The Next Ride: Sunday 12 June 2011 – Barnham Circular

31 May 2011

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

Sunday 12 June 2011
Barnham Circular via Littlehampton and Arundel

This ride will provide the answer to one of cycling’s great mysteries: how do you get from Myddleton-on-sea to Littlehampton without using the main road? The answer is, walk along the beach. Read on…

We meet at Barnham station and ride to the coast on an excellent cycle track, which takes us over Lydsey Rife and into Flansham. We’ve used this track before, but the good quality surface has been extended over the whole route since our last visit, making it an even nicer ride.

Lovers of lanes can drool over Stanover, Hoe, Flansham, Worms and Ancton, which will get us through Myddleton and onto the beach. Once we hit the serious pebbles, walking for half a mile or so is the only option.

We can re-mount once we reach Climping beach, where we will take a short detour to view the strange collection of ancient (or pastiche?) buildings which make up the Bailiff’s Court Hotel. Then via Bread, Brookpits and Crookthorn Lanes to the bridge over the Arun at Littlehampton.

Here we find a welcome sight, the Arun View Hotel for lunch. There’s a wide menu but don’t indulge too much, there are a couple of hills to come and a possible cake stop by the river at Arundel.

We head north from Littlehampton, using some handy back alleys to avoid the traffic. As we cross the A259 on the Wick roundabout, look out for the Body Shop depot on the left. Then through Lyminster where we make a slightly awkward right turn off the main road onto a track; watch out for traffic!

The track provides a traffic-free route to Poling, a fairly isolated village where smart 20th century houses rub shoulders with an older agricultural heritage. Next we cross the A27 again, watch out for traffic. Blakehurst Lane takes us through some beautiful woodland and then we start a fairly gentle climb. Just when you’re beginning to wish it would end, it does: the road turns sharp left and we roll down through Warningcamp towards the river. Look out for a fine view of Arundel Castle.

A half mile amidst the traffic on the A27 gets us into Arundel itself. Note the catholic Cathedral as we meander through the back streets towards the western exit from the town.

Now for the one serious hill on this ride: it takes us through a housing estate. I recommend walking. Then we are into woodland and open country again as we roll down through Ford to Barnham, adding Ford, Maypole and Lake to the lanes collection as we go.

Numbers: Please let me know by 12 noon on Saturday 11 June if you want lunch at the pub (see below)!
Start: Barnham station at 11:35
Getting there: 10:12 or 10:48 trains from Brighton (leaving Hove at 10:22 or 10:52). There’s also a faster 10:19 from Hove. Barnham has a station car park.
Distance: 22 miles (approx.)
Off road: Some traffic free tracks, most with pretty good surfaces; a walk along the pebbly beach
Hills: Two shortish hills, one gentle, one walkable.
Getting back: Trains to Brighton at :02, :22 (change at Hove) and :32 all calling at Hove.
Catering: Lunch at the Arun View Hotel, Littlehampton ( and possibly tea in Arundel.
My mobile: 0789 985 1172.


The last ride: Sunday 29 May 2011 – Shermanbury

31 May 2011

[More photos on Flickr]

The first “BOOTS” greeting of the day was called out as I approached Ian on Station Approach West, Hassocks railway station at 10.48am. Amanda was waiting at the station entrance, we both greeted her with “welcome, it’s good to see you.” Rob appeared from behind us: BOOTS again. Within a few moments the Brighton to London train pulled in with Suzanne, Roger, and Angelika on-board. Jim had told Ian that he would be on the 11.10am train because he started his journey at Preston Park.  Now we were eight bright and happy Clarionettes eager to get underway, but first the photo, Leon took the photo.

Hassocks station 29 May 2011

The sky was looking a little unsettled and the wind was a fair southwesterly, not warm, but not cold either. We set off up to Stonepound and Hurstpierpoint with the wind in our faces.

At each and every turn we were treated to a slightly different wind strength but nothing to make things too difficult. The roads were slightly more busy than usual but we all powered on at our normal pace. When we reached the A281 Shoreham road, north of Henfield I broke away from the group to back-track down Wheatsheaf Road to Wineham Lane and up to Frylands Lane to rejoin the group as they came out of an off-road section that I chose not to ride due to my thumb injury.

Track between Shermanbury and Frylands lane Wineham.

Heading along Frylands Lane there were black Damselflies performing a fairy-like dance in the breeze, true perfection in motion. Left into Wineham Lane and a moment later we were at the Royal Oak where we were to have lunch. The weather was cool enough to add another layer. We were told that ‘there was a large party that was being attended to and that we would need to wait a while before we could order’ but we did get our drinks in quickly enough. Angelika sorted out the menu and we all paid her our share, this worked well and we were served with good food in quick time. It’s difficult to keep an ear in every conversation so much is missed out here. Jim’s bike problem did get raised and some tools were produced to strip his bike there and then but Jim was not very happy to allow this to happen; I wonder why?  Some photos were taken and a video or two but Angelika couldn’t remember how to play her camera’s videos so we couldn’t see them.

Lunch stop at the Royal Oak, Wineham.

Time to set out on our return journey, Wineham Lane into Bob Lane and this was so pleasant without motor traffic. The sun was now breaking through and the wind was following us home. Albourne and Hurstpierpoint with just tiny hills to climb before reaching Hassocks again. The total distance was recorded as 20 miles.

We all extend our thanks to Ian for planning this ride, thanks Ian.


Ride report: Wednesday 25 May – Mid-week Ride to Goring

31 May 2011

Leon’s Report

Brookadice. Bikes by the sea.

Leon and Mark met at the Palace Pier, Brighton for the start of a picnic ride to Goring by sea. As there were no other members able to ride with us today we set off a few minutes before the official start time. Meeting up with Ian “BOOTS and SPURS” on the cycle track near the west pier; he was returning from brunch at Carat’s cafe. It was so good to see him after such a long time. Afterwards continuing our journey to Goring. The lock gates at Shoreham harbour were closed and we waited about five minutes to cross the locks. Through the back streets of Shoreham to the drawbridge and to a nice little shop to pick up a pastie for my picnic, Mark had a can of coke to supply a caffeine kick. While we were there we met a chap who had cycled down from Hayward’s Heath just because he loves his bike, what better reason? Back in the saddle we soon arrived in Worthing and not much later into the grassy meadows of Goring by sea. We ate our lunch and chatted about all sorts of things. I made a stone heap, only a small one as the stone kept falling down. We met elderly folk who stopped for a while to chat about everything, that was nice. When we were getting ready to leave for home Mark’s bike fell over, tipping his sunglasses into the grass. A few hundred metres along the cycleway Mark missed his sunglasses and returned to find them, the stone heap marked the spot, now that’s forward planning.

Aneap of stones

Our return journey was very pleasant and without incident. We arrived back at the Palace Pier at 3pm. Ride over, let’s look forward to another.  Thank you Mark for making this short trip another mid-week winner. Total distance 32 miles.


And Mark’s report

I met Leon at Brighton pier at about 10.30, ahead of a start time of 10.45.  The first thing I noticed was that Leon had his 1950 Carpenter bike out for the ride, and what a beauty it is!   He got lots of admiring glances as we zipped along our way, and was stopped near Ferring by a passer-by to discuss the bike.  The second thing I noticed was that he had a yellow Clarion top on with his name embroidered on it; turns out he had made this himself… personally. I think a B&H Clarion T-shirt would sell well (maybe we can use the kitty money to get a stock of them?… then replenish as people purchase them… just a thought).  This was my first insight of the day into Leon’s many talents, which include taking pictures from flying kites, canoeing, rebuilding bikes, to name but a few.

Leon informed me that there were only the two of us on the ride, as various regulars were gallivanting across the UK and France, and so without further ado we set off along the seafront.  We had barely gone a mile when we saw Ian coming along in the opposite direction.  It was great to see Ian as we haven’t seen him for a while on Clarion rides and we had a nice chat (although I nearly caused an accident by forgetting I was on the seafront cycle lane and drifting into other bikes’ paths).  He was full of energy as usual, and even chastised us for having left the start point before the official time (I blame Leon myself!), and he was quite right.

We travelled without event to Shoreham, getting turned off our bikes at the lock and in Shoreham due to road works. In Shoreham, over the bridge, Leon purchased his lunch pasty and we chatted to a guy from Haywards Heath who rides every day to Shoreham for a cup of tea…  We crossed the wooden bridge and journeyed towards Worthing, clipping along at a fairly sedate rate.  Leon informed me that his bike, which has a freewheel but only one gear, was in his opinion too lowly geared, and whenever he gets up to 12mph or so, he can’t go any faster as his legs go round too quick otherwise.  Personally I found this feature quite a plus, having already put 15 miles on the odometer pre-ride over Devil’s Dyke as part of my L2P training.  Also I think he actually had the gear right, as you (normally) need a climbing gear.

Mark and Leon's bikes at Goring by Sea, West Sussex..

We lunched on the seafront at Ferring, which I thought at the time was before Goring, but I think may actually be past it.  Leon, for no apparent reason built a stone tower which we both agreed to say didn’t fall down and was larger than it actually was. He took photos of this, and our bikes by the sea for a Flickr page he contributes to. We also had a long conversation with a pleasant older couple who were good fun, but seemed to think disaster lurked round every corner.  At one point the guy said a big storm was coming from Brighton direction, which sounded ominous. Actually the weather was beautiful and sunny.

We got back to Brighton pier at about 3pm, having covered 32 miles at probably an average of 11-12mph.  It was longer than the average Clarion ride, but flat as a pancake, so very easy going.  It was sunny throughout – I now am lobster-coloured having failed to apply any pre-match sunscreen.  It was also thoroughly enjoyable.  Leon and I chatted throughout the ride, riding alongside each other for long parts of the way.  Leon and I are now the only Clarion members to have ridden all the mid-week rides, and they have all been great.

We were both happy with the ride, Leon being proud that his bike had held up very well, and I managed to record my first 50 mile trip of the summer, albeit having to ride round the block twice when I got home to bring up the last mile.

Thank you Leon!



31 May 2011

Dear fellow members and friends 

I’ll still be away the day after the next (Roger’s) ride – or at least on the way home so the next edition of this newsletter may be a day or two later than usual. Thanks to Tessa, I already have the details of her ride so that’s one major ingredient taken care of.

We don’t go in for records much – but we now have one in relation to last week’s midweek ride.  As Mark so aptly, not to say eloquently, puts it “the ride was THAT good that every rider on it wrote it up!!..

We’ve had some pretty good turnouts for some of our rides so far this year; the only downside of which is fitting everyone in the pub/café and – especially – on the train.  That such things were there from the start of Clarion cycling is illustrated by this issue’s extract from 1895.


Future Rides until the end of 2011

31 May 2011

Since no one has asked for 21August I’ve put myself in for the Chichester Harbour  (with Itchenor ferry) ride. Always nice to fit that one in.  Likewise for the final ride of the year – weather permitting, which wasn’t the case last year.  It’s a fairly short, mainly flat ride with lunch at a pub with a decent fire and the possibility of a cuppa (or another pint) in the Berwick Inn while waiting for the train back All of which seems just right for that point in the year . Roger has volunteered for 4 September.

Which leaves – can you believe – only six slots not spoken for between now and the end of the year.  Can we have some offers for the second September date and the first one in October?

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

12 June Littlehampton circular via Arundel (Roger)
26 June Herstmonceux and Wartling (Tessa)
10 July Palace Pier to Berwick (Ann and Mick)
24 July* Plumpton circular (Jenny)
7 August  TBC (Jim)
21 August  Chichester Harbour -picnic and ferry (Ian)
4 September*  TBC (Roger)
18 September*
4 October*
16 October
6 November
20 November
4 December
18 December  Berwick circular (Ian)

*Ian definitely not available

The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s: 85. Problems of accommodating numbers on club runs

31 May 2011

From 20 July 1895 “Cycling Notes”

Many club runs nowadays also assume such large proportions that it frequently happens to reach numbers that cannot be accommodated in one place.

This happened only lately to the Manchester Clarion C.C. and it certainly gave much dissatisfaction.

There have been many suggestions for remedying this unpleasantness, but up to now I know of none which has the merit of being feasible.

It isn’t likely, for instance, that the proposal to take their own victuals along with them could meet the desires of many.

The proposal, also, for producing a club tent and cooking utensils, and sending them along with victuals in advance to the nearest station, cannot be said to be practical. In the first place, permission would have to be obtained from some landlord before it could be erected; and further, the chance of wet or unfortunate weather would make it next to impossible to successfully cater for the members.

Next time – The exploits of Mrs Walsh and Swiftsure’s thoughts thereon.

Mid-week ride: 25 May 2011 – Brighton to Goring

24 May 2011

Leon writes: Do you fancy a Wednesday ride? I’ve offered and done Tuesday and Thursday both starting at Hassocks. I am offering an east to west and return to Brighton ride for Wednesday 25 May. Starting at the Palace pier at 10.45am and having a picnic on the grass or beach at Goring. The ride is mainly on the coast cycleway, diverting only at Shoreham for a short while. The weather looks set for a fine day with 12mph winds from the southeast.

I hope you can join me.