Sunday 17th February Ride to The Harrow Inn Steep Nr Petersfield (Long Ride)

Four met at the Cross for today’s cycle to the Harrow Inn, Steep. I was leading and was joined by Sam, Paul and Mike. I had already arranged that we would meet Jeff at Rowlands Castle, so that was our elevenses stop. Bumblebee Café was still quiet at 10.00am, so we beat the rush. On leaving the café, it was soon evident that it was going to be an unseasonably warm day, making the ride through Finchdean and onto Buriton almost surreal for mid February! Sam commented that ‘it was like a dream’.

There were hoards of other cyclists out enjoying the conditions.

Petersfield was unusually quiet, so despite our gentle pace we arrived at the Harrow Inn before opening time, along with half a dozen motorists and a few walkers. We found a garden table in the sun and relaxed until the pub door bolts were pulled.

Sam boldly choose their famous Ham and Pea soup, whereas Paul and myself settled for the beef sandwich. As usual, the food was succulent and they certainly don’t stint on the portion size!

By now the pub was quite busy, about 10 mountain bikers had turned up and plenty of motorists. Post lunch the sky was clouding over and a SW wind getting up, so it was a fairly direct ride back using the Petersfield /QE2 cycle path.

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We dropped Jeff back at Rowlands Castle, Mike and myself headed back to Chichester whilst Sam and Paul enjoyed a final coffee of the day.

A very pleasant day out, temperatures maxed at 12C around midday but it felt warmer. Return mileage was 46.

Russell

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Sunday 17 February. Short Ride to the Boulevard Cafe, East Wittering

The weather today was dry and mild for the time of year at 10C with spells of sun and cloud but staying dry.

Eight keen cyclists set out from the Cross at 10.00am for the easy ride to Wittering: Arthur “the leader”, Lynn, Graham, Tony, Maureen, Bob, Michael and a potential new member, Steve.

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We headed for coffee at the Chichester Yacht Club Marina and gave Graham the chance to fix his puncture. Following morning coffee we cycled on for lunch at The Boulevard Cafe in Wittering. The food at the cafe was delicious and I recommend the toasted haloumi wrap. There was a final optional coffee stop at Fishbourne Roman Palace cafe on the way home

Michael

Sunday 10 February, Stedham diverted to Rowlands Castle

It was a cool day with spells of rain including at the start time. Despite this 3 still turned up. Paul, Bob & Myself

En route to Compton for elevenses the rain eased. However the Café was closed due to staff shortage. We decided to go to Horndean instead. En route the rain started again so we diverted at Idsworth to Rowlands Castle and the Bumblebee Cafe where Bob caught us in a multiple selfie.

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We then returned directly home giving up on going to Stedham . Distance from and back to Chichester was approx. 21 miles. At Chichester the rain stopped & it became a nice afternoon!!

Sam Roberts with some padding out by Edwin

Saturday 26th January. Ride from Chichester Library to Hillier’s Garden Centre, Fishbourne

There were 12 of us who did the ride to Hilliers’ on Saturday. Thankfully the weather stayed dry though it was cold at 6C and a strong wind. I was pleased that there was a good turnout of cyclists.

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I led the ride as far as the garden centre. After a pleasant warm break 9 of us returned to Chichester by repeating the same route back. Richard Carlisle wanted to go on a bit further so 2 others joined him going around Bosham harbour.

All in all a nice little ride!

Chris Merrian

Sunday 20 January. Ride to Heidi’s Cafe, Emsworth

The weather today was clear and sunny most of the day though cold with temperatures starting at 1C and reaching just 5C

Eight of us turned up at Chichester Cross being Arthur the leader plus Lynn, Jason, Rosemary, Andrew, Maureen, Bob and Michael. It was a glorious ride under cloudless skies, but the wind chill was severe when we set off for the first cake stop at Woodmancote which has the benefit of a roaring fire

Then it was on to lunch at Heidi’s Cafe, Emsworth with a photo stop outside.

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Michael

Sunday 13th January Ride to Stansted.

Seven met at an unseasonably mild Chichester Cross for today’s cycle to Compton, via a circular route. Bob was leading and he was joined by Sam, Paul, Michael, Tim, Gill and myself. Bob however is recovering from an off on wet leaves, so Sam and myself took over leading. Bob would follow on at his own pace to meet up for lunch.

The group took the regular route out to Westbourne, where Gill decided that she would head straight for Stansted, leaving the rest of us to ride to Horndean Garden Centre Cafe for elevenses. The café was markedly quieter than on our last visit in December and it was warm enough to sit outside for a leisurely stop.

Leaving Horndean, in a distinctly blustery NNW wind, we retraced our route nearly as far as Rowlands Castle before taking the Finchdean road and descending White Hill. Then the long climb to the top of the hill at Forestside before the long descent to Stansted. Then a problem – Blossoms Café is closed for refurbishment throughout January and February. A quick discussion followed and then we were cycling back up the long climb to Forest side before taking lunch at Compton.

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After lunch I left the group and headed straight back to Chichester. Sam, Paul, Tim and Michael cycled over the hill to Stoughton and then on to Walderton and Funtington and back to Chichester.

My mileage to and from Chichester was 34 miles.

As a footnote, Bob and Gill were met by Chris and they enjoyed a nice relaxing lunch in the Café at Stansted House. So in total eight out today.

Russell

Saturday 12 January: Ride to Runcton

Our first Saturday ride of 2019 and it was a mild (for January) and calm but dull afternoon, with the sky threatening rain but never delivering. Thank goodness for the Cycle Bognor “no rain guarantee” !  (T’s & C’s apply).

Ten met at Bognor Library with 2 (Deb and Michelle) meeting us along the way, so 12 out for the afternoon.

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I led Mike, Alan, Julian, Steve, Carol, Maureen, Chris, David & Michelle (S) from Bognor Library through the subway and over Highfield Bridge, then South Bersted and a twisty route through estate roads to North Bersted.  Then a cycle route through the new estate to reach the A259 and the Chichester cycletrack.

We followed the cycletrack to Colworth and then took the loop of lanes to re-emerge back on the cycletrack, as far as Merston where we turned through the village, and along the lane to Runcton. From there it was a very short hop up a busy road to Manor Nurseries and the Palm House Restaurant.

Suitably refreshed we completed a circular ride back to Bognor via the tracks through Butterlees Farm ( with a photo stop)

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Then there were more twists and turns in Aldwick down to West Park,  finally finishing on the promenade in the town centre.

The round trip mileage was 13.

Graham