Sunday 7th January. Mince Pie Ride

Today was the Mince Pie Ride to the house of Philippa and William at Bracklesham Bay.

We met at Chichester Cross at 10.00. Those on the ride were myself, Russell, Mike, Graham, Bob and Andrew  so 6 in all. The weather was sunny all day with temperatures starting at 4C and staggering up to 6C. There was a strong and cold NE wind.

We headed out on West Street and then Appledram lane. I had planned to keep out of the mud and stay on the roads but the low sun directly in line with our route made it unsafe so we diverted onto the Salterns Way parallel with Apuldram Way. Then it was the lane and paths across the fields  where we had to negotiate a nuber of floods across the route. Luckily these were shallow enough to see if there were any potholes. Then over the Lock  gates on via Birdham Pool to Birdham. Then from the roundabout a stretch of the B-Road towards Bracklesham before turning off on a backroad via Earnley and on to Philippa and William at Garden Avenue at Bracklesham .

We had a splendid spread provided including sausage rolls, home baked bread, Mince Pies and other cakes.

More club members arrived with Harvey, Dawn, Fred and Roy coming by Bike and more coming direct by car being Dave, Jan, Arthur and Lynn so including Philippa, William and David there were 17 in all.

For the return Russell and Mike went back early but Harvey joined us so 5 on the group ride

On the way back we took a route on lanes via Almodington to Sidlesham Common. Then it was a stretch of main road towards Hunston

Mileage from and back to Chichester was about 18. My mileage from Pagham was 30.

My latest HDR picture is one taken at a viewpoint in Bristol during a day trip from Bath while staying there with family over Christmas week.


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Sunday 17th December. Ride to Stansted

The weather today started off very cold with a frost and some ice around at -2C though warming up later to 9C with milder air coming in with the rain from midday.

The Ride was due to have gone to The Victoria, West Marden but with rain coming in the lunch stop was amended to Blossoms Cafe, Stansted. Arthur was the leader. He was joined at Chichester Cross by myself, Sam and Bill. Russell and Chris caught up with us en route.  Lynn joined us at Woodmancote so 7 in all on the ride.

Sam was very cold

Arthur led the group out via West Street and then on via Clay Lane and the South Coast Cycleroute to Woodmancote for our elevenses stop where Lynn joined us. After a welcome warm break we got ready for the cold again.

From elevenses we split up, Bill, Chris and I headed straight back home while Arthur, Lynn, Sam and Russell headed on to Lunch at Stansted. I still got the rain with it starting while on the southern side of Chichester as forecast at 12.20. My mileage from Pagham was 28.

My latest picture to be processed was taken yesterday with Christmas Lights at Oxford Street during a photographic trip to London. Definitely not for Christmas shopping which I do online to save the hassle.

Today was the last Ride of the year. The next Ride is the New Years Day ride to Wiggonholt followed by the Mince Pie Ride on 7th January. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to All.


Sunday 10 December. Midhurst

Sam was the leader of this ride but with torrential rain and strong winds gusting to 60mph, nobody else turned up. Sam went ahead anyway taking a route first up Centurion Way. Then it was on via West Stoke where a dip and a deep flood could have shorted the electrics but all was well.

Then on to Compton. The cyclists there were down on the normal numbers but there were 4 hardy types  loaded with camping gear and wearing shorts after having camped overnight at Kingley Vale. Sam decided that if they could do it he would finish the route and climbed Harting with a tail wind.

Then it was on to the Glasshouse Cafe, Stedham where they just managed to do him a Coffee before the electric died.

Then it was back home via Midhurst, Bepton and Cocking for a ride of 38.5 miles in torrential rain, fallen trees and branches and freezing temperatures.

Well done Sam.

Edwin for Sam

Saturday 9 December. Ride to Littlehampton

Despite temperatures barely reaching 3-4C there were 11 out at Bognor Library for the Saturday Ride today to Littlehampton. Steve and Carol joined us at Middleton so 13 in all on the Ride. David Sinclair was our leader.

Possible routes were limited due to the Barnham path being churned up by Cable Laying. David led us out via Hotham Park and the cycle path to Felpham. Then it was Limmer Lane and the Cycle Path across the Playing Fields and some convoluted estate roads taking Maureen past her house. Then on via Middleton and across the main road at Comet Corner where Steve and Carol joined us.

We continued on the lanes via Yapton and Horsemere Green Lane. Then it was across the main road from Ford Lane and more lanes to Littlehampton Footbridge over the river and on to the warmth of the Look and Sea Cafe. After a refreshing break we sorted out the bikes for the return.

The return was far too busy for the main road aggravated by the road being narrowed by the work on the new cyclepath. This will be something to look forward to next spring. We essentially retraced the outward route via Yapton and Middleton for the return though giving a miss to the Felpham estates.

My mileage from Pagham was 26 so from Bognor the ride would have been about 19.

Edwin for David

Sunday 3 December Ride to Compton and Christmas Lunch at The Four Chesnuts, Chichester

The weather today was cloudy but milder than of late reaching 10C by afternoon. About half way to Chichester I realised my camera was back home in the living room, too late! Just 3 of us met at Chichester Cross, myself, Sam and Russell. Bob joined us at Compton and Andrew almost joined us arriving for a coffee just as were leaving. There were 18 in all for the Christmas lunch later at Chichester. I was the leader. Thanks to Sam and his mobile and a member of the Public for the picture.

We headed out via West Street and then the Centurion Way with a lot of wet leaves and then via West Stoke and Funtington. I took a route straight to Compton on the valley road via West Marden. This is a gradual slight uphill all the way made to feel more so by a head on NW wind.

We stopped at Compton Village Tea Rooms for 11s, well 10s really as we arrived soon after 10.00 before the crowds of other cyclists piling in later.

Then we headed back at a much faster speed via West Marden, Racton and Woodmancote. At the west end of Chichester we turned in to Sam’s Road so he could change to an old bike less likely to be stolen. Apologies to Arun Adur who I gather were coming in the opposite direction as we turned off but I didn’t recognize in time.

At The Four Chesnuts, Chichester we settled in to a long (3 hours) 3 course Christmas lunch. Harvey and Mike came direct by bike with the rest coming by car or bus. At the old skittle alley which we used to use for autumn events the new owners had renovated as a new dining area and the food was much enjoyed. Credit to Bob for the picture.

My latest picture to be processed was taken yesterday in areas of The City of London while guiding a group of 15 from Bognor Regis Camera Club round various Photo locations. This one is of the Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s from the South Bank.


Sunday 26 November Ride to Durleighmarsh Farm Cafe, Nr Petersfield

It was a beautiful clear blue sky day with a northerly wind and very cold. It had dropped low enough for a grass frost but borderline below freezing so no problems with ice on the road. Plenty of woolly hats in evidence though.

Jeff was the leader and he was joined at Chichester Cross by Mark, Bob and Edwin.

I had been off the bike with a nasty chesty cough for 4 weeks so had decided to go only as far as elevenses. Jeff was taking a route north via West Dean and after being told of the new Cafe at Singleton Open Air Museum decided to make an early elevenses stop there,

We headed out via West Street and then on the quiet route along the Centurion Way coming across only the occasional dog walker and jogger. After negotiating the Path exit at West Dean we rode on the lanes through the village before joining the main road for a short way to the Museum. Early arrivals were just coming in for the Museums Christmas Market and a tent took up the patio area where we usually parked bikes. We were directed to a new Bike Park nearby.

The cafe is a new building before the Museum pay point next to a beautiful pond. We got there early enough to avoid crowds in the cafe.

Here Jeff continues the story

It was a sparking winter’s day. The downside was the freezing temperature combined with a NW wind so stopping at the new Weald and Downland cafe in Singleton suggested by Edwin was a good idea. Well it was apart from the constant stream of cars heading for their Christmas Market ( it is still November!) and the disposable coffee cups from a coffee earn . Still the building was good – oak frame with stainless steel flange bolted joints.

Edwin left us at this point leaving Jeff , Bob and Mark to climb up to the South Downs Way crossing before heading down to Cocking and then on back roads via Treyford
Then it was on to South Harting. The South Downs looking their best in the winter sun.   We reached Durleighmarsh Cafe just after noon and were very impressed by the lunch .  We returned to South Harting and then it was the hard  climb up the back road to Harting top. A little known cut through to Uppark is possible when the gate is open and this avoided going down hill again !
By the time we reached Compton the skies were darkening obviously getting ready for the predicted heavy rain on Monday.  However we got back to Chichester dry by 2.40 only to find yet more people Christmas shopping.


Edwin continues

While the others headed north for lunch I retraced the route back to Chichester. On the way back it was noticeable on the cycletrack past the college that they had repainted some of the faint bicycle markings on the path. Possibly some pedestrians might pay more attention, or maybe not.

My mileage from and back to Pagham was 30.

One of my recent pictures was taken at the V&A Museum using a fisheye lens and taking advantage of the reflection in a display case .

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Saturday Ride 25th November. Bognor to Brick Kiln

A lovely autumnal afternoon with bright sunshine but cold at 5 or 6 degrees brought 13 out to this afternoon’s startpoint….. Mike L, Carol, Steve W, Julian, Alan, Steve, Matthew,,  Julia, Andy, Kathryn, Christine, and new rider Mike H.

I led the group down to Bognor seafront from where we took the prom to its end at Nyewood Lane.

Then it was Fish Lane with a turn via Chawkmere Coppice to cross Aldwick Green and the duck pond and a photo stop.

From there we took the Lower Bognor Road to Butterlees Farm where we took an off road route to Lagness.

A short bit of busy road followed before we turned right into Merston Lane then Green Lane to ride off public roads again on the bridleway through Chichester food park on the old Merston Aerodrome.

On the other side was the cycletrack which we took direct to the Brick Kiln nursery.

The Brick Kiln does Christmas in a big way and as well as a choir singing accapella carols there was an opportunity to visit Santa. Unfortunately i was refused entry to Santa as apparently I had not been a “good boy” over the course of the year.

Andy left us at the nursery to return direct to Chichester whilst I led the rest of the group down the cycletrack and the Colworth loop to Bersted and back via the usual contorted urban route back to central Bognor. By this time the temperature had noticeably dropped as the sun set. Bognor town was noticeably buzzing as the Christmas lights were due to be switched on and the ice rink and associated market were crammed with people.

Round trip Mileage from and back to the library was a modest 14.5