiggonholt and West Chiltington taking stream lane to the village and up the hill to Broadford Bridge. Then a lane to Billingshurst and a a welcome 11s break at Whispers Cafe.

Jeff was using a Garmin for the ride route which took us on some not seen before back streets and over the A29 and then to the A272 before turning off on the lane to The Haven.

Then it was on north via Bucks Green and Rudgwick and on to Ellens Green and over the border into the wilds of remotest Surrey. Then more lanes north to Walliswood within sight of Leith Hill. We split between a nearby Green for sandwiches and the Scarlett Arms Pub.

The return ride took in some nice shaded lanes, ideal for the day.

Then it was into Broadbridge Heath just west of Horsham where Garmin supervised by Jeff pickup up a pleasant cyclepath through some of the new housing.

Then it was on south via Barnes Green and on via Conyhurst and back to familiar territory at West Chiltington and a stop for tea at Wiggonholt. I left before everybody else to catch the hourly train back to Bognor with more than 5 minutes to spare.

Mileage from and back to Amberley was 48. My mileage including getting to and from the station at Bognor was 58 though it felt longer with the heat and humidity.

I returned from France earlier in the week including following 5 stages of the Tour de France. The first picture shown was taken on stage 1 near La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast.

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The next picture was taken on Stage 9 just south of Roubaix on a section of Cobbles where the riders and vehicles were stirring up great clouds of dust.

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Edwin Jones

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.


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