Bognor Chichester CTC Ride Notes- Club Website is at www.bognorchichesterctc.org.uk
Saturday, 23 February 2008
Lanzarote. Saturday 23 February. El Golfo Ride.
On Thursday and Friday something remarkable happened. For the first time in the seven weeks I have been here it was grey and overcast all day with periods of rain, almost reminding me of home. Today however it was back to normal with sunny skies and scattered clouds with temperatures up to 21C. The forecast for next week is settled and warm with high-pressure becoming re-established.
My ride today was to head south west to the El Golfo crater. This was a volcano which has become half eroded by the sea. I headed out on the usual backroad to Tias. I stopped to take a picture of a field full of spring flowers looking down towards the coast. After reaching the ridge at Conil I had good views from 1000ft towards the coast and the distant hills of Fueventura to the south. I continued to the LZ30 road running through the centre of the island and headed south on this. On the last two occasions I have visited Lanzarote the last 4 miles of this road had been unusable on a road bike with the road being narrow and more potholes than Tarmac. However the road has now been renewed and is beautifully smooth tarmac cutting between scenic views of volcanoes and vineyards.
The road ended in the small town of Uga and I stopped here for a picnic lunch in a park. Then it was down through the town of Yaiza and the turn off for the byroad to El Golfo. This is a 10 mile circuit which goes across the lava flow coming down from the mountain's to the sea. After the crater the road follows the coast where the lava flow came down to the sea and has been spectacularly eroded.
After a short descent to the small town of El Golfo I bought an ice cream and had a look at the crater from the north side. Then it was a ride back on the road to the south side where there were better views of the striated rocks and coloured pool.
I then continued down the coast to Los Hervideros, an area where the sea water had eroded the lava rocks leaving caves into which the waves pounded. Further down the road there were spectacular views as the road closely followed the edge of the lava cliffs. At one point the sea had eroded a rock bridge and trench into which the waves were funnelled producing spectacular splashes. As the road left the coast it wound round a bay with salt flats.
Then it was back up to Yaiza on the old road which goes parallel to the new main road. Then it was back to base with a descent to Puerto Calero and a short climb back to town.
37 miles for the day with about 2200ft of climbing. Pictures of the scenery described in this write-up can be seen in the slideshow below.
Sunday 17 February 2008. Ride to The Olde Tea Shop Cafe, Midhurst
Another bright, sunny spring-like day with a slight chilly north-easterly. Colin's back from darkest China and he led Anne, Gill, Linda, Chris, Avryl and David on a typically wonderful Colin ride. That is, we started from the Cross, took Clay Lane and the backroads joining the Centurion Way at Lavant and then on to Cocking for elevenses (The tea shop is now closed for refurbishment until 1 March - they hope, though it could be 8 March). At Cocking we took the farm road past the church to Heyshott then through West Lavington and Midhurst for lunch. Chris left for home at lunch with suspected front spoke trouble. The rest of us took the A272, turned left at the Elsted turning for South Harting and paused for courage at the bottom before tackling the Turkey Island hill. Gold stars to Anne, Gill and Colin for getting up non stop, though the others weren't far behind despite having stopped for a breather on the way up. We swooped down the Chilgrove road to the Marden turn off and carried on through Stoughton to Walderton, turned south and took the Funtington then West Ashling route back in to Chichester, arriving at the Cross at about 4pm, having done approx 42 miles.
The weather today was generally sunny with scattered clouds in the morning gradually clearing by late morning to unbroken blue skies and temperatures up to 23C
I started the day as usual listening to Radio 4 and the Today programme using the computer's Internet connection while having breakfast. Then it was down to the nearby shop for a paper and some other shopping. Then I read the paper while sunbathing on the apartments patio.
Today's planned ride was across to the other side of the island to La Santa and then back again on another route. I left about 11 and then took estate roads up to the byroad climbing up to Tias at 750ft. Then another back road up to Conil at 1000ft. As I neared the crest of the ridge just above Conil I passed some of the vines common on this part of the island. The plants themselves are nothing special at this time of year but the unique thing is the low walled circle built around each plant. The objective is to provide shelter from the wind and also to form a hollow into which dew can form and provide water which is otherwise lacking.
I continued on the road across the central plateau which I call Volcano Alley. I stopped opposite the cracked Crater of Mount Senala for a muesli bar as a late elevenses. With a really smooth road surface and a tail wind I got up a good speed but nevertheless several cyclists came speeding past me.
After riding through the adjoining towns of Mancha Blanca and Tinajo I came to a long gradual descent to the town of La Santa on the NW Coast. Between the town of La Santa and La Santa Sports, the big sporting complex where a lot of the cyclists stay, there is a small rocky island with a causeway. I cycled on to this and stopped for a picnic lunch on a very rocky beach and some sunbathing. This side of the Island is not good for beaches with most being rocky.
Then I started the long climb back up to the plateau. First I rode up to the town of Soo nestling by the base of an old volcano. The land here was open and exposed and almost desert like in places with the soil turning sandy in some areas. There was a long straight road heading very gradually uphill to the town of Munique at 450ft and then on up to Tiagua at 800ft. Then on to San Bartolome at 1000ft. Then it was the long 6 mile descent to the coast at Playa Honda. After a break for a muesli bar on the seafront I cycled back along the seafront cycle path past the airport. I took various pictures of the cycle route and one of a plane taking off along the adjoining runway.
I returned to town and stopped for an ice cream on the seafront. The day was really warm and still good enough to sunbathe at 5.20pm. 41 miles for the day and about 2300ft of climb.
Pictures of the scenery described in this write-up can be seen in the slideshow below.
Sunday 10 February. Ride from Chichester Cross to Wyevale Garden Centre. Pulborough
The day was brilliant blue sky, no clouds, mainly dry roads, no wind but rather chilly in the shade.
Gill led Ann, Linda, Chris Turner, David Glue, Phil and Verna from Chichester Cross up the Centurion Way to Singleton and then right through East Dean to the Petworth Road. Phil's tandem punctured its front tyre, but did it in a warm, sunny spot. Then on down Duncton hill and right through Sutton and past Bignor Mill - we all got up the 16% hill non-stop - hoping for elevenses at the BignorRomanPalace. But it was shut, only open March 1 to October.
After a short stop we carried on to Fittleworth and then lunch. (Looks like Aylings is now a Wyevale garden centre).
Alan and Liz turned up just as we were leaving, having done a 10-miler around the area.
Our return ride took us past Wiggonholt, through Amberley and then up and over the Khyber Pass which was fortunately dry with wonderful views all round on such a clear day. We stopped for tea at the Arundel Edible Sandwich Cafe alongside the river by the bridge, where Phil and Verna left us for home. The rest of us continued down the Ford road via Barnham and Oving (David's home) to Chichester, arriving back just gone 4pm having done 52 miles.
The weather today was sunny and warm in the morning but with cloud building over the hills from the South in the afternoon and a light shower after I returned to base. Temperatures reached 22C. After five weeks nearly unbroken dry sunny and warm weather, conditions were turning more unsettled due to high pressure in the UK resulting in low pressure further south. However Lanzarote is so far south that any fronts crossing Spain rarely affect the island other than producing more cloud over the hills while the coasts stays dry and sunny most of the day.
Today I decided to do a longer ride into the higher mountains to the north. With less traffic on a Sunday I took the main road up from town to the inland town of Tias at 700ft. As I rode higher and further inland I had good views down to the coast and the airport. I reached the inland town of San Bartolome at 1000ft and then descended to the town of Tahiche along an almost desert like road with wide-open views. Then it was onto the recently rebuilt LZ1 road heading north a few miles in from the coast. This road has super smooth tarmac with a wide hard shoulder making a good bike-path but with not a lot of traffic anyway.
After 12 miles on this road I turned off on a little by road through the village of Tabayesco and started a long and winding climb of 1000ft on the byroad followed by another 800ft on the main road to the pass which is at a height of 2000 feet. I was heading for a cafe for lunch which is by the pass. The cafe was visible at the top of sheer 1500ft cliffs rising ahead of me as I rode up the byroad. The area is far greener than the south of the island and I stopped for a picture of some spring flowers by the roadside with the drop to the coast in the background. Eventually I reached the main road coming up from Haria and turned south for the long and winding climb up hairpin bends which eventually reached the top of the cliffs and the cafe for a welcome lunch stop. About 20 riders from a Glasgow Road Club were just leaving as I arrived.
After lunch I started the long descent to the town of Teguise in the middle of the island and a different route back to San Bartolome. From there I descended for 6 miles to Playa Honda and returned to base along the seafront cycle path.
54 miles for the day, and a hard day with 3800ft of climbing.
Saturday Ride: Bognor Library to Manor Nurseries, Runcton
This short "beginners" ride to Runcton was advertised as part of the WSCC "walks & Rides" programme and attracted 6 riders - myself, Alan & Liz, Val, Julian, and our old friend "Uganda" Rose, joining us for the first time in several years.
The route we followed was identical to that taken when the ride last ran, on 10th February 2007 (q.v.)
The difference was that last years ride tok place in torrential rain, this time it was sunny, wind-free, and temperatures that would not have looked out of place in late April.
Our route took us through Bognor backstreets to Bersted, where we joined the cyclepath to Chichester. We then proceeded via Colworth and Merston to Runcton.
For the return trip, we crossed the farm roads at Parigo and enjoyed a pleasant afternoons ride back to Aldwick and Bognor seafront.
Mileage from start point to finish, a modest 12 - but we were'nt rushing!
The weather today was sunny with scattered clouds and temperatures up to 20C and a light NW wind..
I did a morning only ride taking in the lava fields and volcanoes of the Timanfaya National Park. This is the large area of volcanoes and lava fields covering the southern part of the island in the central plateau.
I first took backroads out of town and then down to Puerto Calero just to the south. It was a very clear day and I had good views of Fueventura on the horizon to the south with the expanse of dunes on that island clearly visible. Then it was a climb to the main road and a short ride along this to the small town of Uga at 790ft. Then a short way to the adjoining town of Yaiza.
Then it was a long gradual climb across the lava fields which stretched as far as the eye could see to the distant coast. I saw a number of other cyclists as this seemed to be a popular route for those out training. I passed between the main volcanoes and then another long stretch across a lava field to Mancha Blanca. I stopped here briefly for a few dates from my Bar Bag. Then it was East back towards town across another lava field.
From Conil I started a 6 mile descent back down to the coast first along a lane near Tias and then the back lane down to town and back to base.
I was back by 1.00 with time to head down to the town's main beach for some sunbathing.
The ride distance was 29 miles with 2400ft of climbing.
Sunday, 3 February 2008. Ride to Boaters, Chidham
The planned ride was to Rowlands Castle for lunch, but the cafe was closed - til 13 Feb - and our leader Arthur, knowing this in advance, changed the lunch venue. In a very brisk and cold swirling south westerly, with occasional sunshine, Arthur and Lynne, Brian and Sue, Avryl, Harvey and Phil set off from the cross to Bosham for elevenses, where Phil left and everyone else continued to Chidham. Meanwhile Gill and Linda had taken a longer and hillier route from the cross via Lavant and Chilgrove for elevenses at Compton. The little shop is shortly going up for sale (?600,000 with adjacent cottage, upstairs flat & garage) but the owner hopes that it will continue to be a shop and perhaps additional cafe. We expected to meet up with everyone at Rowlands Castle, but of course didn't although Keith pitched up at the same time as us. The three of us headed via Stansted to Bosham, had the enormous good fortune to run into Arthur's team at Hambrook and we all went to Hilliers for tea. Arthur's ride was 24 miles.
Sunday 27th January 2008. Ride to the Bluebell Inn, Cocking
On a rather cool sunny morning with a little misty cloud, very little wind and dry roads, Harvey led Gill, Ann, Linda, David Glue, Phil+Verna (Swallow tandem) from Walberton Pond under the A27 at Fontwell then via Eartham, Benges, Duncton Hill, Seaford College and Graffham to the Bluebell. (David had met us for the first time at the Mince Pie Ride). There was nowhere to stop for elevenses so we arrived hungry at 12noon at the Bluebell for lunch. Just as we were leaving at 1pm, Clare and Vernon arrived, but we were all ready to go so we went. The return ride was up Cocking Hill and then left at Singleton and up East Dean Hill, where Linda left for home. Everyone else continued via Benges and Eartham to Aldingbourne for tea. An uneventful but very pleasant early spring ride of about 38 miles.
Over the last week I have been gradually increasing the ride distances after my bronchitis.The first rides were along the coast.Yesterday and today I managed more strenuous rides up into the hills.
The weather today was bright and sunny with temperatures up to 22C.
I took a route out of town which I've used on previous trips.First it was on estate roads and then picking up a byroad.This was a narrow quiet road winding its way uphill with only five cars in 2.5 miles of climbing.
After skirting the town of Tias I took another road up to the village of Conil and reached the top of the climb soon after.The total climb was 6 miles up to the central plateau of the island at 1000 feet.
In the centre of the island there is a large area with many volcanoes and lava fields spread over a wide area creating a dramatic landscape.I took the road across the island towards the far coast towards the town of Mancha Blanca. The road had been resurfaced since my last trip and was billiard smooth.I passed the shattered cone of Mount Senalo.I stopped for pictures and also got a shot of a bunch of road cyclists out on a training ride.
At Mancha Blanca I turned North and then east to head back towards the coast.I took a quiet byroad through the village of El Isolate and over to the town of San Bartolome. Then it was a long 6 mile descent down to the coast at Playa Honda. Then back to base along the coast cycle path
Sunday 20th January 2008. Ride to the White Horse, Sutton
On a day's breezy and misty respite from the usual downpours and strong winds and with Richard leading, Avryl + Chris Dart and Linda set off from Chichester Cross on the Eartham Slindon Madehurst route to Whiteways for elevenses. Chris got a puncture just before Slindon, urged us on and caught up with us at Whiteways. We regrouped and went on via Houghton Hill and Bignor to the White Horse at Sutton, where Chris left to go home. Ann and Gill pitched up, having started earlier and taken a longer route with elevenses at Wiggonholt (meeting up with Arun-Adur). We set off against the wind through Seaford College and Graffham for tea at Cocking, then up the hill and and because it was getting gloomy straight on the A286 to Chichester, arriving at around 4pm. Just north of Singleton traffic was queuing caused by an overturned jeep on the wrong side of the road, police + ambulance + fire engine. But on our bikes we sailed past the traffic & got a good look at what had happened. Apparently it wasn't a collision but bad overtaking and no-one had been seriously hurt (info from Avryl).
So far everything has not gone as planned. After only three rides I came down with acute bronchitis. This involved a chesty cough, a high fever and a total inability to do any exercise. The problems lasted for nearly 2 weeks and yesterday and today I managed my first short bike rides,
The weather of the last two weeks has been dry and warm and sunny and indeed unusually warm for Lanzarote in January at about 22 or 23C.
I am not up to the hills yet so I took a short ride along the coast and on to the cycle path which goes between the sea and the airport fence. Planes coming in to land are only about 50 feet above the cycle path. You can get a good idea of how close and how noisy from the video below.
I continued to Playa Honda the other side of the airport and then turned round and came back. Distance covered was only 10 miles.
Since my last write-up I moved from Costa Teguise to my permanent base for the trip in Puerto del Carmen. The apartment is a good size and the Internet connection works very well with the laptop simply plugged into a socket in the wall for an immediate broadband connection.