The next ride: 6 March – Surrey revisited

22 February 2011

Please be clear that while all are welcome to join us we each take part in rides at our own risk.

Sunday 6 March 2011
Surrey Revisited:  Moles, Voles and Deer
Gatwick – Horley – Meath Green – Woodhatch – Leigh – Norwood Hill – Hookwood – Horley – Gatwick

About 20 miles, mostly on tarmacked roads; some bridleway; some concrete.

The first part of this ride is along National Cycle Route 21, about which there will be more (much more) later in the year. We will once more pass through the Riverside Garden Park, and maybe we will even see the bank vole I met on the first practice ride! After departing from Route 21, we will head out along Meath Green Lane, which wanders around skirting the floodplain of the River Mole; we won’t actually see the Mole itself until much later, however. The lane turns into Lonesome Lane, surely a worthy addition to our Interesting Road Names collection.

After passing through the suburbs of Reigate at Woodhatch, and finally crossing the Mole at Flanchford Bridge, we eventually reach Leigh (not the one in Kent), where there is a nice pub called the Plough where we can have lunch.

After Leigh we take the Newdigate road, but turn off and pass briefly through the delightful Hammonds Copse Nature Reserve (if it is dry enough underwheel). Part of this copse qualifies as Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland, having been wooded for over 400 years. Here we may see deer (I spotted two on that first practice ride).

All too soon we are out into the open again, but on a nice quiet road. On the way back we re-cross the Mole between Hookwood and Horley, and we can have a cup of tea in Horley if we want.

Travel details: Catch the 10.44 (London Bridge) train from Brighton to Gatwick Airport, or the 10.32 (Brighton) train from London Victoria, which stops at Clapham Junction at 10.38. We will set off at about 11.15, via the usual route across the airport concourse and down the lift.

If you are travelling by car, don’t try and park at Gatwick Airport but head for Horley station car park and park there; we will be along around 11.30. (If you plan to do this you must let the ride leaders know as we will not be going over the bridge this time, but will be passing the car park entrance.) Return trains are frequent.

Be at Brighton by 10.15 for Groupsave.

Jim (; 07742-963239)

Anne (

Dieppe… and other news

22 February 2011

Dear fellow members and friends

The new blog seems excellent, doesn’t it? Well done, Fred and thanks.

You have probably already had at least one email about the proposed closure of the Grand Avenue cycle lane by the Council. If you haven’t here’s a link sent me by Fred that gives the details

And if you would like to sign the petition against the closure you can add your name on

This week’s extract from the 1895 Clarion is a cautionary tale about the dangers of being in a “hilarious condition” while in charge of a bicycle. We have been warned!

Joyce has sent me the following:

Dieppe Raid Ride Cycle Ride

I thought some members would be interested to know about the “Dieppe Raid”.  It is an annual event which this year will be held 11-13 June. It involves travelling to Dieppe Saturday morning – meet up at the Town Hall for a reception from the Mayor at 5 pm. Evening “free” in Dieppe – ride on Sunday – choice of 20-200 kilometres, with maps etc. Proposed evening meal Sunday evening (£30) (or some will return Sunday evening). Others Monday am boat.

People to book their own tickets on the Transmanche (90 cycle places available for Saturday morning and 80 for Sunday evening).


There is an excellent website – have a look  “Dieppe Raid cycle ride”. Anyone from Clarion interested? Let me know, we might be able to have a “Clarion contingent”.

Future Rides … 2011 until the end of July

22 February 2011

As even the briefest perusal of the list below will confirm, Jim is on a roll at the moment in terms of organising rides. He has another “possible” for 15 May but wants to give the rest of us a chance. He’s already checked the trains and they seem to be OK that day in all directions. So, any other offers? Or for other dates, of course.

It is not possible to check train availability more than 12 weeks in advance so later rides will be provisional for this reason.

6 March* Gatwick circular (Anne/Jim)
20 March Bluebell ride (Jim)
3 April Berwick-Glynde via Blackboys (Jim)
15-17 April New Forest weekend (Jim)
1 May Hastings ride (Jim)
15 May
29 May
12 June
26 June Tessa
10 July
24 July*

*Ian definitely not available

The last ride: 20 February 2011. Shoreham to Worthing

22 February 2011

16 Clarionistas cause traffic jam in Worthing suburbs

(Well not quite a traffic jam, but certainly not something the cars were used to …)

[Lots more photos on Flickr]

We owe this particular ride to Roger’s quick thinking and his willingness to go out on a very rainy Saturday to test the ride. That was made necessary because the planned ride had to be abandoned so as not to conflict with the half marathon on that day and hour. So Ann, Mick, Roger, Suzanne, Fred, Corinne, Wilma, and Joyce met up at Brighton Station, soon to be joined, with surprise and delight, by our delegation from London: TJ, Joan and James, who were happily breakfasting in the bar.

The start

The weather was acceptable, overcast but no rain. However, a blot was put on the outing when only three people were allowed through the gate on the “order” of a “uniform” who said he would “go to see if it was all right to let us through”. (And this for a train which turned out to have only 36 passengers, 200 seats and 8 carriages …) More sense from the gate though, when on request we were let through to “see”. So another lot went through. The “uniform”, busily talking to a passenger, seemed to have forgotten us and we boarded. However TJ, Joan and James who were behind us were not allowed on. No problem, they got the next train, Mick waited for them at Shoreham and they soon caught us up, but a really unnecessary piece of officialdom. At Shoreham Leon, Jenny, Angela, Sue and Janet joined us, now we were 16! Is that a record?

Over the tollbridge

Off we went for the Toll Bridge and then on to Worthing. Who knew that all those houses lie behind what we usually see as Sompting! And yes we saw what seemed like acres of Worthing suburbs. I was once again struck by the total absence of even one solar hot-water panel. It is on this route that we found ourselves spread out with a very long train of cars behind us – we did of course eventually let them through, but it did feel a bit like a Brighton Critical Mass ride. After waiting for a bit so that Leon and Ann could photograph some adorable donkeys we sailed on into Worthing for a delicious meal at the Denton. Good food , very pleasant service and much chatter – at our end of the table it ended up on the pros and cons of AV.

donkeys at Sompting 005

Well sated, we then cycled along the Worthing’s very nice cycle lane to Shoreham, over the footbridge and then time to consider the next stage. Some wanted to get the train, some to ride back to Brighton by the “back way” and some to take the “fast route” along the coast road. So the group became three – all wending our way back to Brighton in different ways.


Thank you Roger for another good ride.


The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s: 78. More from Swiftsure’s Cycling Notes

22 February 2011

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

“A most laughable affair”. More from Swiftsure’s Cycling Notes from 15 June 1895:

I have no doubt that almost any other cyclist could relate a peculiar incident which came to his notice last week. From my own experiences alone, I could relate some funny things, both pathetic and amusing. However, I will just tell of the most laughable affair I have ever met with.

I was standing with my machine by the curbstone the Saturday before Whit-Sunday, when I was accosted by a fellow-cyclist – so his dress proclaimed him – and he wanted me to tell him where he could find his bicycle, he had lost it. I noticed he was in a more or less hilarious condition, so I determined to learn more of his tale, and assist him if I could. I found out he had left Dublin the day before for a tour of this country, in company with a chum.

Arriving at Holyhead in the early hours of Saturday morning, they had ridden to Chester and then taken a train to Manchester. Reaching there in a muddled state – weren’t they out for a spree? – they sought out a “pub” to put up at – without either noting the name or the street, they strolled about the city, where by some means they became separated and the cyclist who accosted me hadn’t the remotest idea where he had left his machine or where his diggings were. I went to some trouble to try to put him right. I took him to the station, where he thought he had come in at, inquired at the “pubs” in the vicinity – but all to no purpose. At last I had to leave him, with the good advice to get sober and then he might recall something which would set him right. But for all I know he may be looking for his twenty-guinea machine yet.

Next time – News from Clarion CCs in the Midlands and Northumberland

New website?

8 February 2011

Yes, the website is now in a blog format, so you can add comments and have better search facilities. The old website is still there, so long as Ian pays his bills! To transfer the whole of the old site to here would be a mammoth task, so it’s been decided to leave it alone, as an archive. The domain will now link to here. Hope you can find your way around! Any problems get in touch – or leave a comment!


The next ride: Shoreham-Worthing

8 February 2011

Please be clear that while all are welcome to join us we each take part in rides at our own risk.

Sunday 20 February 2011

This was to have been a ride to the east of Brighton through Telscombe, until Ian spotted that the Brighton Half Marathon is on that day; it’s lucky he did because cycling east from the pier looks unwise. Telscombe will be there for another day.

We will meet instead at Shoreham station and cycle over the Toll Bridge to Worthing via Sompting – including a fine opportunity to see some of Worthing’s suburbs! Lunch at the Denton on the pier and then back to Shoreham station along the coast, hopefully with a bit of a tail wind. Those who feel keen can keep going all the way to Brighton.

Meet: Shoreham station (north side car park) at 11:05.
Getting there: 10:50 train from Brighton (be at Brighton station by 10:30 for the chance of a Groupsave); the train calls at Hove at 10:53.
Cycling distance: 16 miles (approx!).
Off road? All on road or well-surfaced paths.
Hills? None.
Catering: Lunch at the Denton on Worthing Pier. Tea at Teddy’s in Shoreham.
Getting home: Trains from Shoreham direct to Brighton at :13 or with a change at Hove at :47.
My mobile is 0789 985 1172. Please let me know if you’re not planning to meet at Brighton Station.


Future Rides … 2011 until the end of July

8 February 2011

Not too soon to be thinking about possible rides for the summer. Suggestions? Tessa has booked in for one in June. Any other offers?

It is not possible to check train availability more than 12 weeks in advance so later rides will be provisional for this reason.

Sunday To/Led by
6 February Berwick circular (Ian)
20 February Shoreham to Worthing (Roger)
6 March* Gatwick circular (Anne/Mick)
20 March Bluebell ride (Jim)
3 April Berwick-Glynde via Blackboys (Jim)
15-17 April New Forest weekend (Jim)
1 May Possible Hastings ride (Jim)
15 May
29 May
12 June
26 June Tessa
10 July
24 July*

*Ian definitely not available




May Day – Ideas wanted! and other news

8 February 2011

My assumption last time that the new £1 Sunday parking charge would be “not confined to Lewes” station seems to be wrong – at least for the moment, since parking was still free at Berwick station yesterday. But best to make sure you’ve a £1 coin with you just in case, if you’re using a station car park.

May Day – Ideas wanted! (Especially since it has been reported that the government is planning to get rid of the May Day bank holiday.) Jim has been looking into May Day events in Hasting – but the results are not encouraging. He writes:

Assuming this year’s programme will be roughly the same as 2010, I see that there is not so much happening on the Sunday – there is a church service at 10.00 followed by Morris dancing outside the church, which we *might* be in time for (the 10.20 train gets there at 11.30ish – we might need to get the 9.20 to see it), then the next thing in the schedule is the crowning of the May Queen at 1.30 – maybe not our sort of thing though … There is an exhibition that will be open, and there may well be all sorts of other things going on that are not in the programme.

Still, I wonder whether there are any better places to go – is it worth asking members if they know of any other interesting May Day events going on elsewhere in Sussex before we commit ourselves?

So, members – and indeed all recipients of this newsletter – you’ve been asked. Any ideas? Do let me have them ASAP.

Bike-fixing sessions

John has so far had five takers for his proposed bike-fixing/cycle maintenance sessions. So all that is now needed is a warm day, and as John says, “Warmer weather is just around the corner.” So, if anyone else is interested now is the time to make contact. John’s email is

Talk of bike fixing reminds me for some reason of the first time we did a New Forest trip. One can’t carry everything that might be needed in case of a mechanical failure (although when I’m leading rides I always come weighed down with a full cycle toolkit case – as recommended by Cycling Weekly, though not really for carrying about!). But it is a very good idea to make sure you have with you at least a pump and a spare inner tube that fit your particular sort of tyre.

Members – present and future (final appeal)

If there’s still anyone who hasn’t renewed their subscription for 2011, please send £7 (£6 national subscription plus our £1 fee) to Jim Grozier, 92a Springfield Road, Brighton BN1 6DE. Make your cheque (or PO) out to Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club.

New Forest Weekend – Jim reports (again!)

8 February 2011

The youth hostel can accommodate us, and I have provisionally booked both nights (15/4 and 16/4). BUT I need to confirm numbers at the END OF THIS WEEK (i.e., 11 February) and so I need to have pretty definite commitments from people by then. Some members have already got back to me about their preferences, but anyone else who wants to go but has not contacted me MUST get in touch now.

Details are as follows:

There is a 4-bedded room, which costs £80 per night so it will be £20 each. As we will definitely fill it, it can be treated as a private room and so we can mix genders if we want. If people want this option please say, as it will be first-come-first-served – or rather first-paid-first-served (and also please say if you mind it being mixed gender).

The other accommodation is in bigger dormitories, as some of you already know! They have 9 male beds and 7 female. I have provisionally booked all of these, but need to confirm asap. The price for dormitory accommodation is £18.40. (All these prices assume you are a YHA member. If you are not, you can either join at £15 or pay a £3 per night supplement. Or we can take out group membership for £25, which will be more economical if there are >4 non-members). Breakfast is £4.95. The money will need to be paid 8 weeks in advance, so I will need it by the end of next week (19th Feb).

Knowing the usual gender ratio we have on our rides, it is probable that the 4-bedded room will be all-female but it doesn’t have to be.

I also need to know, obviously, whether people want to go for the 1-night or 2-night option (or indeed the 3-night option – see my last message – although I did not check the YH availability for the Sunday night).

If people do not want to stay at the youth hostel, I will be investigating other options when I go for my first recce, which will be this week, probably Wednesday.