Bognor Chichester CTC Ride Notes- Club Website is at www.bognorchichesterctc.org.uk
Sunday, 13 April 2008
Sunday 13 April. Ride to Billingshurst for Freewheel Competition.
We were down on usual numbers today with only Linda and I starting from Chichester and Harvey and David starting from Walberton Pond.
It was a day of April Showers with spells of sun especially in the afternoon. Temperatures reached about 13C.
From Chichester we headed up to the top of the Downs at Pillygreen and then along the ridge. Torrential downpours could be seen often close by but we skirted the edges of the showers getting only some very light rain occasionally. After descending Duncton we took lanes to Fittleworth and stopped at the village shop for a break of chocolate milk, good for cycling as having the ideal mix of protein and carbohydrate for recovery. While we were there our only downpour of the day broke and we sheltered in the shops carport.
Then onwards and upwards over the infamous climb to Wisborough Green. There were some mutterings from the rank! About the length of the climb but Linda was pleased to find it easier than the last time she did it. We reached the Limeburners at 11.50 beating Horsham for a change by 20 minutes. Riders from Horsham and Arun Adur and the Walberton group gradually arrived.
Harvey led David via Madehurst and Amberley to stop for elevenses at Wiggonholt. Then on via Pulborough, Broomershill and Adversane.
After lunch all Groups rode together on lanes about 3 miles further north to the Freewheel Hill. Graham Collins from Arun Adur was fastest solo, Louise Galle from Arun Adur was fastest lady and a Peter and Marion Smith from Horsham were fastest and only Tandem. The Groups headed back in different directions. I led Linda, Harvey and David south via Coneyhurst, Broadford Bridge and West Chiltington to stop for tea at Wiggonholt. We had another close brush with a shower near Houghton after which it was a sunny late afternoon for the ride home.
My mileage for the day was 62. From and back to Chichester it would have been about 54.
This ride did not take place today, due to a lack of participants at the start point.
It would be speculative to indicate why there was no support for this ride, but strong winds and heavy showers no doubt played their part.
No trains were running into Bognor today, due to engineering works, which would have deterred those intending to arrive train assisted. Another factor might be that, although this ride was part of the WSCC Rides and Walks programme, their website has not been updated and gives no information of events after 31 March.
Sunday 6 April. Snowy bike ride to Rowlands Castle.
The ride into Chichester was awful. A biting cold northerly wind was driving snow into our faces as we headed up Vinnetrow Road. Surely, there would be nobody at the Cross and we could go back to bed. These thoughts were quickly dashed as Edwin overtook us on the way into town. And waiting at the Cross were Chris, Gill and Jeff. Chris had had enough by the time he reached Chichester, and decided to head home again. The rest of us decided to head towards Stanstead House and re-assess the situation once (if) we arrived.
Phil and Mary led the group slowly and tentatively through the slushy snow. The roads were not too slippy and the main problem was the continuing bitter cold. We headed west along the lanes through Woodmancote, then continued to Stansted House enduring various comments about our sanity.
Mary selected a table by a large radiator, and we settled down to thaw out with our refreshments. We were joined by Adrian who had cycled up from Portsmouth. As the weather seemed to be clearing, but Buriton was by this time out of the question, we decided to continue up the road to Forrestside, cross to West Marden, continue up the valley to Compton and on to Littlegreen school, then cross back over the ridge to drop down through Finchdean to Rowlands Castle for lunch. By this time, the surrounding hills were dotted with sledges and snowmen. We stopped briefly to admire a snowman before crossing the ridge.
We lunched in Rowlands Castle, said goodbye to Adrian, then weaved our way home through Funtington and down Watery Lane. By this time, the sun was up and the roads were dry, though it was still cold.
Pictures of this Ride are in the Slide Show below. To view the show refresh the browser to start the show from the beginning. To view the Slide Show with larger pictures click view all images.
Arthur led this ride and he was joined at the Cross by Lynn, myself (Edwin) Gill, Chris, Alan and Liz, Linda, Avryl Margaret and Jeff. David and Steve caught up with us at the edge of Chichester Chris rode back after elevenses but Adrian joined us at lunchtime and then rode back from there This made a total of 14 out on the day at various times.
Weather was dry all day, cloudy in the first part of the morning gradually clearing to more sun in the middle of the day. Temperatures reached about14C.
Arthur led us via Fisbourne, parts of the A259 and then lanes via Hambrook and Prinsted to stop for elevenses at the Greenhouse Cafe, Emsworth. We continued with the Hayling Billy trail from Havant and then over the Bridge toHaylingIsland. We took the lane via Northney. The few cars going that way found it difficult to get by our long line of riders on the winding lane. Then across the main road and onto another lane toWestTown.
We had lunch at the Coastguard Cafe on the front atEast Hayling. Luckily there was plenty of room. As we left with bright warm sunshine it was feeling very spring like at last. On the lanes there were plenty of green shoots, flowers and blossom in evidence. We headed back on the main road to the Northney turnoff and then retraced to Havant. We accompaniedLynnto Havant Station as her knee was giving her problems. As we got back to the Hayling Billy start point Jeff let out a cry as the saddle fitting holding his saddle to the seat post broke, leaving him saddleless. He headed back to the station to joinLynnon the next train. He was able to ride to the station but being very careful not to sit down.
The excitement over for the day we headed back via the main road to Southbourne and then lanes to Hambrook and back on the South Coast Cycle Route. Some of us stopped for tea at the Fishbourne Roman Palace Cafe joining members of the Veteran Cycling Club and admired their old bikes some going back 60 years.
Distance from and back toChichesterwas 38 and my mileage was 49.
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Most of this week I was resting my leg injury only doing short flat 12 mile rides along the cyclepath to a Beach and back. Today was my first ride back into the hills taking a lot of quiet back roads. Weather today was pretty exceptional. Temperatures have been a very steady 22 to 23C the last 10 weeks with a few days up to 24 or 25. Today temperatures reached a sultry 27C. It is going to be hard to adjust to the forecast 8C maximum back home for when I get back on Tuesday!
Puerto del Carmen is exceptional in Lanzarote in having a good network of lanes a short way inland. I headed out on my usual route out though estate roads and then up to the backroad to Tias at 700ft. Then under the motorway and another backroad up to Conil at 1000ft. I still took it very carefully with my leg, climbing in the lowest gear using the granny ring.
From Conil I turned off on to a very quiet back road to Mastache a small village on the LZ30 road through the centre of the Island. I had started quite late after some sunbathing on the patio. I stopped for a picnic lunch at a little Church with handy seats on the walls.
I rode a few hundred yards on the main road before turning off on a back road towards Tias. I shortly turned off this onto a lane towards Montana Blanca. Just before the village I turned off this onto an even more minor road. I had not used this much before mainly because the surface was quite poor and in places was just large stones held together with some tarmac. One part of the route I had not done before on any trip which was a nice change. The road meandered along some height above the main plateau with good views.
Eventually the road came down into the high town of San Bartolome (1000ft) From here it was down on another lane and then the long descent to the coast at Playa Honda. After a few hours sunbathing on the beach I headed back on the cycle route alongside long stretches of sandy beaches.
In the evening I got the laptop out to write up this report. See the last picture in the Slide Show.
23 miles for the day and about 1400ft of climb.
Pictures of this ride are on the Slide Show below. If the show is not playing or is part way through refresh the browser. Click ?view all images? to see larger pictures.
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.