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.
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.
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.
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.