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).
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.
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.