Bognor Chichester CTC Ride Notes- Club Website is at www.bognorchichesterctc.org.uk
Sunday, 27 April 2008
Sunday 27 April. Ride from Chichester Cross to West Marden.
After yesterday's warmth and sunshine the weather took a sharp downturn being cool and cloudy with a mixture of periods of rain, showers and brief dry intervals.
Arthur was unable to lead the ride today and asked me to take over.At the Cross I met up with Phil and Mary, Linda, Harvey, Keith and Robin, a newcomer out for the first-time. At lunch we met up with Gill, Ann and Adrian who rode direct.There were a total of 10 of us out on the day.
The weather was dry when we met at the Cross but as soon as we left the first spots of rain started.We headed out via Clay Lane and after a few miles the rain was heavy enough to require waterproofs.We headed on with the rain constant but not too heavy via Westbourne to stop for elevenses at Stansted.
There was a period of heavy rain while we were inside.We continued on with bits of light rain up the hill from Stansted and then direct across to West Marden for lunch at the Victoria Inn. Adrian was waiting for us having cycle direct from Portsmouth and Gill and Ann soon joined us after a longer ride with a stop for elevenses at Queen Elizabeth Country Park.Phil and Mary headed back early.After lunch the rest of us headed back in the dry via Funtington and West Ashling. We stopped for tea at Hilliers Garden Centre near Bosham.
Just as we were leaving an enormous clap of thunder rang out overhead and another one followed shortly.We rode back to Chichester with the rain just on the edge of being really heavy and we seemed to be just on the edge of the heavy shower.
Saturday 26 April. Spring ride, Swans, Bluebells and ducks.
Today the forecast was for dry sunny and warm weather and we were all advised to make the most of it before the rain resumed on Sunday.
I headed out on my own ride up into the Downs Riding in shorts and short sleeves for one of the few occasions this year (since returning from Lanzarote) I was able to take the short route crossing fields which were sufficiently dry and then lanes up to South Mundam and then the Chichester Canal path up to Chichester.Just before the Canal Basin I saw the two swans who had made the Canal their home for some time now with a new brood of cygnets, looking very fluffy and spring like.
Then it was the cycle path through to West Street and then the South Coast Cycle Route along Clay Lane.There soon followed the first of many stops to photograph Bluebells in the woods.I decided that the day really amounted to interval training being intervals of cycling followed by intervals of photo shoots.
Just as I was leaving the woods a good-sized group of cyclists came along.I chatted to them and gathered they were an informal group based in Hayling Island who went for rides regularly on Saturdays.
I continued across to West Ashling and then Watery Lane.As I turned into Watery Lane there was a Duck having a sit down in the road and not inclined to move and a Goose on the other side of the road which only moved after some protesting.A few yards further on a lady cyclist was looking down into the stream and pointed out to me a duck with about five little ducklings paddling along behind it.The sign up the road "caution, ducklings crossing" was pretty appropriate.
Then it was on to the West Stoke Road and another stop for bluebell pictures before riding on to West Dean Gardens for lunch.The return ride was along the valley via East Dean and then up to Eartham and down to Slindon Bottom Road.This is a beautifully quiet road through the woods with no traffic and the noise of the A27 in the distance.Then on to Walberton and down to the coast via Yapton and Middleton.
I stopped for tea or rather an ice cream at the cafe on the Front in Felpham.The beach was packed with people seemingly all at once released from their winter indoor life.
At 10.00 at Chichester Cross 5 people started the ride - Phil and Mary, Edwin, Colin and myself. Phil and Mary left us at East Dean and for once they did seem a little jaded having done a 300k Audax ride in cold and rain the previous day from 3a.m. until late evening. We met John Maxim who was doing hill climbs in preparation for the IOW Randonee.
We followed the valley and after a short stop at Droke for refreshments continued to Upwaltham, down Duncton Hill, turning left at the bottom, through SeafordCollege grounds to Graffham and The White Horse. We were joined for lunch here by Ernie, Gill and Linda.
After lunch the six of us continued to Heyshott and then along the rough track to join the main road at Cocking and then up the hill and down to Singleton and East Dean. We stopped for tea at EastDeanGardens and sat for an hour outside enjoying the warm sunshine. It was then back to Chichester along the Centurion Way.
Despite an East or North East wind It had been sunshine nearly all the way which was a real bonus after a previous wet and miserable day. We even shed our jackets for the first time this year!
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.
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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?