Bognor Chichester CTC Ride Notes- Club Website is at www.bognorchichesterctc.org.uk
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
Normandy. Tuesday 20 May. St Jean le Thomas to Granville. Today would be a very short ride going direct so Linda decided on a loop inland. We had a change in the groups with Gill joining the slower riders due to a sore foot and Richard changing to Linda's group for a faster pace. Weather was again clear blue skies all day with temperatures up to 15C and a gentler NE wind. We headed out up the climb along the coast with views across the bay to Mont St Michel in the far distance. We then headed inland on quiet country lanes to stop for elevenses at a bar in La Haye- Pesnel. I found a patisserie for a snack to take back to the bar. We returned on more lanes intending to visit an Abbey but it had closed a few minutes before we arrived. We continued and joined the main route into Granville with a long downhill and tailwind. We arrived at the hotel just after the others who had reached town earlier and had elevenses first. In the afternoon after lunch we split into groups with most visiting a bike shop and the old town on the promontory with views over the bay and harbour. 28 miles for the day. Edwin
Normandy. Monday 19 May. Pontorson to St Jean de Thomas. Today's ride was first north to Mont St Michel, then east to Avranches and then north at the base of the Cherbourg peninsular to the small coastal town of St Jean de Thomas. Weather was bright clear blue skies all day with temperatures of 14c and a strong NE wind. Avryl's group were taking a more direct route while the faster group had an earlier start to give time for a brief visit to Mont St Michel. We had no preplanned meetings during the day. There were some great views as we approached the Mont. Linda watched the bikes and gave us 30 minutes for a quick visit. I followed Phil and Mary on a fast route march to the top. We didn't pay to go into the abbey. I explored some of the rampart paths round the base of the Abbey with views across the sands of the bay. We headed on turning east with more views of the Mont seemingly floating on a sea of grass. We went to visit a German cemetery and a few minutes after we arrived Avryl's group joined us having left the hotel 45 mins later and cycled direct to the Cemetery. We continued on lanes taking a signed cycle route to Pontaubault forelevenses in the sun on a pavement café. Avryl's group arrived to join us 20 minutes later, we couldn't shake them!! After elevenses Avryl's group headed on direct along the coast while we headed inland into the hills on a loop via the village of St Loup. We rode along a very good old railway cyclepath with a good dry surface. Then some ups and downs on lanes and a descent into the town of Avranches. We came down into the central square and found Avryl's group settled by a Patisserie. We joined them there for a picnic lunch on seats including large Baguettes and fruit flans. After lunch we headed on byroads via Bacilly where Linda decided we were going to get there too fast and headed inland on a diversion into the hills and a stop for tea at Sartilly. The hotel was in a small village spread between 3 buildings. There was a sun terrace and pool and Phil and Anne braved the cold waters for a swim. 44 miles for the day. Edwin
We arrived, Alan and Liz, at Chichester Cross with only Harvey waiting. Weather was sunny and cold with a NE wind.
We set off on the cyclepath to Fishbourne and across to the Waterfront café at Bosham. Not many people were about and the tide was coming in.
We left the café and continued on lanes to Woodmancote where a charity ride was in progress. We continued via Westbourne and when almost at Rowlands Castle saw Arthur, Lynn, Vernon and Adrian coming towards us. The café was closed so we all proceeded to Stansted House Café for lunch.
In the afternoon we set off for Fishbourne for tea via Aldsworth, Woodmancote and Clay Lane. After tea we all went our separate ways.
Normandy. Sunday 18 May. St Malo to Pontorson Today's ride was from St Malo to Pontorson to the east. Weather was generally cloudy with some sunny spells and also some very heavy showers. After a breakfast buffet at the hotel we discussed the problem of a wide range of ability in the group. The decision was to split into 2 groups, a faster group led by Linda and a slower group led by Avryl and try to meet up during the day. The initial split was Avryl, Mike, Richard, Jim, Irene and Peter in the slower group and Linda, Gill, Phil, Mary, Anne, Christine and myself in the faster group. It was notable that the ladies outnumbered the men by 5 to 2 in the faster group. We took different routes and met up for elevenses at the seaside town of Cancale. We spotted Avryl's group a mile outside town and quietly caught up and followed them for another mile before anybody noticed. During elevenses on the seafront a heavy shower moved through and we waited for it to pass before moving on. We followed the coast with views back to Cancale. At one point we got the wind behind us and maintained a steady 17mph for several miles on the flat road. Lunch was at the medieval town of Dol-de-Bretagne with a cathedral near the central square. We waited by the Cathedral for Avryl's group. Some lunched at a bar and others bought baguettes. Just as we were about to leave heavy dark clouds gathered and a lot of us with bikes piled into the cover of a complex of public phones much to the consternation of a Frenchman wanting to make a call. In the faster group we headed out of town on a hilly route. After a few miles the dark clouds gathered again and we all piled in to a handily located bus shelter. As the weather dried out we continued to our overnight stay at the town of Ponderson and a Logis de France where the Proprietor provided us with tea. 39 miles for the day. Edwin
France. Friday 16 May and Saturday 17 May. Dinan At 5.00 p.m. I met up at Chichester Cross with Phil, Mary, Avryl, Richard and Gill to cycle over to Portsmouth for the ferry to St Malo. The rest of the group, Mike, Linda, Peter, Christine, Jim and Eileen met us at the ferry port. Weather stayed dry and we had a tail wind for the ride over on back roads and cyclepaths. We were directed on the ferry first and settled in our cabins after an 8.30 pm sailing and supper. 23 miles for the day Saturday morning we arrived at 8.15 am and cycled off the ferry first. Linda and Avryl were doing all the organising and I could relax as Linda led our group of 13 through the urban streets to the Hotel. We able to leave the luggage there for the day and had breakfast at a nearby Bar. Then it was an out and back ride down the long estuary of the River Rance to Dinan. There were great views as we rode over the Barrage. We diverted from the road to a cyclepath along an old railway. This was a nice route but heavy rain the previous night and many parts under trees meant a lot of muddy patches and splattered bikes and persons. We stopped at a village Bar near the route. We continued and eventually came into Dinan on a pretty route beside the river. We had lunch a a restaurant by the river and stayed there for a while while a heavy shower came over. After lunch we headed up a very steep cobbled street between medieval houses to the Town centre. Most walked up while Phil, Mary and I rode part way to shouts of Allez! From the locals. We stopped and sheltered from more heavy rain and regrouped near the central square. Then it was back on the opposite bank with more views of the estuaryand some periods of sunshine. We were late getting back and with no restaurants near the hotel we cycled straight to a restaurantin town before returning to the hotel. 49 miles for the day Edwin
Weather today was excellent warm if not hot at about 24C and clear sunny skies all day.
5 of us took part in the 1-Spy ride, Alan & Liz and Gill took their bikes by car to Billingshurst. Just Linda and I met at Walberton Pond at 7.20 to ride there. There were 4 from Arun Adur and 8 from Horsham.
Linda and I took a direct route via Whiteways and a quick stop at Amberley village shop for snack bars. Then on via West Chiltington and Broadford Bridge to Billingshurst Station for the start.
Bob from Horsham Section supplied us with route sheets with the clues. Many of these involved signs and house names at the side of the road so we often peering at these as we slowly cycled by likely candidates. We were split into teams. Alan & Liz rode together and Linda, Gill and I were another team. I was separated from Linda and Gill part way through the morning and we linked up again at the George & Dragon, Dragons Green for lunch.
We continued after lunch with many more interesting clues to spot. The finish was at Sumners Pond Café near Barnes Green where we had cakes or Ice Cream over results. Bob had photos of the correct answers. The days ride took us on some very pleasant unfamiliar lanes.
Peter and Marion Smith from Horsham were first. Gill, Linda and I were equal 4th. Linda and I headed back on a similar route to our way out.
Evening Ride - Arun Leisure Centre to The Wilkes Head, Eastergate
A short ride this evening -shorter than planned, as half a mile from the start point your leader came to an abrupt halt with a burst front tyre.
Just making the start only a couple of minutes after the ride should have left, examination of the wheel showed a small split in the tyre, through which the tube had protruded, become pinched, and then burst. My thanks to the only two riders who turned up this evening, Julian and John, for their assistance in effecting emergency repairs, which meant the ride was able to take place, albeit 45 minutes late in starting. Julian had also got a punchure earlier in the day and was worried that the tyre might not make it, but in the event the rest of the ride passed off without incident.
Due to the lateness of the hour, we went on a fairly direct route up to Eastergate, but we did manage a trial run up the partially completed cycle path from Felpham to Barnham. This path can be described as being in three parts - the first part from Felpham school (and ALC) around the golf course to Flansham has not yet been started, and its future revolves around the progress of the 700 homes to be built around it ("Site Six"). The second part, which is where we joined it, runs from Flansham to the bridge over the River Rife. This follows a somewhat rutted, but hard packed and easily rideable farm track, and would be fairly straghtforward to convert to a proper cyclepath, however no work at all has been undertaken.
The final third was the most difficult to engineer and has been fully completed, although lacks any signage or publicity. It involved re-routing the old footpath on a completely new alignment, and then significantly regrading a rough and steep farm track. The surface is is rock and gravel dressed with a compacted sand finish, and makes for a very comfortable ride, although how long the surface will last is anyones guess.
It regains the tarmac in Church Lane at Barnham, from where we proceeded direct to the Wilkes Head. Edwin met us there, although by this time it was well after 9pm and he was about to depart having assumed the ride had been curtailed.
Our return route was straight down the A29 from Eastergate Memorial to Bognor Regis, and some lively running ensued on a very quiet evening for traffic. At Shripney Edwin and John left us for Pagham, whilst Julian and I continued over Highfield Bridge and back roads to the Arun Leisure Centre.
Weather today was cloudy in the morning clearing to warm sunshine by midday.
After a group photo outside the hotel we headed back on a relatively easy ride after yesterdays exertions.
After a short ride on byroads north into the centre of the Island we stopped for elevenses at Amazon World Garden Centre. John left us here to head straight back on an earlier ferry. After a ride up to Newchuch we stopped briefly at the Garlic Farm. Then a sharp long climb up Newport Chute to Arreton Down the Ridge across the centre of the Island.
Then a long downhill via Wootton and on to the ferry port at Fishbourne where we stopped for lunch at the Fishbourne Arms next to the Ferry port entrance.
After the ferry to Portsmouth we rode on Cyclepaths and backstreets out of the City to Cosham and Havant. The plan was to stop for tea at Emsworth. However we arrived at 3.35 and both The Greenhouse and Heidi’s closed at 3.30. We settled for takeaway cakes from Heidi’s. Then back to Chichester on the lanes.
35 miles back to Chichester 41 miles (back to Pagham)
Weather today was cloudy with some spots of rain from time to time but not enough to require full waterproofs. Temperature was about 17C.
We had an early breakfast at the Hillside Hotel and headed over to the Whitwell Randonee Control to sign on for 9.00. John Maxim headed straight off to “do a time” The rest of us stayed together as a group, myself, Gill, Anne, Linda, Avryl and John Wickens. We were also joined by PJ, a Frenchman living in England who was staying at the hotel.
We soon started the climb of Blackgang hill from the easier side with views from the top of the white cliffs near Freshwater in the far distance. Then country lanes a short way in from the coast before coming back to the Coast road to climb the Cliffs and drop down to Freshwater.
Then it was on to Yarmouth for elevenses at a school with tables groaning with food. I told everyone to buy extra for lunch so we could have a short roadside lunch stop. Brian and Sue Howe who were camping near the Alverstone control caught us just as we were leaving and caught us again at Cowes and stayed with us for the afternoon. Many ups and downs before Cowes culminated in a very sharp climb to Guinard. We arrived at the Chain Ferry well timed just as it arrived. We had a picnic lunch in Whippingham church grounds.
Then it was on to Fishbourne where I kept pace with a car for a while on the downhill. At the control near Fishbourne we met Vernon Lewis. Then on via Seaview to the control at Bembridge for tea. I kept the energy levels up with 3 cakes. By this time there starting to be a trace of panic in the ranks about getting back to Whitwell before the control closed at 6.00. I told everybody we would do it ok.
After the Alverstone control it was soon back on yesterday’s route and we arrived with plenty of time to spare, well, 10 minutes actually at about 5.50.
John was back at the hotel and had finished at 2.46, which was what we say in the Time Trialling scene a personal best for him.
The round the Island circuit, from Whitwell and back to Whitwell was 68 miles. With additional miles from and back to the Hotel the day’s distance was 72 miles. There were 3 novice Round the Island riders. Avryl, Linda and John Wickens. The number of hills on the Island makes it a very hard route so well done to all of them especially to Avryl. The ladies in Crete would be really amazed!!
Sunday 4 May. NOTES ON SLIDE SHOW
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