Sunday 20 May Ride to Hooksway

 

Due to engineering works the very  long train assisted ride was cancelled and amended and notified to members by email to be a ride starting at Chichester Cross to The Royal Oak, Hooksway. The day started cloudy and cool but the sun came out after an hour and it stayed warm and sunny up to 15C. Jeff was the leader and was joined by myself, Mike, Sam and Tim

Jeff took us on a fairly convoluted route out of Chichester taking estate roads north from West Street to link up with Broyle Road. Then we turned off onto Brandy Hole Lane which is pleasantly quiet between trees, Sam stopped to add a coat which coincided with a group on horses coming out of a field.

Then on to West Stoke and a left turn on a not much used Lye Lane and on via East Ashling trying to find a route through the village between the potholes. We turned off on Southbrook Road to West Ashling and then round via the wet Watery Lane to Funtington. Then it was a more familiar road over the hill to Racton and onto the B-Road north up the valley. Jeff turned off on a favourite Colin loop via Locksash Lane and some hills. I was into hill avoidance and went straight up the valley to save us a table at Compton for elevenses. After elevenses a lot of interest was taken in a quite old car.

After a brief way north we took a right turn on a narrow lane across country with a lot of cyclists coming the other way on an event and a few steep hills added in.

While the others headed on a route via Up Marden Stoughton and East Marden I took a more direct route via North Marden and a stop for Sandwiches at the 12th Century North Marden Church with a long bench overlooking green fields. We met up at the Royal Oak pub, Hooksway which is in a beautiful hollow with the way out being back up the hill save for tracks up to the ridge of the Downs.

Back up the hill after lunch we stopped to regroup at the top.

Then it was on to Chilgrove and a left turn on a lane with 3 hills and a brief break at the final hill.

Then it was down to West Dean turning off onto the top end of the Centurion Way cyclepath.

Then on down with a brief break on the trail near Lavant.

We headed for a tea stop (ice creams) at the Chichester Canal Basin.

Mileage from and back to Chichester for the main group was 35. Including my ride home my mileage was 43.

Meanwhile on the short ride to East Wittering Harvey led Ray Gould and Andrew with a route down the Salterns Way and Piggery Hall Lane to lunch at The Boulevard Cafe.

Edwin

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Sunday 13 May Ride to The Hamilton Arms, Stedham

Although a lot cooler than last weekend It was still a pleasant dry and sunny day with temperatures up to 15C and a westerly wind.

Just 3 of us met at Chichester Cross, myself as leader plus Bob and Keith Dodman. Chris joined us for lunch after bell ringing.

We headed out via West Street and then the South Coast Cycleroute lanes before turning off for West Ashling and on to Watery Lane which lived up to its name with a strong stream running alongside. Then on to Funtington and over the hill to Racton before heading up the B-Road via West Marden to stop for an early elevenses at Compton, we were joined there for a chat by Greg Newton who both I and Keith know from Time Trialling.

Then it was on towards Harting with a gradual climb from the south side passing woods with bluebells and wild Garlic. After a sharp descent into South Harting we took a lane to Nyewood before turning east on the very narrow Dumpford Lane negotiating at one point sand plus more than the usual potholes. Then on via Elsted Marsh and straight to The Hamilton Arms, Stedham for lunch. Here we were joined by 3 from Arun Adur led by Richard Boulton as they had a late change of destination.

Keith and Chris headed back their own ways as they were going more east. Bob and I headed back direct towards Chichester via lanes to Bepton and Cocking Hill. We stopped for tea at the Weald and Downland Museum new Cafe and spent a while there in the warm sunshine. Bob did another selfie, the last being on a ride 6 weeks back.

Then on via the gradual descent of the Centurion Way Path. The only disadvantage of the weather is more people on the path. Mileage from and back to Chichester was about 38, My mileage from Pagham was 52.

My latest picture was a close up of Oilseed Rape taken on Thursday near Shripney.

For a larger picture and more details see

https://www.flickr.com/photos/edwinjones/41314089494/in/dateposted-public/

Edwin

Saturday Ride – Bognor Library to Arundel

The weather forecast predicted heavy rain this afternoon but despite that it wasn’t actually raining when the ride set out from the library.

To that extent the famous Cycle Bognor “no rain Guarantee” kicked in, even though the exclusions state it isn’t valid at weekends or on any weekday ending in a “Y”.

10 of us met at Bognor library, Kathryn, Maureen, Carol, Steve , Steve, Alan, David, Dave and Lucy.

I led the group round the back of Bognor to Felpham and the golf club where we took the route through the new estate to join the Barnham track at Flansham. The rain had started by now but it was light and with little wind the riding was easy.

From Barnham we continued to Walberton, then back lanes to Binsted and past the Black Horse to the Madonna pond where the tarmac runs out .

The Madonna herself was not visible today due to foliage growth and the unmade road was in the worst condition i have ever known it in some 30 years of using this route. Large muddy puddles, deep ruts from 4-wheel drive vehicles and huge potholes filled with sharp broken bricks make for uncomfortable riding and after heavy rain this route will be unusable. Such a pity for what is an ideal quiet cross country cycle route.

However we pressed on without incident to re join the tarmac, then via the cut through to Torton Hill, dropping down under the A27 and into central Arundel.

By this stage the rain had become steadier and it became evident that the weather had had an effect on trading in Arundel shops especially when we arrived at a deserted Putting Green Cafe to find it had closed early.

Reversing our tracks we went to the Riverside Cafe. Again closed early.

Onwards to Gaskyns where the proprietor was taking the boards in and just locking up.However with his mind focused on the till he offered to stay open and serve our party. As it turned out we did not have the place to ourselves as others walked in after us. So a good decision by our host.

When it was time to leave we found the rain had got heavier and we were now riding into it.

The return route was straightforward down Ford Road to Ford, then Ford Lane to Yapton, Bilsham, Comet Corner and Middleton.

Although not everyone had brought full wet weather gear, the main weather issue was not the rainfall per se, but the huge puddles along all our poorly drained roads which soaked footwear and legs. We all made it back in one piece however, and as is customary on these occasions, it stopped raining as soon as the ride was over.

This is one of our longer Saturday afternoon rides which took an hour and a half or so to get there and about an hour back by a straighter but busier route.

The start to finish mileage was exactly 23.

Graham

Thursday 3rd May Evening Ride to The Black Horse Climping

It was a pleasant sunny evening  bring a good turnout of 12 at the start at  Arun Leisure Centre with 2 more joining us at the Pub. The Group included 3 newcomers being Chris and Val plus Scott

Steve was the Leader and he took us down the cyclepath  towards Butlins where we turned left and made our way down Limmer lane. Then it was on to the Cycle Path through King Georges Park.

Then  along Middleton Road out to Comet Corner where we crossed the busy A259 and made our way to Yapton. There it was a right into Burndell Road and Yapton Road with a brief stop at the edge of the village to switch on lights. We continued to the A259 where we turned on to a path which when we get round to it will be part of the new cyclepath. Here then is a picture to answer the many motorists who argue on Facebook that the new path is a waste of money, will be little used by cyclists who will keep using the road anyway.

After crossing the Road we headed straight up a lane to stop at the Black Horse Inn where we headed indoors to get out of the evening chill and were served by a French barman. Russell and Julian soon joined us coming from Littlehampton.

I discussed with Russell and Steve and we decided to split the group in 2 for the return to make less of an obstruction for motorists. I led the 2nd group and kept a suitable distance from Group 1. We headed directly back on the main road which is usually a lot quieter in the evening. We could see the new cyclepath on the north side which looked in the light from cars to be fairly well advanced and is due to be finished by early next month.

We returned from Comet Corner via Middleton. Mileage for the ride was about 11. My mileage from home at Pagham was 20.7. For the first time as a test I recorded my mileage on my Smartphone using Stava and the map of the route is below. This includes my ride from home.

Edwin

Sunday 29 April Ride to Barnes Green

Russell was due to lead this ride and arrived late with a mechanical problem with his Cassette which was only intermittently engaging (not good) so he had to head home. There were 4 of us remaining being myself, Sam, Bob and Mike. It was a dull and cold winters day, sorry it’s nearly May, start again. It was a dull and cold Spring day with a cold NE wind and temperatures reaching only 7C. At least the rain forecast for the afternoon was delayed until evening.

I took over as leader and we headed out through Walberton and across the A27 via Shellbridge lane. Then it was a short stretch of the A29 before turning off on the Madehurst Lane through freshly green woods and bluebells. We stopped to regroup at the end of the lane by the Whiteways Roundabout.

Then it was a fast descent to Houghton and on to lanes via Amberley and Rackham and on to stop for elevenses at RSPB Cafe, Wiggonholt heading indoors out of the cold.

I headed home from here for a shorter ride and Sam took over as leader. His report is as follows –

65miles Door to door.  After Bird sanctuary on to Coolham,  Brooks Green & “Lunch” @ Summers Pond. Cold & nonstop head wind. After lunch on via “ club hill climb” to  Main Road( A29 Staine Street) Staggered crossing  and round to cross canal & river on A272; off up the B2133 to New Pound; left into back off Wisborough. Green  and on to Kirdford for a tea! Back through and down to & over A272 onward to Well Diggers Arms. Mike went left to Fittleworth: We went right through Byworth over Stopham bridge, Barlavington, Duncton, Singleton & Centurion Way home. Temp at top of Duncton 7 degrees C and NO RAIN

……………………………………….

For my return I wanted a different route than the outbound so headed on a lane towards Coldwaltham with a stop for a picture of Bluebells on the verge.

Then it was on a lane via Coates south of Fittleworth and a stop for a chat with Chris Dart who was coming in the other direction. He was not expecting to get to Barnes Green in time but getting in some hill training before a holiday. Then for me it was on via Duncton Hill and Upwaltham and the long descent to Eartham and Slindon Bottom Road. This is my favourite local road for quiet views especially with the trees in their Spring or Autumn leaves.

Then it was under the tunnel to Fontwell to discover a new Cyclepath. This goes the length of Fontwell Village as far as the lane down to Walberton. It is part of the cycle route from the coast to Slindon and the Downs. So new they had not put in yet give way markings at every side road.

Then back home via Yapton and the Prom. Mileage for me was 48 from and back to Pagham

My latest picture was taken on Thursday at the end of a visit to Arundel Castle Tulip Festival just as black storm clouds gathered. I sent the picture up to BBC South Today for their weather pictures and it was shown on TV Thursday Evening.

For a larger picture and more details see https://www.flickr.com/photos/edwinjones/40832808915/in/photostream/

Edwin

Evening ride- Arun Leisure Centre to Fontwell, The Stable Bar.

In contrast to last week’s evening ride, tonight was 10 or 12 degrees lower with a strong south westerly wind. Not an especially promising evening, but nonetheless 7 turned out for the ride.

I led Michelle, John, Maureen, Steve, Carol and Harvey away round the back of the Arun leisure Centre, up to Bognor Golf club and then the refurbished path through the new estate, crossing the relief road to Stanover Lane and on to the Barnham Cycle track. Stanover Lane although short is very sheltered under trees and in consequence can retain water when other roads have dried out. But it has been improved with a surface dressing. There was a thin layer of mud lying on parts of the surface dressing today, but it was neither sticky nor deep and was negotiated without difficulty. Numerous tyre tracks indicate this cut through is becoming very popular with cyclists.

After clearing the Barnham cyclepath we had a brief stop outside the Church to admire the blossom.

Then a straightforward route followed – To Walberton via the Cycletrack along Barnham Lane, then West Walberton Lane to Fontwell, where I was surprised to see a new cycletrack has been opened alongside the length of London Road and turning down towards the subway. I am sure this was not even started last time we came this way!

We rode the length of London Road to the A27 roundabout, turning into Fontwell Avenue and crossing to the Stables Bar.

For the return route, the plan was to take the path alongside the A27 for about half a mile to Nyton Lane, dropping down through Aldingbourne to Hook lane, then Woodgate Crossing and home. However we had only done a few hundred yards out from the Stables when Michelle got a puncture. And it was a big one. A huge “rock” was retrieved from the tube, which had instantly deflated. Repairs were effected in the pitch black alongside the A27.

After we got going again I decided to cut our losses and we turned down Level Mare Lane to join the A29 north of the Eastergate Memorial. Another short stop to change batteries for a failing light and then heads down for a fast run all the way down the A29 to the Bognor Relief Road. Those heading for Bognor left us there whilst a Felpham/Middleton contingent took the relief road’s cycle path to Flansham and home.

Start to finish it was a modest run of 14.5

Graham

Sunday 22 April Rides to Compton

This was a good idea from Russell of a long and short ride meeting for lunch at the same location at Compton. It was a beautiful sunny spring day for the rides with temperatures up to 20C inland. I was the leader of the long ride meeting at Chichester Cross at 9.00 and I was joined by just Sam and Bob. Arthur led the short ride and he was joined by Lynn, Harvey, Andrew, Graham, Alan, Bob and Gill plus David Glue who went part way.

I led the long ride out first via West Street and then up the Centurion Way before cutting across on lanes to West Stoke. Then it was on a lane via Woodend towards Funtington with beautiful views across rolling hills and fields of Rapeseed Oil. On the same lane we passed woods full of Bluebells. During the day on the ride after the long winter the fresh leaves on the trees were evident plus blossoms and at one point wild garlic on the verge.

From Funtington we headed up the hill and over to Racton and then on via Aldsworth to our elevenses stop in the sunshine at Rowlands Castle.

Then it was a gradual climb past the Golf Course and on via a lane to Horndean. A bridge took us over the A3 and then a narrow lane to Cathrington and on to Clanfield. Then another lane up again coming out by The Hampshire Hog Pub and back over the A3. A nice long descent followed to Chalton followed by a short sharp climb and a stop to regroup, admire the views and for Sam to use his electronic cigarette.

We usually avoid using this lane in the other direction because of the long very steep climb so it was a fast descent. We soon turned off on a lane past Idsworth Farm and a very long but gradual climb over to Compton for our lunch stop were we joined Arthur’s group. They had come a much more direct route with a stop for elevenses at Woodmancote.

We separated for our rides back but meeting up for tea at The Roman Palace Cafe, Fishbourne. For the last stretch back to Chichester we joined up as one group.

On the long ride the mileage from and back to Chichester was 38. My mileage from Pagham was 52.

On the way to the start of the Ride I did my first report this morning on the “I Love West Sussex” Pothole reporting App. This giant hole on Vinnetrow Road nr Chichester seemed an appropriate one to start with. Looks like the white lines the Council put round to show it needs attention have fallen into the hole

This next picture was taken in London last month showing Millwall Inner Dock just south of Canary Wharf.

For a bigger picture and more details see

https://www.flickr.com/photos/edwinjones/41448304332/in/dateposted-public/

Edwin