Bognor Chichester CTC Ride Notes- Club Website is at www.bognorchichesterctc.org.uk
Sunday, 9 March 2008
Sunday 9th March 2008. Ride to the Hamilton Arms, Stedham
Colin led Gill, Ann, Avryl, Linda, David, Chris and new CTC rider Ron on another of his circuitous, fastish pace routes starting from Walberton Pond on a mildish, mainly sunny morning with very little wind. After a 09.30 start we rode through Madehurst, West Burton, Bignor, Sutton then north over Shopham Bridge coming into Petworth from the east, stopping for elevenses at Petworth House Restaurant (next to the church). On the way, just before the descent of Bignor Mill hill David's tyre punctured and because he was at the rear of the group we'd whizzed down the hill before Avryl could tell us. Our leader heroically went back up the hill to give David a hand, while the rest of us carried on to Petworth. David and Colin caught us up after a coffee or two and Ron left us after elevenses. Then it was via the A272, Selham and West Lavington to Midhurst picking up the A272 for lunch at Stedham. The weather had now become rather changeable with a sudden cold, sharp shower on the way and a more prolonged shower fortunately after we'd arrived for lunch. The roads were now wet, with some deep puddles. But, nevertheless, we turned north through Stedham and took the little muddy back lane via Chithurst to Trotton, turning off the A272 to Elsted and on the Didling road to Cocking, passing through several hail showers on the way, making the road rather slippery. On this stretch Chris had a puncture and our heroic leader once again lent a hand and we all regrouped at West Dean for tea. Heading down the A286 we went home in our different directions at Lavant bridge, the Chichester riders passing by the Cross at about 5pm. Everyone's ride from the Pond to home was approx 57 miles.
In my last write-up I had done a ride to Playa Blanca without ill effects to my leg injury. I had an easy day last Sunday going to the beach. Then last Monday I had quite a hard ride up into the hills to the north with a 2000 ft climb to the La Nieves viewpoint. Then it was down the Haria hairpin bends and then to the coastal road and back to base for a 55 mile ride.
Unfortunately the next day it was clear that I had overdone it and the leg injury was as bad if not worse than before. All the rest of this week I have had to take it very easy, spending most of the morning sunbathing on the patio or by the pool reading the paper. I followed this with a short ride usually about 12 miles return along the flat coastal cycle path past the airport to Playa Honda and a quiet sandy beach in a small bay for a picnic lunch and a few hours sunbathing.
Coming back into town at the end of the day a really good stop has been an Italian Ice Cream Kiosk selling really scrumptious ice creams with a wide choice of flavours.
Weather all week has been very good with clear blue skies and temperatures ranging from 22C at the start of the week to 24C yesterday and today. The wind has been stronger than normal but it is still a warm wind and no real problem if one knows the places on the beaches to find a sheltered spot.
The ride along the cycle path every day is always interesting especially where it passes the airport with planes taking off and landing very close to the path.
I would hope that during my last week here next week I will gradually be able to build up the mileages and get back into the hills before I fly back.
Photographs of the scenery and beaches referred to in this report can be seen in the slideshow below. If the slideshow has stopped playing or is part way through by the time you get to it you can start it again from the beginning by refreshing the browser. To see larger sized photos click ?view all images?
Sunday 2nd March. Ride to The Foresters Arms, Kirdford
Colin led David and Linda on a hilly 49 miler from Walberton Pond via Kirdford to Chichester Cross. Weather was sunny and very mild in the morning, turning overcast and cooler after lunch, always with a stiff south-westerly. Our route took us to Whiteways for an early elevenses via Madehurst, then down Bury Hill turning off at West Burton for Fittleworth, over the A283 climbing up past Brinkwells and down the much steeper north hill past Hawkhurst Court, over the A272 and on to Kirdford, looking forward to lunch. But alas being Mothers' Day the Foresters was fully booked. No lunch for us. So we carried on to Balls Cross and the welcoming Stag Inn. After lunch we turned back northwards through Ebernoe and across the main Petworth road to Lurgashall, Lickfold and Lodsworth and thence to Heyshott and Cocking hoping for a good slice of cake to get us up Cocking Hill. But again alas, the Moonlight Tea Room was still closed for refurbishment. So on to West Dean for tea and a staight run down the main road and Centurion Way into Chichester, arriving at the Cross at 17.10. A great ride, rather challenging and taking David and Linda through countryside they'd not been to before.
Last Sunday I fell off my bike. This was at a junction and was the usual problem of failing to get out of the cleat in time. This is the first time I had done this for many years and usually I unclip when approaching a junction so as to be ready to stop. I had done this on this occasion but unfortunately my foot slipped accidentally back into the cleat. A car was coming in and I had to stop and toppled over from a near stationary position. Nothing much seemed to be hurt apart from my pride as various Spanish motorists rushed over to see if I was alright.
Later it was clear that an ache in my leg was due to a pull or sprain to a muscle in my groin. This seemed to be alright for cycling but was more noticeable when walking or getting off the bike. I decided that it would be best to cut down on activity for a short while to give it a rest.
This meant that a lot of the week was typically spend with a morning reading the paper and sunbathing on the apartment patio followed by a short flat ride in the afternoon to a local sandy beach for more sunbathing. I was really quite cut up by not being able to do long hard bike rides and having to relax and do very little (sort of)
On Friday I did a short ride into the hills using the Granny gear and with no ill effects so I decided to go for a longer ride today south to the resort of Playa Blanca.
The weather today was perfect with cloudless blue skies all day and temperatures up to 23C.
I headed out on the usual backroad route to Tias at 700ft and then a further climb to Conil at 1000ft. Then it was onto the smooth LZ30 road along the centre of the island. As usual a lot of bike riders were out training and usually overtaking me. From the centre of the winemaking area of Geria it was a long gradual descent to the town of Uga and I stopped at the adjoining town of Yaiza in a small park for a muesli bar. Then it was more descending on the old road which adjoins the main road down to Playa Blanca. From this road there were good views of the hills rising from the lava plains and also of some multicoloured salt pans.
After a long ride I reached Playa Blanca and made my way to a beautiful sandy bay called Dorada Beach a short way along the prom from the main Playa Blanca Bay. I had a picnic lunch here and spent two hours sunbathing. I purchased a double chocolate Magnum ice cream with the very good excuse that I needed it for the climb ahead.
I took a different route out with a long gradual climb up from the coast along a straight road with a good wide cycle path. The notch in the hills ahead was clearly visible and the last bit of the climb to the town of Fermes was extremely steep up to 1200ft. I made a few stops on the way up strictly for photographic reasons with a great view laid out below towards Playa Blanca and the coast and the far-off hills of the adjoining island of Fueventura.
After a short descent I cycled through a high mountain valley with crops growing in well irrigated fields. Then it was a sharp winding descent to the main road with views of volcanoes to the left and fields sloping down to the coast to the right. I headed back down the main road and then the backroad via Puerto Calero to return to base.
See pictures of the scenery described in this report in the Slide Show below.
Sunday 24th February - Chichester Cross to West Marden
A good sized group set off from the Cross for this ride, on a mild and windless day with a occasional sunny spells. The group stopped for elevenses at Stanstead House cafe before making their way on to the Victoria Inn in West Marden.
Myself, Clare & Vernon had travelled straight to the pub from our homes in Portsmouth and arrived there before the main group, which arrived as we were tucking into our lunch by the log fire. Most of the tables were reserved but luckily there were two free which we managed to bag for the group. Some riders had sandwiches at the bus stop in the village whilst others had lunch in the pub.
After lunch the group made their way back to Chichester, I travelled straight home.
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.