The Next Ride: Sunday 29 April 2018

17 April 2018

Emsworth to Fishbourne

Westbourne – Woodmancote – Southbourne – Hambrook – Funtington – West Ashling – Bosham

This ride, which we last did in 2016, zigzags along between the inlet channels and the foothills of the Downs, taking in the above 7 villages en route. We first travel alongside the river Ems to the delightful old village of Westbourne (definitely not twinned with Eastbourne!), crossing back and forth over and under the A27, and, after passing several large pig farms and a Qinetiq site that resembles a concentration camp, we eventually arrive at Funtington. Then we follow the Bosham Stream down Watery Lane to West Ashling, whose pond is home to many waterfowl.

Lunch will be at the Anchor Bleu pub in Bosham, overlooking Bosham Channel, where we hope to see lots of interesting birds. The waters here lap against the very walls (and cover the road) at high tide. After lunch we’ll follow the harbour road round to Bosham Hoe, then back up to Fishbourne. Visits to the Roman Palace – “the largest Roman home in Britain” – will be possible, as long as we arrive well before the closing time of 5pm. All that’s left of it is the mosaic floors, but they are very interesting and beautiful. There is also a nice cafe there, which you can patronise without buying a ticket.

We can travel home from Fishbourne station, or ride the 2 miles to Chichester for a more frequent service.

The pub is very busy and would like to know approximate numbers in advance, so please let Jim know if you are planning to come.

Distance: 17 miles (19 to Chichester)

Duration: about 4½ hours to Roman Palace, including lunch. Another ½ hour to Chichester.

Terrain: Mainly quiet lanes, a quiet B road, and a short section of A259 in the cycle lane. Mostly flat.

Start at: Emsworth Station, westbound exit, at 10:45

Getting there: Catch the 09:30 Portsmouth train from Brighton (9.34 Hove, 9.45 Shoreham). Get a return ticket to Emsworth.

Getting home: Trains from Fishbourne are hourly at 50 mins past the hour. There are three trains per hour from Chichester towards Brighton.

Jim and Wendy*

*Wendy will be participating in a virtual sense.


The Last Ride. Jim’s Report

17 April 2018

15 April 2018: Hove to Shoreham

On the path

On their last ride, Sikka and Tessa introduced a revolutionary idea – having the lunch at the end of the ride rather than the middle. Not content to rest on their laurels, for this ride they pushed the boundaries even further by having the coffee stop at the beginning – at Tessa’s house, in fact, where Angela D, Marilyn, Prudence, Sikka, Wendy and I were served our chosen tipples by our attentive hostess. This was actually the first of two coffee “stops”, the second one being at Saddlescombe Farm, where we enjoyed either second breakfast or (in Wendy’s case) what looked more like first lunch; for David, a fruity ice lolly; for the rest, various teas, coffees, scones and cakes. Later we had our proper lunch stop, of course, at the Kings Head at Upper Beeding, where Wendy had her second lunch and everyone else their first. Unfortunately, plans for a proposed third lunch, or third coffee stop, or afternoon tea, at Shoreham Airport were shelved in order for us to fully appreciate the new extension of the Downs Link path right down to the Ropetackle centre in Shoreham.

David and lolly

In between the eating and drinking, there was actually a bit of bike riding. We cycled through Hove Park to the Engineerium (scandalously, still closed), then, skirting Hangleton, we arrived at the footbridge over the A27 where, after a few minutes’ rest, David caught up with us, having cycled from Shoreham. At the top of the path we joined the road, then down to Saddlescombe for the aforementioned breakfast/coffee/lunch, then whizzing on down to Poynings (this ride did appear to have more “downs” than “ups”, somehow) and Fulking, stopping to admire the two antique drinking fountains on the way.

Along the road towards Edburton, with the glorious backdrop of the Downs to our left, the ride leaders came across a horse in a field struggling to get up. Prudence knocked a couple of doors and found the owner, who explained that the horse was 27 years old and suffered from arthritis, but thanked her for telling him. Further along, we came across another horse with its head poking out through a seemingly purpose-built dip in the wall. Unfortunately we had nothing to feed it with. Behind, a tiny pony stood in the yard.


After a scary mile or so of the A2037 round Windmill Hill, we came at last to Upper Beeding and the aforementioned lunch stop. Obligingly, the forecast rain arrived just as we got inside; disappointingly, however, it refused to yield on our emergence an hour later. But it did eventually let up and we saw the sun again, whilst riding southwards along the Downs Link.

Thanks to Sikka and Tessa for a very enjoyable ride and for arranging the weather so neatly.


Devil's Dyke from the viewpoint above Poynings



17 April 2018

Dear All

You’ll see that I have now added the agreed ride dates for June, July and August to the ‘Future Rides’ grid. Clearly it will be necessary for anyone planning a ride to check train availability nearer the time.

Latest from Julian

I phoned Julian at the weekend to get an update.

He is making slow progress; he is to have hospital visits soon for an MRI brain scan, and probably also for his left shoulder and arm, and assessments of his stroke and neurological condition.  Only then may he be given an overall diagnosis and hopefully a prognosis.

I believe Wendy is planning to visit him later in the week. You can contact him via

Message from Mick

Those of you who were at the AGM will know that Bob Harber gave me a book by my professional cycling namesake – Michael Barry. It is a fascinating insight into the less than glamorous life of a professional cyclist who while racing for Lance Armstrong’s US Postal Service team got dragged into doping. He also raced for Sky  with Brad and Cav. If you would like to read it let me know.

From Becky at Bricycles

The Greater Brighton Cycle Challenge, July 1st  Last year a number of Bricycles members helped marshal the Mayor’s Charity Bike Ride. This event is being run again this year as the “Greater Brighton Cycle Challenge” on July 1st .

Can anyone spare 2 – 3 hours (or more) to marshal? The organisers would be very grateful and so would Bricycles because this year Bricycles would receive £10 for every marshal who is a Bricycles member! Ideally, marshals would be able to independently get to the allocated marshalling point.

If you would like to marshal or if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch withChris Todd Mob: 07889 302229 Otherwise you might like to ride and raise funds for homelessness! Event on Facebook <>

 And – just to remind you again– from Jim

 Please let Jim know if you are planning to come on the ride on 29 April. The pub is very busy and would like to know approximate numbers in advance.”


The Next Ride: Sunday 15 April 2018 – Hove to Shoreham via Devils Dyke

3 April 2018

Meet at Tessa’s house – 38 Lorna Road, Hove. (5 minutes ride from Hove station and 10-15 minutes cycle from Brighton station). Free parking in Lorna Road and surrounding streets – those in the ‘O’ zone (no pun intended?) on Sundays.

Tessa is providing hot drinks for anyone prepared to arrive for 10am! And then we will start out at 10.30 making our way to Route 82 which takes us along the cycle track on the Old Shoreham Road. The 82 then takes us legitimately through Hove Recreation Grounds and Hove Park linking the two via Hove Park Road. After the parks there is a short sharp hill to the main road and briefly along this past Blatchington School. Bypassing the windmill, we join the old railway track to Devil’s Dyke. So a long slow haul up to the Dyke.

We plan to stop for a coffee at the Dyke Road Inn to break up the morning ride. Then there’s a long downhill run past Saddlescombe Farm, turning left to go through Poynings and Fulking, following a softly undulating road at the foot of the Downs. On through Upper Beeding to Bramber to lunch at the Kings Head at 2pm.

Back along the Downs Link to Shoreham, (or deserting the Link and detouring along Coombe Lane past St Botolphs if the ground is soggy). Possibility of tea at the airport if desired. Option of cycling back to Brighton or taking the train from Shoreham.

Distance: About 20 miles, or if cycling back to Brighton 27. All distances approximate as my cycle computer does not work properly.

If you wish to have lunch please let Sikka know so she can reserve you a seat in the pub. Sikka 07787402229 and 01273 697412.

Thank you.

There are frequent trains back from Shoreham to Brighton.

Sikka and Tessa

The Last Ride: Shoreham to Worthing: The Breaking of the Fellowship

3 April 2018

Photos on Flickr

Having ridden from Brighton to Shoreham as anything between 16 and 20 riders (we were never near enough to the same place at any one time to count!) our strung-out cat-herd finally split up into two factions: the “Remainers” and the “Leavers”. The Leavers … well, they left. That left the Remainers (Angela, Angela, Chris, David, Mark, Prudence, Richard, Wendy and myself) to remain, and enjoy a coffee (and, in Angela D’s case, a second breakfast) at one of the few cafes that was actually open. Before she followed her comrades over the bridge, Helen (whose Easter benevolence has already been noted on a previous ride) kindly gave each of us a small chocolate egg.

On the Adur Ferry Bridge

Once refreshed, we followed the Leavers over the footbridge to Shoreham Beach, where we met Anne on her way back. We turned right into Riverside Road and basically continued along the seafront from there on. Eventually the road leads you onto a shared footpath and cycle path, which we shared with a number of dogs and their (slightly less numerous) owners. I’ve noticed that as you travel along the coast from Saltdean to Worthing, the Rampion Wind Farm appears to move with you – an optical illusion which I think is caused by it being a lot further away than you think (it’s actually over 13 kilometres from the coast, which is greater than the distance from Brighton to Shoreham). Apparently, although the 116 turbines are currently being tested and commissioned, the wind farm has already started supplying power to the grid. I sincerely hope that the City of Chichester, a huge dredger that we saw in Shoreham Harbour by the locks, does not accidentally dredge up the undersea power cables linking the turbines to the grid!

City of Chichester (2)

Wendy and I regretted that it had not been possible for us to join the Easter Meet ride from Southend to Foulness Island, which was happening simultaneously with our ride, as numbers were strictly limited, and one had to sign up for it after arrival in Southend, which is a long way to travel if you’re not even sure you’ll get a place. Perhaps next time …

Coast cafe

David had been somewhat vague on the subject of a lunch stop. When we got to the Coast café on Worthing seafront, he went in to reconnoitre and pronounced it a suitable place for us to refresh ourselves. The café has grown by a factor of about 4 since I last visited it, and has a very pleasant atmosphere and plenty of dishes to choose from. Most opted for soup; I had the veggie mezze and a bottle of pale ale. All very nice. As we sat in the café by the window we saw the Leavers, obviously regretting their decision, coming back. We banged on the window; Tessa seemed to hear us, but in the end she did not stop. Had they done so, we would have welcomed them with open arms and given them their maroon passports back.

I left at this point to visit my daughter, the other 8 turning eastwards for home. Thanks to David for a nice easy hill-less Easter ride, and congratulations on such a bumper turnout!

There were no April Fool jokes.


This ride became rather confusing and fragmented as the day progressed, to say the least. I am assembling only my impression, not exactly an accurate account of the entire ride.

I think there were about fifteen riders at the start by the Palace Pier. Shortly after riding the network 2 cycleway westward toward Shoreham, We were joined by one more, followed by four more before reaching the Hove Lagoon.

We were by now a large group that was difficult to manage as some fell off the back and one sped off at the front. I’m not sure of the details.

On arriving at the Place in Shoreham near the footbridge we were greeted by Mick with a grin a mile wide, he told us that he’d been in a café waiting for us slow-coaches to arrive. At this point the group became split, our sub-group wanted to continue straight-on to Worthing, while the other stayed to enjoy something in a Shoreham café. We didn’t see them again.

Now we were on to the cycleway to Worthing and experiencing heavy footfall in the form of ambulating families, children and dogs running aimlessly among the casually strolling adults. It became extremely frustrating for some of our group of eight to a point that at least one wanted to call it a day and quit the ride. None the less we all continued to Worthing safely. At Worthing we found eight seats in the Pier-head restaurant and all enjoyed good food and pleasant conversation.

Riding back to Brighton with a tailwind was great. Just after going over the lock gates at the harbour I spotted John Clinton, cycling head-down into the wind, toward Carats café. I called out to him and again our group became split as Joyce, John and Leon rode back to Carats for a coffee and a chat. John has not been able to ride for a few weeks due to a fall and subsequent injury to his left knee.

Finally on our return home we find out total mileage to be 28 miles, but that was home to home.

Overall this for me, and I hope others it turned out to be a lovely day out cycling.

Thanks to David for offering to organise and lead it.



3 April 2018

Dear All

The weather stayed reasonable for once. Excellent turnout for David’s ride. Sikka and Tessa have taken on the next ride on 15th April but have had to change the route because of a late alteration in the train availability on the day. Wendy and Jim will take on 29 April, Any offers for May? I’ve tried to check train availability but on the national rail enquiry website it says that there is no confirmation of engineering works for the May dates. So if you’re planning a ride make sure to check nearer the time.

Losing People on Rides
I feel more than a bit of a fraud writing this. Since I started to have real leg problems in the middle of last year I haven’t been able to contemplate coming out on a ride – let alone leading one. And it’s got a lot worse in the last few weeks so that sometimes I have been hardly able to walk – let alone ride the bike. I’m having physio for the problem and hope that I’ll be able to think about becoming active again later in the year.

But chatting after the AGM the other week, several people mentioned that there had been quite a few incidents on recent rides where people got left behind or lost. So it seems appropriate to rehearse again how in earlier days we managed – usually – to avoid this. Basically, we had 3 rules.

Rule One. As ride leader try to adjust the pace to the speed of the slowest rider. This isn’t always that easy in practice, so therefore something else is needed.

Rule Two Stop at every junction where the route takes a turn and wait for everyone to catch up. When there were only a handful of people on the ride it was always easy to see that everyone was there – but it became difficult with greater numbers. Hence;

Rule Three. Get someone to act as ‘back marker’ who makes sure to ride at the rear of the group. That way the leader can quickly see that everyone is still there. But this only works if the back-stop is really careful to make sure they are the last rider.

If you’re a Cycling UK member you may have seen this from the current Cycleclips. Even though I’ve not been riding much recently I’ve certainly noticed plenty of potholes and rough bits of road around our area. But the following was new to me.
We’ve recently discovered that potholes have cost 156 local authorities £43.3 million in compensation claims alone in the last five years, with the average motorist receiving £841.26 per successful claim, and the average cyclist £10,963.15. But there’s a human cost too, particularly for cyclists, who are far more likely to be injured; time spent home from work, the emotional and physical toll of what happened, and the fear of getting back out on the road. What’s the answer? We say fix it first – before investing new roads.

Couldn’t agree more.


Message from Sean – David Eales Memorial Amsterdam Ride
The David Eales memorial annual ride is in support of a charity which was set up by his family and friends when he passed in 2015. This will be the third outing and I am seeking support from the comrades in my new hometown of Brighton&Hove. Please let me know if you intend to join me in this venture

I knew David Eales for a number of years before his untimely death in 2015 through a rare and mysterious condition. He was the heart and soul of the cycling community in West London who set up the Ealing! London Bike Hubs which promoted safe cycling and cycle maintenance classes for all. This included work with charities, deprived communities, young offenders and ex-service personnel. Which through his efforts skilled those people into new employment opportunities. This ride via London – Dover -Dunkirk – Amsterdam is a celebration in his memory and also to raise charitable funds in support of the dedicated charity set up by his wife and family, the SJS awareness foundation. Moreover the ride will be memorable and extremely enjoyable. Below are the dates and main route information from the organisers. For more details see

The core of the ride begins at Dover on the evening of Friday, 14 September 2018. We’ll all ride from the ferry terminal at Dunkerque to a large hostel complex near the port. Arrival in Amsterdam is scheduled for the afternoon of Tuesday, 18 September.

Those who have opted for the extended ride will leave London before dawn on Thursday, 13 September.

This means that, assuming you don’t currently work weekends, you should apply for 17-18 September off work, and also 13-14 September if you want to ride the UK segment.

Think about time off to pad for late arrival or a short stay to enjoy Amsterdam after you arrive!


And a Message from Jim

I have been looking at possible dates for our Bath/Bristol weekend. It will involve staying three nights (Fri/Sat/Sun) and there will be two rides – one from Bath to Bristol along the well-known Sustrans cycle path, and one along the “Two Tunnels” route that runs southwards from Bath, then back alongside the canal.

I will do a detailed practice ride in a few weeks, but for now the important thing is for you to book your accommodation. I’m assuming at least some of us will want to stay at Bath youth hostel, as before, and that requires booking pretty soon, as otherwise it might get booked up.

The best weekend to go for, on the basis of the availability of the youth hostel, is Friday 31st August to Monday 3rd September.
I am aware that some of you will not want to stay in the hostel, but you should be able to find a hotel in town, though I can’t guarantee that it will be cheap! For those who don’t mind hostels as such but don’t want to stay in a dormitory with strangers, there are private rooms available, with 2, 4 or 6 single beds. These private rooms are all in the main building, well away from the annexe, which, as you’ll know if you’ve stayed there before, can get noisy. So you might want to team up with someone and go for one of those. (The Google Group may be useful for making such arrangements if you are in it.) They have 3 private rooms of each size, but it’s not possible to work out from the website how many of these are already booked. You can book online at

Travelling by train to Bath is easy – there are two direct trains per day from Brighton and Hove, and an hourly service is available by changing at Portsmouth. By travelling on Friday and Monday, we should avoid any engineering works.

If you are planning to take part in this weekend ride, please let me know ( It will go ahead regardless of how many people sign up, but it would still be good to know how many will be going.


The Next Ride: Sunday 1 April 2018 “Brighton Pier to Worthing Pier”

21 March 2018

The weather has been so unreliable of late that I have proposed a short, easy ride along part of the NCR2 that follows the south coastal route from Dover to Exeter. We will constrain our ride to the local section from Brighton to Worthing between the two piers, a distance of only 12 miles each way.

The advantage is that there are options of at least six havens along the route where we could stop for coffee and snacks if it starts to rain or a short rest is suggested. The route is completely flat with no undulations and for the greater part follows cycle pathways or quiet back streets. The hardest section will be cycling on a busy Easter Sunday between Widewater Lagoon and the Perch on Lancing Beach, where the NCR2 becomes a shared pathway and will necessitate weaving safely between walkers, dogs, children and oncoming cyclists, with priority to pedestrians.

We can either take lunch at the Southern Pavilion Café on Worthing Pier or the more adventurous gastronomists could explore the many temptations along Montague Street.

We should have time for a coffee stop on both the outward and inward journeys if the queues are not too long.

Southern and Network Rail permitting, there should be regular trains from Worthing Station back into Hove and Brighton about every twenty minutes for anyone wishing to stay and further explore the many attractions of Worthing.

Meet at Brighton Pier at 10am for a 10.15am departure.