Bognor Chichester CTC Ride Notes- Club Website is at www.bognorchichesterctc.org.uk
Sunday, 10 February 2008
Sunday 10 February. Lanzarote. Northern mountains ride.
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.
See pictures of the Ride in the Slideshow below.
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Saturday, 9 February 2008
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!
Sunday, 3 February 2008
Sunday 3rd February. Lanzarote. Lava ride.
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.
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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, 27 January 2008
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.
Saturday, 26 January 2008
Saturday 26 January. Volcano's ride
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
32 miles for the ride.
Monday, 21 January 2008
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).
Mileage approx 38miles.
Sunday, 20 January 2008
Lanzarote. Sunday 20 January.
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.
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Monday, 14 January 2008
Sunday 13nth January - Chichester Cross to Prinsted
The group made up of Avril, Harvey, Alan, Liz and a new member set off from the Cross. The weather was cool and overcast, although thankfully the rain held off.
The group headed towards Bosham for the elevenses stop, afterwards they made their way to the Thornham Marina Cafe at Prinsted for lunch. At the lunch cafe we met Jim and Freda, who were walking nearby at the time, and I met up with the group having travelled there straight from home.
Upon leaving the cafe after lunch we discovered the temperature had dropped sharply and a strong wind was in evidence. The group made their way back to Chichester, I went straight home to Portsmouth from the cafe and Jim and Freda drove home.
My distance for the day was 27km.
Monday, 7 January 2008
Sunday 6 January - Mince Pie Ride
It was cold in the morning. The early arrivals at Blackbirds saw some ice on the local roads. Gill and Linda started the mulled wine with Phil & Mary soon after 10 am and before long the living room was full of club members exchanging tales of the Christmas festivities and cycling resolutions for 2008. Mary’s morsels included a chocolate banana cake based on a recipe from a Macedonian friend (not Alexander the Great!).
Arthur eventually led a group off to Halnacker in what was by then slightly milder conditions. Phil & Mary followed on the tandem soon afterwards arriving at the Anglesy Arms in time for a bowl of spicy parsnip soup. The pub was heaving with people and in due course the majority escaped and made the simple journey to Avryll’s with Phil & Mary again following a little later on the tandem. Avryll provided another round of cakes and tea, featuring the ever-popular Stollen Cake.
Sunday, 6 January 2008
Lanzarote. Sunday 6 January. Mirador del Rio ride.
I arrived here on Thursday after a problem free flight with only 30 people on the plane. I am staying temporarily at apartments in central Costa Tequise. I move to the originally booked Apartments along the coast in Puerto del Carmen on Tuesday.
Today weather was sunny with bits of clouds, a fresh NE wind and temperatures reaching 22C.
I did a 30 mile ride yesterday into the northern mountains and planned a similar ride today but going further north to a viewpoint on the far NW edge called Mirador del Rio.
I started with a gradual 450ft climb to the main road north the LZ1. With a 9.30 start there was very little traffic about even on the main road. However I joined the parallel service road which had no traffic at all. Then onto a side road heading up and west towards Teguise in the centre of the Island. I turned off this onto an even more minor road winding its way up through a barren treeless landscape interspersed with whitewashed houses and the black soil of cultivated areas.
At Los Valles I joined the LZ10 main road which goes south north up the centre of the Island. By now I had climbed to 1000ft. I continued on and up taking care to avoid going over the white line at the edge of the road. The tarmac drops away suddenly into the gutter with a drop of between a few inches and a foot. Obviously no litigation culture or Health and Safety officers here.
The road climbed steeply with views opening up behind me and I came up to a row of great wind turbines spinning sedately. Soon after the wind turbines I turned off onto a little side road for La Nieves, another viewpoint. This has one of the best views on Lanzarote but has little mention in the guidebooks, probably because the road is too narrow for coaches. I stopped there for elevenses, some trail mix, and sat on the rocks on the edge of the cliff with nobody else around. From here there is a vertical cliff dropping 1900ft to the Famara Bay, a favourite for surfers with great breakers crashing onto the beach. Looking south most of the central plateau of the Island is visible to the distant volcanic cones covering the far south.
I continued north on the backroad reaching a height of 2030ft, the highest road on the Island and about 50ft higher than the main road. Then it was down on the main road on a series of twisting hairpins to the village of Haria dotted with palms. Then more ups and downs before taking a little side road. This is an unsigned and unofficial route to the Mirador del Rio viewpoint with little traffic. The road twists its way up on the edge of a sheer 1500ft cliff with views down to the coast and the nearby Island of Graciosa.
The Mirador is a viewpoint building built into the rocks including a caf? which was my lunch stop. This really is a caf? with a view.
Then it was a twisting descent on smooth tar round the base of the shattered cone of Mount Fuja and back to the LZ1 and a tailwind back to base.
Only 42 miles but it felt like a lot more with 4000ft of climb.
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