Tuesday 1st January 2008. New Year's Day ride to the Black Horse, Amberley
Weather today was cloudy and mild with some intermittent rain later in the day.
Three met at the pond for a late 10.30 start, Linda, Ann and John Rigarlsford who normally only comes out on evening rides.It was nominate leader on the day and the riders shared the lead to take the usual route via Madehurst to stop for elevenses at Whiteways.The riders then continued down Houghton Hill to arrive at the Black Horse just before 12.00.
I had been busy packing my bicycle ready for the flight to Lanzarote so I was late starting and went direct.Alan and Liz also came direct and met us for lunch.
Various members from Arun Adur arrived at different times including John Maxim, Brian and Sue, Keith Dodman, Richard Boulton, Dave Fox and Joe England.
John Maxim joined us for the ride up Houghton Hill before turning off for Arundel.We then headed back via Walberton and Eastergate.
Sunday 23rd of December. Ride to Stansted House from Chichester.
The weather was bright and sunny all day and a little warmer than of late reaching 6C.
The ride was nominate leader on the day and I volunteered.Six of us met at the Cross, myself (Edwin) Alan and Liz, Richard, Linda and Sam out on his bike for a day's ride for the first time in six months since his accident.
The plan was to go to Hilliers for elevenses and I. took a roundabout route towards Lavant first leading the group up Centurion Way.Liz suffered a puncture and Alan and Liz decided to mend the puncture and then take a direct route.The rest of us continued to Lavant and then lanes back down to Fishbourne and then over to Hilliers for elevenses.
Alan and Liz soon joined us but after elevenses decided to take a more direct route back.Richard came with us part way to Stansted and then headed back home leaving three of us to continue.We rode via Woodmancote and at Stansted we met up with Adrian and Keith Dodman who had come direct.
Adrian headed back to Portsmouth after lunch and Keith joined us to return to Chichester.Linda gained a puncture on the way back which she soon mended with some assistance from the rest of us.We returned via Funtington and West Stoke.
My mileage for the day was 40 and the mileage from and back to Chichester was 28.
Sunday 16 December. Tinsel ride to the Fox and Hounds, Funtington.
Arthur led this ride and he was joined at the Cross by Lynn, myself (Edwin) Harvey, Gill, Freda, Jim and Chris.Alan and Liz joined us at elevenses but rode back from there with Freda and Jim.Adrian joined us at lunchtime and then rode back from there.Keith Dodman joined us at lunchtime and cycled with us back to Chichester.This made a total of 12 out on the day at various times.
The day was bitterly cold with a north easterly wind coming from Siberia and temperatures of about 4C.After a little cloud at first the weather cleared to unbroken blue skies.
Arthur led us on lanes across to Bosham and a stop for elevenses at the Arcade cafe.We were joined there by Alan and Liz who returned home after elevenses with Freda and Jim.
We continued taking lanes to stop for lunch at The Fox and Hounds, Funtington.Our arrival was well timed at two minutes past 12.00 so we got our orders in before the crowds.Adrian arrived from Portsmouth at the same time and Keith Dodman arrived half an hour later after getting up too late to join the Arun Adur group. Arthur, Lynn and Harvey had well decorated bikes. I awarded Lynn the prize for the best decorated bike for a lot of tinsel and accessories including some Reindeer Antlers.
We returned via West Ashling and stopped briefly at the pond to look at the Black Swan's.A few stray Father Christmases on bikes rode by who were part of a big charity ride taking place.
We continued back to Chichester and a stop at Arthur and Lynn's house for tea and cake.Arthur gave us a guided tour of the famous shed, his working place for bikes complete with lighting, heating and double glazing.
This ride was part of the WSCC Walks & Ride programme and was advertised as running to the cafe at Tangmere Aviation Museum.
However the temperature this afternoon was a frosty 2 degrees with a biting northeasterly wind and the three of us that turned out (myself, Julian, and Alan) decided by mutual consent to curtail the ride to a closer venue to avoid frostbite to our extremities (my Thinsulate gloves seemed particularly ineffective). We therefore contented ourselves with a short spin around the extremities of Bognor Regis, taking in Bersted, Stroud Green, and Aldwick via a not particularly direct route, to arrive at The Waverley on Aldwick seafront for a coffee and a chance to get the feeling back in my hands.
Then it was back to central Bognor where we went our separate ways.
Sunday 9th December. Christmas lunch rides to Aldingbourne.
There were two rides today from Chichester Cross.I led the 8.15 early start ride designated as an Appetite Improver Ride.
The weather was not very good with a strong south-westerly wind and periods of rain coming through.The weather had cleared though by mid-morning giving us a sunny ride back in the afternoon.
I was joined at the Cross by just a day few hardy riders, Phil, Gill and Ann.
The originally planned elevenses stop was Saddlers cafe in Petworth. This was closed and I decided to take advantage of the southwest wind and head instead for Wiggonholt for elevenses.We headed east from Chichester and then took lanes to climb the Downs via Pillygreen.We then rode along the top ridge and then along the main road to descend Duncton Hill.Then it was a lanes across to Fittleworth and then on to Coldwaltham.
We arrived at Wiggonholt at 10 and seemed to be the first customers of the day.The return route was mainly in the dry apart from a heavy shower as we went through Houghton. At the top of the hill Phil went on ahead as he needed to get back to collect Mary.The rest of us were running a little early so I took them on a few diversions.First we descended via Madehurst and then before the Spur we turned off to the right up a steep hill to Slindon with views down to the coast and the sun coming out.Then it was on via Eartham and finally down to Aldingbourne for the Christmas lunch in the conference room next to the tearooms.
There were 17 of us with most coming by car but Harvey and Richard came by bike on the later start ride from Chichester.The meal was excellent and very good value with two courses followed by mince pies and coffee for £12.
My mileage to lunchtime was 40 with another 10 miles to return home making 50 for the day.
Today was a windy day, with occasional heavy downpours.
There were 3 riders at the Cross for this ride, Phil (leading), Mary and Gill. They made their way to elevenses at Stansted House tea rooms via the normal route, and then arrived at the Barley Mow in Walderton just after noon where I met up with the group. Unfortunately one of the downpours caught me just before arriving at the pub (I had to shelter in a bus stop) and the others just as they were setting off from elevenses. Fortunately the rain squalls were shortlived.
We had a leisurely lunch in the pub, whilst gently drying out. Upon departing we discovered miraculously that the wind and rain had blown over and we were treated to an afternoon of clear skies and bright sun. The rest of the group rode back to Chichester via afternoon tea at Bosham, I cycled straight home from the pub.
Weather today was still cold about 9C but bright and sunny most of the day.
Harvey led the ride and he was joined at the pond by myself, (Edwin) Gill, Ann, Avryl and then Ernie.The Arun Adur ride had started from the pond at 9.30 to go to Harting but only Ernie, John Wickens and Jo England had turned up and all of them apart from Ernie planned to go back after elevenses.John and Jo decided to go on alone leaving Ernie free to join us for a full day ride.Just as we were leaving Walberton Chris arrived and we met up with Alan and Liz at Wiggonholt making a total of 8 from Bognor out on the day.
Harvey led us via Madehurst and then down Houghton Hill and across to Bury.We then rode on the quiet lanes across to Coldwaltham and then round to Wiggonholt with the intention of having elevenses there.We were a little late and there was an enormous queue so we decided to give it a miss and go straight to Nutbourne for lunch.Alan and Liz joined us for the ride there.We were soon joined by about 8 from Horsham Section and later by John Maxim and Brian and Sue.
In the afternoon we headed back on a direct route.John, Brian and Sue turned off to head east and Alan and Liz had gone back earlier.The rest of us went over to Houghton Bridge tea rooms for tea.
After climbing Houghton hill we headed back down the main road and split up at the Spur.I headed home via Yapton and then along the coast.I arrived at the seafront just as the Sun had set with bright colours decorating the sky.
Sunday 18 November - Chichester Cross start
A hardy group of four (Adrian, Anne, Phil & Mary) met at the Cross at 10 am surrounded by a massive team from the local Rotary Clubs erecting the Chichester Christmas Tree. We quickly left this exciting scene behind and headed east to cross the Downs by Pillygreen Lodge and bear north towards Duncton Hill. We descended Duncton, turning right at the bottom and taking our ususal route via the CTC West Sussex Downhill course to Petworth. Petworth is in a sorry state for coffee stops. Tiffins was closed, and Saddlers was both closed and up for sale! The coffee shop up the cobbled street was also closed, but we eventually found some coffee in the pub next to Sommefields.
After coffee, we headed west to half-way house, then turned south through Selbourne to Graffam. Contrary to forecasts, the weather had been quite pleasant until coffee, but as we headed west the rain started, light at first but gradually getting heavier so that by the time we reached the White Horse at Graffam it was fairly bucketing down.
The landlord was very welcoming given our rather sodden appearance, and directed us to the blazing wood fire in the corner. We ordered lunch and settled into another corner with our drinks. We were joined by Colin, representing the Walberton start.
After lunch we continued east to Cocking along very wet roads and in continuous rain. We climbed Cocking Hill and descended to West Dean where Adrian continued east to Portsmouth and the rest repaired to the tearoom. From the tea room, Colin, Phil & Mary headed south to the Centurion Way and Anne headed for a hot bath. At Lavant, Colin turned back east and Phil & Mary continued to Chichester and then home.