Sunday 15 April. Ride to Rogate

It was a cloudy day with a light SE wind and relatively mild at 11C. The fly in the ointment was a spell of rain in the afternoon after 1.00.. Sam was still out of action so Russell stepped in as the leader and he was joined at Chichester Cross by Bob, Edwin, Mike and newcomer to the Sunday Rides, Rosie who had been out before on some of the Saturday Rides.

We headed out on West Street and then up Centurion Way. The route extension was much dryer than it has been thanks to a few sunny days. At West Dean we took the loop through the village. Then it was a few miles of main road including the climb to the top of Cocking Hill. In Cocking we turned off on lanes via Bepton with a nice tailwind.

At Bepton we turned off on Severals Road a pleasant Lane between heather and trees. At the main road the A272 west of Midhurst we took a short stretch of cyclepath before crossing to a lane into Stedham.

We were soon in Rotherhill Nursery Cafe settled into a collection of lounge chairs for hot drinks and cakes. At the Nursery Bob had taken a shine to a 7ft tall Olive tree available for a snip at £1800. He eventually decided it was a little big for his saddlebag.

I had decided to make it a half day ride and headed home from the Cafe retracing the outbound route.


Russell continues

Leaving Edwin to return home after elevenses at Stedham, we climbed the long hill up to Woolbeding Common and then on through Redford, giving Mike an opportunity to see the vintage petrol pumps at the village garage. Throughout the morning, part of the conversation had concerned the apparent disparity between the BBC and the Met Office forecasts, the Met Office one implying heavier rain , earlier in the afternoon. This influenced my decision to shorten the ride slightly and at the Rake/Fernhurst T junction we duly headed west instead of east.

This road was quiet traffic wise until we turned off to climb and then descend into Rogate. There is a downhill mountain bike course on the north side of Rogate Hill, at the steepest section. A hundred plus MTBers were enjoying the delights of careering down hill at great speed – the associated vans and cars that had transported them there lined the ascent roadside.

On arrival at Rogate recreation ground, our pre-selected picnic spot, there was a ‘Well Being Fayre’ going on in the community hall. Sniffing food, Bob went to investigate and before he knew it he had been whisked inside, lightened of 2 pounds for entry and told to enjoy a wander round. He was then thwarted in his progress towards the food counter by a lady having a ‘spiritual moment’. Eventually he managed to order a ‘beano burger’ before joining us on the benches outside. Unfortunately the beano burger wasn’t as exotic as it sounded but it did give Bob energy for the hills ahead.

Leaving Rogate we rode through Nyewood to climb Telegraph Hill ( after convincing Rosie that this would be akin to climbing the Mattterhorn, apologies for any consternation caused !) and rode through the very quiet grounds of Uppark House. The promised  rain then started bang on cue and it was heavy. Met office 1-0 BBC . The rain stayed with us all the way back to our return to Chichester at 3pm.

Mileage for the ride was 45 miles from Chichester and back to Chichester.


My mileage from Pagham was 42 and it would be a fair bit longer for the full ride.

One of my latest pictures was taken on a recent London Trip. This is Redbridge Underground Station towards the eastern end of the Central Line and a first visit for me. It is one of the few stations with a central platform where 2 tracks can be viewed at once

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Saturday Ride – Bognor Library to Aldingbourne Country Centre

A really lovely spring afternoon today, lots of sunshine and temperatures at 18 or 19 degrees, although an Easterly wind did occasionally serve to just take the edge off otherwise perfect biking weather. There were 11 of us on the ride.

I led Harvey, Sam, Maureen , Julian, Terry, Bill, Steve, Alan. Ann, and Chris from the start point at Bognor library under the subway to Highfield Bridge and Bersted, joining cycletrack from Ash Grove through to the New Estate and then on to the Bognor- Chichester cycle route to Colworth.  Back roads to Woodhorn and Aldingbourne village where en route we stopped to inspect a cornfield that Alan had seen a light aircraft do an emergency landing last year (it had only taken off from Goodwood a few minutes earlier).

I took the group up Norton Lane to the A27 which we crossed without too much difficulty and entered the Aldingbourne Centre via a shortcut, in the “rear” entrance which although a little churned up, wasn’t too muddy at all. It just involved lifting your bike between the bars of a two bar fence!

At the Garden Centre Cafe  we settled down for a  pleasant stop in the sunshine.

On our return, Bill and Chris headed direct towards Chichester, Terry went back to Walberton via Fontwell, and the rest of us went via Level Mare Lane and Northfields Lane to Nyton, then down Nyton Lane to Woodgate crossing. A mile of main road (A29) brought us to Shripney from where it was lanes and back roads via North & south Bersted to complete a circular route back to Bognor town centre.

The round trip mileage from, and back to, Bognor library was 18.0


Sunday 8 April. Ride to Sumners Pond Cafe and Freewheel Competition

I was the leader for this ride and rode to the start at Walberton Pond at first in the dry and then with increasing rain and a very poor forecast. Russell was the only one to join me but he decided in view of the weather to do his own short ride. With nobody to lead I was free to head to Barnham Station and catch a train to Billingshurst. Then it was a short ride to the Sumners Pond Campsite and their Cafe by the Lake at Barnes Green where the 3 DA Groups were due to meet for lunch prior to the Freewheel

A reasonable Group of 5 arrived from Arun Adur being Richard Boulton, Mick McCormack, Paul Price, Peter Train and Peter Rudd. Unusually nobody arrived to represent Horsham and Crawley so Arun Adur definitely won out in being the most waterproof.

It continued with constant rain while we had lunch but as we left for the Freewheel just after 1.30 it was easing to a stop just in time.

We rode together to the top of the Freewheel Hill where we received instructions from the organiser, Richard.

The hill is a good one for a Freewheel with a long down and then an up at the end to keep competitors close together. Pictures below of Mick and then Peter Rudd.

The winner was Paul Price followed by Peter Train and then Peter Rudd. I was 5th out of 6.

My mileage for the day including getting to and from stations was 24.

The following picture was taken in much better weather on Thursday close to home of a ring of daffodils. It was taken with camera on the ground facing up and with a fisheye lens.


Sunday 1 April. Ride to Fort Nelson Cafe, Portsdown

For the Easter Sunday Ride today it stayed dry unlike the rest of the long weekend. It started cold at 4C later reaching 8C with mainly cloudy skies save for a few hours of sun in the afternoon.

I was the leader and I was joined at Chichester Cross by Bob, Sam and Russell. Sam was down with a chest infection which had lasted for weeks and was not really up to coming out but came anyway but only as far as elevenses.

With all Garden Centres and their Cafes obliged to close on Easter Sunday we headed for Rowlands Castle for elevenses. We took the usual route out via Clay Lane on the South Coast Cycleway. On taking a lane near West Ashling we came across 3 large packs of rubbish dumped by fly tippers in the middle of the road, such amazing idiots.

We continued via Woodmancote and Westbourne and on to Rowlands Castle for elevenses. There were less cyclists there than usual and we readily got an inside table in the warm. After elevenses Sam headed back and Russell too as he had a family occasion leaving just Bob and myself to complete the ride.

We headed on via Horndean and then a lane towards Cathrington. Then it was a narrow quiet lane north of Denmead with the little lane ironically called Broadway. Then it was more lanes via Worlds End (not today) and passing close to North Boarhunt. Then it was on via Boarhunt and a gradual climb up to the western end of Portsdown Hill to Fort Nelson the free to enter Royal Armouries for lunch. The cafe had been moved from the visitor centre via a long trek to the Parade Ground. Not many people seemed to have made it that far.

Bob did his first go at a selfie and was already curious about selfie sticks.

Then it was on to Portsdown Hill Road. Apart from the traffic this is one of the best routes around for views. The narrow ridge overlooks Portsmouth Harbour and goes on for miles with sometimes views both ways to the harbour and north over the Downs. I stopped at a layby for a shot including Portchester Castle, The Harbour and the Spinnaker Tower.

Then it was a long long descent to Havant with the usual wait at the crossing for a train. From Havant we continued via Emsworth and turned off to take the lane to Prinsted. Here we came to the Southbourne Sea Scouts Teas. I recently received an email from them to say they were open from April to October on Saturday and Sundays. Russell has put them down for a Saturday Ride in the draft Summer Rides List. I made the sacrifice of stopping to test them out on their first day of opening. I would say they well passed with hot drinks and large slices of cake for £1 each.

Then it was on via Southbourne and Cooks lane before joining the South Coast Cycleroute back to Chichester. Mileage from and back to Chichester was 43. My return mileage from Pagham was 56.

Before leaving this morning I uploaded an April Fool joke picture to Facebook

The image was created from a night shot of London taken from the Tate Modern combined with a shot of the large entrance canopy of the EDF building in Paris which looks amazingly like the Saucer Section of the USS Enterprise.


Sunday 25 March Ride to Whispers Billingshurst

The weather today was dry and mainly cloudy with some distant mist over the other side of the Downs. Temperatures were mild reaching 11C. Sam the original leader had a Chest Infection so Russell substituted. The original destination was way north at The Milk Churn, Rudgewick. Without Sam to keep us in line that soon slipped to elevenses at Billingshurst and Lunch at Kirdford. By the time we got to Wiggonholt that slipped again to Elevenses at Wiggonholt and lunch at Whispers Cafe, Billingshurst. Joining Russell for the ride start at Walberton Pond at 9.00am there was myself, Mike and Bob.

I had noticed coming from home that it was much quieter than usual and the likely reason was that many people didn’t put their clocks forward until they got up. We took the usual route out from Walberton over the A27 and up Shellbridge road between the woods. Here I saw a deer nip across the road a little way in front of us. First time for that in this area, it probably hadn’t changed its clock yet. Then a short stretch of main road before turning off on the back road via Madehurst ending up near Whiteways after a final climb.

Then it was down Houghton and on via Rackham to stop for an early elevenses at Wiggonholt.

After elevenses we headed on via Stream Lane to West Chiltington and up Broadford Bridge Road where we were overtaken by a Horse and rider going up a hill, wrong way round really. Notable at the top were all the Vines planted to replace the Golf Course, much better use of the land. Then it was down to Broadford Bridge and a little further on we turned off on a quiet lane to Billingshurst and our lunch stop at Whispers Cafe.

After lunch we split up with Russell, Mike and Bob headed west to return via Cocking Hill. I decided on a much shorter flatter return catching the train from Billingshurst to Arundel and then riding back from there via Ford and Yapton.

My mileage for the day was 42 increased by getting from home to Walberton Pond before the start

My latest picture to be processed was taken in London on Thursday after finding a public access to the Thames foreshore at low tide by the Millennium Bridge. The bed of the Thames is full of detritus from the centuries including bricks from buildings destroyed in the Great Fire of London.

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Saturday 24 March Ride to The Quarterdeck Cafe West Itchenor

For the Ride today 11 of us met at Chichester Library to Ride to a recently opened Cafe and a first for us at the Quarterdeck Cafe, West Itchenor. Graeme Hodge was the leader. It was cloudy but stayed dry with a light SE wind and mild temperatures up to 9C

Graeme led us out via West Street and the Cycle Bridge over the Railway. Then it was down Appledram Lane . We picked up The Salterns Way off Del Quay Road passing some really sodden fields and making our way past some really large puddles on the lane. Then on to Chichester Yacht basin and Birdham Pool to Birdham. To avoid more mud on the Salterns Way we took a short stretch of main road before turning off on a lane to Itchenor and West Itchenor. The cafe is at the end of the road by a boat yard making for a different sort of ambience. We were made very welcome and the Cafe is one to add to the list for further visits.

Most of us settled outside in a very sheltered location for tea and cake

The Cafe dog was very interested too

We  mainly retraced our route to Chichester Yacht basin but then headed for the main road exit. Graeme led the Chichester bound riders left and a short way along the main road to avoid the mud and then back on Appledram lane. The Bogor bound riders went right and then left over to Hunston, Runcton and the lane to Merston and back to Bognor on the Cycle Path.

Edwin Jones

Sunday 11 March Ride to Singleton

The weather was relatively mild today with overnight at 8C and reaching 12C during the day. Despite a weather forecast of showers all day there was nothing all day during the Ride with a SE mainly tailwind and even a brief spell of sunshine in the early afternoon.

I was the leader and I was joined at Chichester Cross by Sam, Russell, Jeff and Guest Rider Tim Morley a friend of Jeff’s from Selsey.

It was a special day for Sam with the first proper ride of his newly converted electric bike. This was one of Sam’s Roberts Bikes with added crank mounted motor and ginormous battery. The advantages are much lighter at 19 lbs   and possibly a range of up to 100 hilly miles. Being a test ride though we gained a running commentary on the various thing going wrong possibly due to operator error or setup. Mileage went wrong due to gloves being too big and pressing too many buttons. The motor was running too powerfully possibly needing some more precise setup.


We headed out via Centurion Way turning off on lanes to go via West Stoke to Funtington via some fairly muddy lanes. Then on via the B-Road and West Marden to Compton Tea Rooms arriving at 10.10 just in time to beat the worst of the cyclists rush from various groups and Clubs.

The nearby destination gave us the chance to explore some lanes not used much of late. After going very briefly further north we turned right before leaving the village on an even muddier lane. This took us over some steep hills via Apple Down to North Marden. We then turned off on the road coming down from Harting and on via Chilgrove. Then lanes via Colworth Down with a long uphill where Sam’s chain came off but his motor kept going. The down hill to West Dean is a beautiful descent through woods, so quiet that some beautifully coloured pheasants had to get off the road and retreat through the hedges

A short stretch on the main road took us to the Weald and Downland Museum Cafe. Russell left us to head straight home for a Mothers Day lunch. The rest of us continued to lunch at the cafe. The menu there is too basic to attract too many mothers for special lunches so we got a table fairly readily.

The way back was fairly direct with a bit of main road and then the Centurion Way back to Chichester. After using the entry at West Dean we diverted briefly to go look at the Tunnel where they had cleared away some trees and undergrowth.

Mileage from and back to Chichester was 30. My mileage from and back to Pagham was 43.

My latest processed picture was taken in London a few weeks ago at Clapham Common, one of the few underground stations in London where trains travelling in opposite directions can be caught from the same central platform which makes for a great photo with a wide angle lens.

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