The Next Ride: Sunday 19 February 2017 – Lewes to Newick and back C 20 miles

6 February 2017

Meet at Lewes railway station car park at 10.30 am outside the very posh bicycle storage facility.

Catch the 10.12 from Brighton, arriving 10.28 or the 10.17 arriving 10.32 or why not ride from home? Riding from Brighton will add about 8 miles to your journey one way. Why not ride out and take the train back?

Return trains to Brighton at 16.22 and 16.44. Home before dark I should think.

Lunch at The Royal Oak, Newick.

1 Church Rd, Newick, Lewes BN8 4JU. Jimmy and Beryl, would like to offer everyone, and dogs! (no cats) a very warm welcome to our friendly and traditional country pub! Offering a good range of quality beers, wines, ciders, spirits and home cooked food! (Food served 7 days a week from 12-3pm and 6-9pm!) Phone: 01825 722506

I’ll book for about 10 people. Attendees please confirm to johnjo.clinton@yahoo.co.uk.

My landline is 01273 776361 and mobile 07814 257495

According to Google Maps we travel through Hamsey, Barcombe, Spithurst Road and on to Newick. They are some hills but pretty ones. Apart from getting out of Lewes the roads are minor with little traffic. We should be able to chat a bit on the way.  It’s a nice route and one I use to Fletching, a bit further on. Jenny knows the area well, so if we get lost (if she comes) we’ll follow her.

For those who like a bit of interest to their itinerary St. Mary’s Church on the way to Barcombe is worth stopping at. Flint elevations and a prominent steeple single it out. I stopped here some years ago attracted not only to the church but also to the sound of the music wafting from the building. Inside I met with the music maker, a woman. We spoke for some time and she told me of the old saying, “going to the wall”. It seems in days gone by before pews were used the elderly tired of standing were allowed to sit on benches lining the walls of the church. Hence the saying. Interesting, if you stop awhile its surprising what you can find? Only by bike!

May the road rise up to meet you
may the wind be always at your back
may the sun shine
warm upon your face
the rain fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again
may God hold you
in the palm of his hand

An old Irish saying.

John


The Last Ride: Sunday 22 January 2017 – Ice Nine [apology to Kurt Vonnegut]

6 February 2017

Nine riders assembled at Hassocks station, 8 came by train & Angela C. was kindly delivered by her son & picked up at the end in Lewes. All delighted to have new member, Wendy, join us at Brighton station for the day’s adventure. While awaiting a tenth, a walking group member from across the road was recruited as photographer for the group photo. As the missing 10th rider was a new Clarionista, Tessa tried to contact him, but no joy [till lunch time], so ten minutes later we set out as it was chilly & the ice was started to penetrate our extremities!

Clarion ride 22 January 2017. Hassocks to Lewes. Photo by Anne Barry

Sun was shining brightly on us as we strung out along the Keymer Road to Spatham Lane. The other Angela was feeling the cold penetrating her asthmatic lungs & with Sean Burke volunteering as backstop, & me with the wrong cold weather gear on-three asthmatics made up the rear, while the sprightly avant guard led the single file. Some of us were glad of the uphill to warm the joints, but all of us glad to reach the lanes & leave the traffic polluted roads. Now a new hazard emerged … ice!

Clarion ride 22 January 2017. Hassocks to Lewes. Photo by Anne Barry

Up till now [then] winter had been mild & sunny for us, apart from 1 day’s snow, which quickly disappeared, but, like Trump’s election & dreaded Brexit, looks like Winter’s Bane [excellent film!] was coming to engulf us now. There were huge marches of protest against Trump & Tory follies the previous day, but a winter of discontent looms over us now. Some bravely rode the ice filled lane but walking was allowed too, & my preferred option, though I’d walked a good few miles yesterday with John McDonnell [Shadow Chancellor] holding the banner high & leading the way from local hospital to Brighton Station opposing the so-called Sustainability & Transformation Plan which seeks to privatise our NHS.

Our leaders Sue & Tessa, had recce’d their ride as recently as previous Wednesday & it hadn’t rained since but had become colder, so they frequently consulted us to modify the routes, in order to keep us as warm as possible. So, our coffee stop at The Jolly Sportsman was cancelled due to high price of coffee there too [£4 ] & prospect of warming stop at The Plough was also cancelled due to majority vote for keeping up the pace in order to keep warm!

Clarion ride 22 January 2017. Hassocks to Lewes. Photo by Anne Barry

After the non-stop at The Plough, next stop was at Plumpton Green, but this was both unplanned & delightful surprise. Just as both Mick & I were talking in separate conversations about Sean T. & Jane T, who live in Plumpton Green, Jane hailed us from the pavement & invited us back to theirs for hot coffee, even though Sean was confined [& cribbed] hard at work doing his marking. They were both very busy & some of us still cold, so pressing onwards won the day again. As soon as we reached the smaller lanes again we hit the ice.

This time, more literally, as our gallant backstop, Sean B. on his Brompton, took a slow paced tumble, just as we could see a descending cyclist taking the narrow path at centre of ice strewn hill & rushing towards us. The young man was kind & solicitous to Sean & was assured that he was OK before we all scrambled up between the icy path to the summit where warmer lane & extensive views met us. When we reach Offham -having stopped to take a photo of the beautiful, blossoming Old Man’s Beard in the hedgerow.

Clarion ride 22 January 2017. Hassocks to Lewes. Photo by Anne Barry

Sean & I were last again & forgot the instruction to cycle on the pavement along the busy A275 & took the road, but survived & soon all reached the outskirts of Lewes & the riverside walks & pleasant parks where families were enjoying the winter sun. Now we can lock up the bikes & enjoy the warmth of the pub by the river & have some fine food & ale & even cakes! [torte actually].

Clarion ride 22 January 2017

A long table had been reserved for us & drinks soon served. Food was more complicated as both Sean & Mick & Tessa had food delivered to them & then removed! Sean was just about to tuck into mussels cooked in ale, though he thought he’d ordered sea bass & trout & Mick was admiring a veg roast, when the young waitress realised that she had been too hasty & mixed up the tables. When ours did all arrive shortly afterwards everyone was pleased & Mick & Sue couldn’t resist the chocolate torte & mandarin sorbet pud to share, which all-comers were invited to stick a teaspoon in & savour. That was the final ice of the day.

Clarion ride 22 January 2017. Hassocks to Lewes. Photo by Anne Barry

Thanks to Tessa & Sue for organising a super winter excursion for us all & to Sean for ensuring we all survived the icy conditions & enjoyed the winter sunshine, which never seemed to rise to the 6C. promised in the forecasts. I shall rethink my winter gear next time we set out on bikes, though really only toes that succumbed to ice. Now we have freezing fog surrounding us & so glad & grateful for Clarion’s fun & joy yesterday.

Anne

More photos on Flickr


News

6 February 2017

Dear All

Well, we didn’t get a volunteer for a ride today – not entirely surprising given what the weather has been like (and see Anne’s report below) but John has come up with something for 19th (see below also). So we’re now looking for volunteers for the two March dates – once more 5th and 19th. The last of these misses ‘the Ides of March’ by a few days- so we should be OK!

The 2017 AGM
In the last newsletter I reminded everyone that we always have the AGM on a weekday evening and since Roger & Suzanne can’t make Thursday or Fridays the choice narrows to a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. I asked that anyone intending to attend who has a regular commitment on any of these evenings to me know at once and we’ll try and avoid that one. No one did – but since it’s been a while since the last newsletter I’ll ask again (for a final time!). I suggest that we go for a date late in March.

Subs
Anyone who still hasn’t renewed for 2017 – and wants to of course – please don’t leave it any longer but get in touch with Julian. He tells me that so far 33 people have paid their subs which means, I think, that there are at least 7 who haven’t renewed. Fine, if you don’t want to but if you’ve just forgotten please help Julian by delaying no longer!

dave_gravett

Dave Gravett
In the last newsletter I reported the sad news of the death of Dave Gravett, a contemporary of the late Brian Hutton in the old Brighton Clarion section back in the late 1940s and early 1950s and mentioned a photo I hadn’t been able to track down which showed ‘Dave doing a very stylish bit of fast cornering during a time-trial.’ Fred chased it up and it’s now on the website [above]. I intended to include it in this newsletter but have been defeated – not for the first time- by my lack of technical knowhow!

I also said that though I’d tried to get him to come along to some of our social events I’d had no success. Not quite true. Sue reminded me that he did turn up – as did Brian – to at least one of the two Christmas get-togethers we had in 2004 and 2005 at The Swan at Falmer.

Also in this newsletter you’ll find an interesting report from Joyce and Leon as well as Anne’s one on the ‘Last Ride’ – which now seems quite a long time ago. She wrote it with exemplary speed but there was no point in doing a newsletter until I had a ‘next ride’ to tell you about.

Ian

Membership subscriptions for 2017.

The subscription is unchanged at £8, all of which will be passed on to the National Clarion Cycling Club, as in 2016.

Prompt payment would appreciated. Membership ceases if payment is not received.

Please complete the form attached with the newsletter and return it to Julian at the address on the form.

If you prefer to pay by BACS, details of which are shown on the form, please use your surname as reference. If you want to save a stamp and not send me the form, then email me at: arkell@arkell.info to confirm your payment via BACS. Payment by PayPal is not possible.

Julian

Sustainable Travel Transition Fund Meeting – Whitehawk Library – 24 January 2017

Leon & Joyce attended this meeting as did Mick, which was the second consultation meeting concerning the Sustainable Transport Fund Bid under which the Council was awarded £485,000 to deliver the Local Transport White Paper: – “Creating Growth, Cutting Carbon” ,in East Brighton – (essentially access to/from and within Whitehawk, taking in the Marina). The main aims include support local economy, reduce carbon emissions, and actively promote increased levels of physical activity through walking and cycling. The projects 2016/2017 will include:

  • Personalised travel planning
  • Business and University planning
  • Road safety campaigns
  • Walk and cycling permeability (making improvements to the highways to make it safer for people to walk or cycle)
  • Pedestrian way-finding

Joyce & Leon reported on their experience of access to Whitehawk from the Hanover area:-

  1. Elm Grove/Warren Road/Wilson Avenue: – Narrow Road/fast traffic/uphill until Wilson Avenue
  2. Bentham Road/Pankhurst Avenue/Manor Hill: – Fast roads Manor Hill particularly difficult, cars & vans parked on left forcing vehicles to navigate on wrong side – keep left signs taking precious space – buses in both directions with little passing space in narrow road. A dangerous road for cyclists.
  3. Eastern Road: – High volume of Traffic, many buses in two-way road, insufficient space for cyclists to ride safely.
  4. Madeira Drive/ Dukes Mound/Lewes Crescent/Bristol Gardens/ Whitehawk Road (wide pavement which could be potential cycle way). This is the longest but safest route (but see comments re Dukes Mound – and route through the tunnel).

Dukes Mound had been discussed at previous meeting: – Fast speed of cars, no walkway for walkers – problem at bottom with cyclists needing to cross to access cycle lane – west to east cycle route confusing – signing not clear. This area should be 20mile limit.

Other issues raised were: need for secure cycle storage – issues around buses and cyclists. State of the roads and how dangerous potholes are for cyclists. Pedestrian crossings lacking in Whitehawk, especially Wilson venue. Cycle training should be based in East Brighton Park.

The most interesting information was the existence of the route through to Whitehawk from Elm Grove via the tunnel under the race track (unknown to me – Joyce)…

Leon & Joyce


The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and Cycling in the 1890s

6 February 2017

Seasonal advice from ‘Cycling Notes’ in Christmas Eve edition 1897

winter


The Next Ride: Sunday 22nd Jan 2017 – Hassocks to Lewes

9 January 2017

We will catch the 10.44 train to Hassocks arriving just before 11am.

(Buy return tickets to Hassocks – return tickets on similar length journeys in this case Lewes to Brighton will be accepted.)

We head off through Ditchling to Keymer then turn left on Spatham Lane.

After a few yards we turn right onto an offroad track (weather permitting) through Streat, passing the church and crossing the road, for a further section past Plumpton Racecourse. We will by-pass Plumpton Green, continuing on a bridleway to arrive in East Chiltington for a late morning coffee at the Jolly Sportsman. Much of this track has a good easy surface, with short sections a little bumpy, where some may choose to walk.*

Regaining our on-road route, we head for Cooksbridge where we take a small road to Hamsey then Offham. Arriving there, we cycle the pavement of the busy A275 (the law having clarified that where it is dangerous to use the road, its ok to cycle on the pavement) before turning left into Lewes for a late lunch, probably at the Harvey’s pub by the river.

* (If weather has rendered the off-road route muddy, we will divert down Spatham Lane, in the direction of Wivelsfield, turning off before then to cycle through Plumpton Green and on to East Chiltington via quiet roads).

Trains to Brighton from Lewes: 22, 44 & 52 past the hour.

It would be good to have some idea of numbers so we can alert the pub. Please text Tessa on 07887 489900 or phone her on 01273 777574 to say if you plan to join the ride.

Tessa & Sikka


The Last Ride: ‘Brunch’ ride to Carat’s café – Tuesday 3 January 2017

9 January 2017

Clarion new year ride to Carat's cafe

A record turn-out?

There was Jenny and Leon, Chris, Roger and Sue
Charlotte, Kate, Julian, Joyce, Linda too.
There was Mick and Mick S, Joyce and Suzanne
Sue, Fred and Richard who chatted with Anne
With the red berets of Prudence and Julia
There you have our band all peculiar:
Twenty tough riders all wrapped up warm
That’s how to start the year – with a Clarion swarm.

But seriously, folks, thanks to Ian B for leading the ride, and it was great to see Sue B when we got to Carats. Chris from Lewes, resplendent in his Edwardian tweed jacket and matching waistcoat, suffered a puncture which proved too tricky to mend but luckily he was able to rejoin us later in the morning.

Tales of rides all over Europe and into deepest Hove were discussed as well as a myriad of other topics as is the Clarion wont.

Clarion new year ride to Carat's cafe

Never have so many been photographed by so many. Flickr will be awash, so don’t forget to look at the Clarion Flickr site.

Suzanne


News

9 January 2017

Dear All

Plainly, I was being a bit too optimistic when I scheduled a possible ride for tomorrow. But we had an excellent turnout for the ‘brunch’ ride last Tuesday (see Suzanne’s report below – already a strong contender for the 2017 B&H Clarion poetry prize!). And Tessa and Sikka have come forward with a ride for 22 January. I’m hoping to be able to lead one or two rides later in the year – but still don’t feel able to take anything on at the moment. So is anyone up for either of the two February rides – particularly the first one on 5 Feb? Let me know as soon as possible.

The 2017 AGM
No one has disagreed with my decision to have the AGM sometime in March, and, as you already know, Roger and Suzanne have volunteered to host it. We always have it on a weekday evening and since R & S can’t make Thursday or Fridays the choice narrows to a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. If anyone intending to attend has a regular commitment on any of these evenings please let me know at once and we’ll try and avoid that one.

When the AGM does take place one thing we will have to decide is whether to reinstate (or increase) our £1 p a local sub for 2018. (In order to make life a bit easier when it comes to collecting the subs – so that we know right at the start of the year how much we need to pay – we adopted the system of deciding it a year in advance.)

Last time I heard from Julian there were still quite a few people who hadn’t renewed their subs for 2017. If they’ve decided not to that’s fine of course. But if it’s just that you haven’t got round to it – easily (not) done at this time of year – please help Julian and the national membership secretary (if we have one!) by doing it now.

dave_gravett

Sad News for the New Year
I heard yesterday from two different sources – one of them was Fred – about the death of Dave Gravett. Dave was a contemporary of the late Brian Hutton in the old Brighton Clarion section back in the late 1940s and early 1950s. I haven’t been able to access it (otherwise I’d include it in this newsletter) but there is a photo of Dave doing a very stylish bit of fast cornering during a time-trial in the History section of the old website <found it – fred!>.

I knew Dave as one of the long-time organisers of the Brighton Jazz Club. He was still in touch with Brian and I tried on a number of occasions to get him to follow the latter’s example and join us (‘you don’t have to ride a bike, Dave!’) or at least to come along to one of our social events. Without success. I think he felt a bit shy about being out of place – which he wouldn’t have been, of course.
His funeral takes place next Wednesday (11 January) at 2 pm at Woodvale. Sue and I will try to attend.

Better News for the New Year (from Cycling UK’s ‘Cycle Clips’ )
And hats off to the incredible Robert Marchand, who this week covered 22.547km (14 miles) at France’s national velodrome to set a world one-hour record in a new category – for riders aged over 105!

We’d all better get in training now!

Ian

Membership subscriptions for 2017

The subscription is unchanged at £8, all of which will be passed on to the National Clarion Cycling Club, as in 2016.

Prompt payment would appreciated. Membership ceases if payment is not received.

Please complete the form attached with the newsletter and return it to me at the address on the form.

If you prefer to pay by BACS, details of which are shown on the form, please use your surname as reference. If you want to save a stamp and not send me the form, then email me at: arkell@arkell.info to confirm your payment via BACS. Payment by PayPal is not possible.

Julian