Sunday 22 October London Ride

The weather today was fair after the rigours of Storm Brian on Saturday. Though still windy the strength was much reduced and it stayed dry throughout the ride. It was though notably colder with temperatures of about 11C. The ride was led by David Sinclair who had devised a great convoluted route with many paths and back streets. There were 12 on the ride in all. On the train from Bognor there were David, Michelle, myself, Maureen, Tony and Alan. On the train from Chichester there was Jeff and Bob and Christine (Shoreham). Meeting us at Victoria there was Roger, Alan’s son Paul and his friend Dan. We had regrouped by the Whistlestop Store and none of  noticed our disobedience of the very large sign.

To start off we took a lot of backstreets from Victoria  to Westminster passing some closed off streets where they were filming Mary Poppins 2. Not sure if they filmed yesterday as they might have had some unintended realistic effects. Then it was on via Horseguards to The Mall which is closed to traffic on Sundays, normally this is full of pedestrians but there must have been something special going on. First a policeman told us to ride single file and then a little further on we were directed off to the side.

After riding along the closed off to cars Constitution Hill Road we negotiated Hyde Park Corner via the pedestrian lights and rode the cyclepath through Hyde Park. Then it was backstreets to the Paddington area to join the Regents Canal shared use path. At a brief stop I took the opportunity for a group shot with a less than ideal backdrop but the path was too narrow elsewhere.

We continued on the path passing London Zoo and Camden Market and eventually coming out at the North end of Kings Cross where there is a major redevelopment underway. At a quiet new square we found a cafe for elevenses.

Leaving the Cafe we passed the offices of a fairly well known firm.

Next we took the only busy road of the day, The Seven Sisters Road passing The Emirates Stadium to get us NE to the Walthamstow Wetlands Centre where we stopped for 20 minutes to look round the freshly opened last Friday Visitor Centre. Then we joined the River Lea shared use path to stop for lunch at a riverside cafe next to the Rowing Club. We just managed to get a free table. Despite a long queue service after ordering took minutes so they were pretty efficient.

We continued on the Lea Path south to the Olympic Park and a few phone calls to meet up with Jeff who had missed lunch to spend more time at the Park. We opted out of Ice Creams as it was too cold.

A short way on we met up with Jeff and stopped for a group photo.

The route was not without its obstacles and where they want cyclists to dismount they put a ridged surface on  not possible to ride except by a determined mountain biker.

The return route from near Canary Wharf took us on the CS3 Cycle Super Highway where a good part of the road space along the North Bank has been put aside for cyclists separated by a kerb from the cars. The first picture is on Lower Thames Street between the Tower of London and London Bridge. The second picture is on the Embankment approaching Parliament and Big Ben somewhat obscured by scaffolding.

We returned to Victoria with 10 minutes to spare before a train home at 5.02. The route covered 28 miles and our thanks to David for working out the intricate route taking us away from traffic most of the time.

 

My latest picture was taken at Newhaven on Saturday with a long lens from a safe location at lunchtime at the peak of the storm. I would say it was the right call to cancel the Saturday afternoon ride.

See a larger picture and more details at https://www.flickr.com/photos/edwinjones/37842599822/in/dateposted-public/

Edwin

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Sunday 15 October. Ride to Hayling Island

The weather today was exceptionally warm for the time of year reaching 18C due to a flow of air coming from the far south. Early cloud gave way to spells of warm sun with light winds.. Harvey was the leader and he was joined at Chichester Cross by Bob, Arthur, Sam, Lynn and newcomer Bill with Edwin behind the camera making 7 out in all.

We headed out via West Street and Clay Lane among beautiful Autumn colours. Then it was on via Woodmancote and Westbourne to stop for elevenses at The Garden Cafe, Emsworth.

Then it was on along the cyclepath alongside the main road before crossing to take the tunnel under the A27 and stopping briefly to regroup.

Then down the Hayling Billy cycle trail and the cycle path over the bridge to Hayling Island. Then it was on via the lane to Northney to our lunch stop at Meadow Farm Nursery Cafe. We were able to sit outside round one big table.

For the return route we retraced via Northney and the bridge and then took the path along the waterfront adjoining Langstone Harbour.

Then we turned off on a path heading back towards Havant. We then took the backroad via Warblington and the cyclepath  alongside Southleigh Road and across to Westbourne. Then it was more lanes round to Woodmancote and a stop for tea at the Woodmancote Arms. Bill left us here finding it was too many coffee stops for the miles. He probably had a point but the rest of us enjoyed the break.

We then retraced our route on the South Coast Cycleroute lanes and back to Chichester. Mileage from and back to Chichester was about 32. My mileage from and back to Pagham was 42.

My latest special picture was taken 9 days ago at the Natural History Museum in London showing the Blue Whale skeleton. The large number of people in the hall were removed by taking 34 pictures and using an automated process in Photoshop to delete anything which moved apart from 2 people which I choose to keep.

For more details see https://www.flickr.com/photos/edwinjones/37615989832

Edwin

Saturday 14 October. Ride to Blossoms, Cafe Stansted

There were 10 out today on the Saturday Ride to Stansted from Chichester. It was fairly cloudy with sunny spells and a warm and unseasonal 18C due to a flow of warm air from the south. Edwin led in place of Richard who had gone to Yorkshire. He was joined at Chichester Library by Sam, Alan, Chris, Carol, Steve, Bill, Andy, Sue and Kathryn. Sam was there to give Richard a ride on Sam’s electric Bike. Didn’t work out but Sam rode with us anyway for the first time on a Saturday Ride. Bill is a newcomer from Devon staying temporarily in Chichester.

We took a route out via West Street and the South Coast Cycleroute lanes via Woodmancote and then on via Westbourne and a lane via Aldsworth to stop for tea at Blossoms Cafe, Stansted in the Garden Centre. We were separated at the Cafe as some of us went straight to the Garden while others made the error of asking staff about the Garden and being told it was closed. The being closed bit actually meant in practice there were no cushions on the chairs.

The return took in Westbourne before taking a different route back via Southbourne and a lane via Hambrook. Then it was down to the main road and back to Chichester on the cyclepath alongside.

Mileage from and back to Chichester was about 20.

Edwin

Sunday 8 October. Ride to the George and Dragon, Dragons Green

The weather today was mainly cloudy though dry with light winds and temperatures up to 16C.

The start was 9.00am at Walberton Pond. Russell was the leader and he was joined by Sam, Bob and myself so 4 out on the day. We headed out north via Shellbridge Road and Singleton Common with the leaves just starting to turn.

Then it was a short stretch of main road before turning off on the lane via Madehurst up to Whiteways Roundabout and down to Houghton. We had been passed by classic cars and there was a major event on at Amberley Museum. Then it was on via Amberley and Rackham and passing heather.

Then on to Wiggonholt RSPB Cafe for elevenses.

I had gained a cold a few days ago so decided to head back from elevenses. The rest continued planning to take a route via West Chiltington and passing on a lane near Shripney and on to Dragons Green for lunch. Bob sent some pictures via Smartphone including one of a bike above the Pub door.

Another one shows a Grave in the Pub Garden

Despite cutting short the ride an 8 mile ride to the start meant my mileage for the day was 41.

On Friday I went to London and took in the new Postal Museum and Mail Rail at Mount Pleasant. Mail Rail is a mini underground Railway under London used to transport letters which closed in 2003. It reopened last month to take tourists. I got lucky with a lot of no shows and 4 empty seats in front of me in the glass enclosed mini carriages making for unobstructed views. With a lower shutter speed the walls are blurred.

Edwin

Sunday 1 October. Ride to Compton

A few words regarding today’s ride. No photos unfortunately.

I was met at the Cross by just Sam and Bob, so only 3 out on today’s ride, which was not surprising given the less than favourable weather forecast. A comparison of weather forecasts seemed to indicate that today’s promised wind and rain would arrive at Fort Nelson (our lunch destination) around noon and at Chichester by 1pm, so we decided to set off on a very flexible route, being prepared to stop and head for home if/when the rain arrived. We took the usual route out to Woodmancote and then on to our elevenses stop at the Village Café in Rowlands Castle. It was still dry and by now quite warm so we were able to sit outside. for once there were more walkers than cyclists at the café and evidently it was muddy going on foot by the look of them.

A  quick look at the weather timings and a  route re-jiggle later we headed off up the Finchdean Road, through Idsworth and over the hill to an early lunch at the village stores Café at Compton. At this point we were strong contenders for the annual CTC award for fewest miles travelled per coffee stop. ( 2 cafes in 18 miles and some of those miles were a return trip to Rowlands Castle when Sam realized he had left his wind proof behind! Luckily it had been handed to the counter staff by another customer) Again the weather was kind enough for us to sit outside at Compton, not many other cyclists around for a change though.

It was then back to Chichester, taking a slightly different route to usual, arriving back at 1pm, just as with almost military precision, the rain started. Not quite sure how we timed it so well!

Total mileage was only 29 miles, however it was a very satisfying ride without really going anywhere! ‘

Russell

Sunday 24th September. Ride to Stedham

It was a beautiful sunny day again feeling like summer with temperatures up to 21C. There was though a fairly strong SE wind.

On the way to the start at Chichester Cross I stopped off at Eastgate Square for a picture of the new Keats Statue.

I was the leader and I was joined at the start by Russell, Sam, Bob and Keith.

We headed out via Centurion Way and then lanes via West Stoke and Funtington and then the B-Road via West Marden to stop for elevenses at Compton.

We arrived there soon after 10.00 as we aim to get a seat as it is a little popular with cyclists on a Sunday morning.

Then it was on up the gradual climb past Uppark of Harting Hill and down into the village and on via a lane to Nyewood. Then it was on via a narrow lane to Dumpford and on to Trotton and a very brief stretch of the busy A272 before  turning off on the lane via Chithurst and a brief check of the route.

 

The lanes here are very narrow with a lot of accumulated dried mud much in need of clearing. Russell and I had sandwiches on the green at Stedham in the heat of the sun and then went on to join the others at the Hamilton Arms.

We were due to meet Arun Adur at the pub and they arrived an hour after we did about as we were ready to leave but we had time for a chat.

Keith left us after lunch and the rest of us headed back via Severals Lane to Bepton and then on to Cocking and climbing the hill. Down to Singleton and we stopped for tea at a new cafe opened a few weeks ago at Singleton Open Air museum which can be visited without paying to go in the museum.

The return was downhill on the Centurion Way and mileage from and back to Chichester was about 38. My mileage from Pagham was 50.

Last weekend I went to Open House London where many buildings normally closed to the public open their doors. One was City Hall on the South Bank,

For more details see https://www.flickr.com/photos/edwinjones/36528897224/in/dateposted-public/

Another was the Royal Albert Hall done as a panorama

For more details see https://www.flickr.com/photos/edwinjones/36924025950/in/dateposted-public/

Edwin

Saturday 23 September Ride to Manor Nursery Cafe

It was a beautiful warm sunny day for the Saturday afternoon ride today with temperatures up to 18C. Graham was the leader and there were 15 of us at the start including Christine, Kathryn, Steve, Carol, Steve2, Michelle, George, David, Julian, Mike, Alan, Frances, Mike2 and Edwin.

Many years ago we used to start the Evening Rides with a Tour of Bognor led of course by Graham. The start of the ride felt a bit like that. Excuse me if I get mixed up but I think I have it about right. We headed out from the Library  west along London Road, then Cresent Road and Queensway and then Ockley Road causing a bit of a stir as we went with car tailbacks.

Then it was a little bit of Linden Road before turning into Havelock Road and into Longford Road still a short way from the Library just across the Railway tracks. Then before the big roundabout a right into Gordon Avenue taking us under the flyover (a new one on me) Then a very short bit of Highland Avenue before taking the cyclepath under the A29 Roundabout and into Orchard Way before turning off onto Durban Road through the Industrial Estate. Then it was right into Ash Grove and up to Rowan Way to North Bersted along the Cyclepath. Then it was onto the Berry Lane Cycleroute to the new Bersted Estate at which point I lost track a bit as it was more streets new to me.

I believe we exited on Elbridge Road Then it was across the new bypass by the roundabout to pick up the Bognor Chichester Cyclepath. We turned off on to Colworth Lane. It was good to see Graham clearly identified as the Ride Leader.

Then it was back to the Cyclepath alongside the main road and then onto the lane via Merston before turning onto a short stretch of the busy Lagness Road to the Cafe. Unusually we sat outside as normally when we visit this location it is too cold. After welcome hot drinks and cakes we got ready to head back. This is a picture of David’s new bike which is actually a refurbished Post Office bike good for trips to the shop. It was notable during the ride for the loud clatter from the basket every time we went over a bump.

After a short stretch south on the main road we turned off on the concrete farm track via Park Farm.

The return to the Library was via the Cycleroute on the Prom to complete a round trip of 12 miles.

Edwin