Next ride: New Years’ Day ride to Carat’s Cafe

30 December 2011

Sunday 1 January 2012.

Meet by the Palace Pier at 10.15am – or along the route at e.g. Maroccos in Hove. Motoring members welcome.

The traditional route is along the coastal cycle paths, heading west.

Jim adds: Dear all

I am thinking of taking a different route to Carats. I know this is not very “fellowship is life”, but I am not very keen on the coastal route and would like to find a less direct but hopefully more interesting one. I will probably go from home via Dyke Road Drive,Hove, Aldrington, Hangleton and Portslade Village. Starting quite early, as not sure how long it will take!

If anyone would like to join me, get in touch – preferably via, or 07742-963239 – as not many of us live around here it would probably be necessary to meet up en route.

If no takers, I will see you at the cafe. (Cash renewals will be welcome, but do try to bring the right money (£7), in an envelope with your name on it!)


AGM 2012

29 December 2011

The 2012 AGM will take place at 39 Regency Square, Brighton at 8pm on Monday 30 January.

I have taken account of all your responses to my earlier message about possible dates, including, of course, of those of Roger and Suzanne who are hosting the meeting. This seems to be the most convenient date.

I will be sending out the agenda for the meeting about a week before. If there is anything you would like to be included on the agenda please let me know by, let’s say, 20 January. The same applies to any reports – like those of Jim and Fred which were circulated with the agenda last year.

Can I also remind you to renew your subscription for 2012 – if you haven’t already done so? Send a cheque for £7 payable to Brighton and Hove Clarion Cycling Club to Jim Grozier, 92a Springfield Road, Brighton BN1 6DE.


The Last Ride: Sunday 18 December – Ian’s Berwick loop

19 December 2011

For the shortest Clarion ride on the shortest of winter Sundays, ten riders assembled at Berwick station: Angela, Corinne, Ian, Jenny, Joyce, Leon, Richard, Rob, SikkaSue, and Tessa. I cycled from home, but no one mentioned anything newsworthy about their journeys to Berwick by train, bike, or car so I assume they were all uneventful.

The sky was clear and blue, the sun was beautiful and bright, but the temperature was still deceptively low even at 10.30 in the morning, and ice was lurking on the country lanes. As I discovered when I turned right at the Langtye Lane crossroads on the way to Berwick – the bike slid from under me and I hit the deck. Luckily I was going pretty slowly but it was a shock to the system nonetheless – no lasting harm done though, and most importantly the bike was undamaged apart from a dislodged chain! It was a lesson to me that on frosty mornings, although the sun is up and the road looks merely wet, black ice can be waiting to catch us out.

At the station, before we set off, Ian warned everyone to take extra care, especially on corners and at junctions, and suggested we should go even more slowly than usual (!), and should use only our back brakes and then very gently. Everyone took his advice to heart, so there were no other fallers thank goodness. As a result this was a very sedate Clarion outing, looping through Ripe and out to Golden Cross and back, encountering icy stretches at intervals along the way. We were all glad to reach the Yew Tree after just under 10 miles to escape the bitter cold. The pub offered friendly and prompt service, very good food, a lovely log fire, and a portly and solicitous pub dog seeking chips, and we emerged after lunch feeling fully revived. The sky had clouded over by then and the temperature was falling again.

A mere four miles down the road the Clarion pub-magnet suddenly became operational again and we swerved into the Berwick Inn to thaw out once more until the train was due. Many thanks, Ian, for a short but very sweet get-together, and Happy Christmas and New Year to one and all.


Clarion Christmas Social 2011: 10 December 2011

19 December 2011

We had to battle a wild West wind along the seafront bike track, by a roaring sea, to arrive at the venue. Heads down & envy the cyclists flying towards us, wind-assisted, be grateful that it’s not raining or snowing, or icy, as it has been in previous years for our Xmas Social, some wintry weather rendering travel, even within Brighton, dangerous or impossible, especially because of our hills, which became ice-rinks two years ago.
Hove’s flatter & has a delightful smaller museum, housed in an impressive Victorian villa with unusual Indian gateway in the grassy grounds, where we parked the bikes, before entering  the tea-room where the Clarion was assembled and awaiting their lunch. Jenny, host and organiser, after volunteering at January AGM, welcomed us warmly. We had a splendid, long table, with tall windows on two sides and charming woven decorations overhead, like an icy spider’s web, with hanging eco decorations rather than a nasty black spider! Jenny had invited us to arrive before 1.30 in order to visit the Robot Invasion Exhibition first and some Clarionettes had, as well as the other galleries of film, toys and craft. Amanda had travelled all the way down here from East London, but by train. We were able to present her with a trophy for the most miles travelled to reach the meet, even though she hadn’t cycled. It was a squeezy plastic cat bike-hooter for her new bike, Bluebell, as she acquired two naughty little kittens, along with the bike this year. We got it in a fab bike shop in Aigle, near the World Cycling Union Centre [UCI] in Switzerland in October & I have a panda, which does look a bit like Ed Milliband, but doesn’t often have a chance to hoot over the background roars [ie of traffic in panda’s case].

Tea time in Hove
Suzanne, Roger, Sue, Ian, Jim, Angela, Amanda & Jenny were awaiting, somewhat anxiously, their ordered meals. Jenny had tempted us all with the tasty online menu, but, there had been embarrassing disappointment as chosen delights had been declared unavailable & substitutes had to be reordered, only to have those cancelled too, in near farcical pantomime. I was able to order a vegetable soup. Our stalwarts, Joyce and Leon were missing & Suzanne explained that she had thought Joyce had said she was to address the United Nations, but it was the United Nations Association [Brighton & Hove District Branch] which had claimed her & possibly, Leon too. Considering everything had seemed to be “off” today, when the food arrived it was a brilliant surprise; lambs’ kidneys for Roger, fishcakes for Suzanne, “sumptuous” tiered cake-stand of dainty salmon & cucumber sandwiches, scones, jam & cream for several to share and three vegetable soups. By now Fred had arrived from his stint invigilating at The Dragonfly House Xmas Open House and took some snaps of the fine food and festivity.

Clarion tea
Talk turned on Cameron’s stomp out of Europe early in the day and the dark days of austerity imposed by the Tory Coalition; sharp contrast with the museum itself which had reopened in 2003 after extensive refurbishment under Labour administrations with some help from European money, as had our other museums & the Dome Concert Hall. At Mick’s end of the table Ian‘s new book, Romancing the Revolution and Labour Party history was revealed and discussed. At my end, Jenny was trying to convert me to the dark side by praising the magical delights of night cycle rides, along with some of her other long trips of 2011. There were three separate Clarion Loire trips during the sunnier months & we swapped memories; Jenny filling me in on Amboise & Leonardo’s last home there, which we 5 [Joyce, Jo, John, Mick & I] had only briefly visited & she had explored more extensively on a CTC trip.

Luxury afternoon tea
Helen arrived at Mick’s end of table, then Wilma arrived at mine and ordered some more of the festive fare and soon another party assembled in the other half of the room – we wondered if there was any food left for them, though the museum certainly makes a fine venue for a party. As we all started to leave Amanda and I were charmed by the decorations provided by Brighton’s Stitch and Bitch Group, including the web & an icy-looking, sparkly tree. There remained a chance to buy some Xmas gifts in the shop with its robot toy & books display & final peep at the robot exhibition’s film, toys & models & enjoy the reactions of the young visitors.  Thanks to Jenny for organising and to the museum’s staff for making super food in beautiful venue.

News and subs reminder

19 December 2011

Dear fellow members and friends 

Well, thanks to Jenny for organising the Christmas social – it was a good and idea to have it at Hove Museum – even the shades of Fawlty Towers added to the fun. And, as Anne says (see her report) the food that was “on” was very good. The museum is well worth a visit – especially, I thought, for the early films of Brighton and Hove.

I trailed Jim’s message about next year’s subs in the last issue. I’m including it here, rather than in a “members only” message in the hope that more people on our mailing list who haven’t yet joined  us might take the plunge. Why not pop a cheque in the post to Jim  this week? With an application form if you’re not already a member. Anyway, here’s Jim’s message.

Subs for 2012 are due from 1 January. Please send a cheque for £7, payable to Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club, to Jim Grozier, 92a Springfield Road, BN1 6DE. I would appreciate if you could send the money promptly, as it is much easier to deal with renewals in bulk than if there are “stragglers”, and I don’t have a lot of spare time these days to chase people up.

If you would prefer to pay by bank transfer, the sort code is 08-92-99 (Co-op Bank) and account number is 65377325. Bank Identification Code is CPBK GB22, and IBAN is GB76 CPBK 0892 9965 3773 25. But you had better check first with your bank to see if there is a charge, as that could make a bank transfer uneconomical.



I know several people are working on runs for the New Year – but so far we’ve only reached 8 Jan. – which may seem like a year away now, but isn’t! – as far as actual rides are concerned.  As usual, all offers will be gratefully received. In the meantime Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Future rides until the end of 2011 and the first three months of 2012

19 December 2011

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

1 January 2012 New Year’s Day ride to Carat’s Cafe (Ian)
8 January 2012 Hassocks to Lewes (Sue P)
22 January 2012
4 February
19 February
4 March
18 March

*Ian definitely not available

The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s: 98. More on the “Klarion Kamp”

19 December 2011

from Swiftsure’s “Cycling Notes” Clarion, 24 August 1895

That Klarion Kamp!

With the advent of fine weather – which a certain sage promises will favour the venture more or less the whole time – the organisers are hopeful of scoring a big success.

As intimated last week, the camp opens tomorrow (Saturday) and, if properly supported, will be continued until September 7th or 9th.

During that time it is hoped every Clarion cyclist within riding distance will make it his or her duty to put in an appearance – particularly on Saturday and Sunday evenings – when provision will be made for social gatherings’.

[Detailed directions are then given on how to find the camp and of Manchester CCC rides to the camp over the following three weeks.]

As it is also expected that many will take this opportunity of being in the country and still attend their business in town by going to and fro each morning or evening, they are requested to meet at Trafford Bar each evening at 6.45 for the camp.

Next Time – The camp opens

Christmas social – this Saturday!

8 December 2011

Clarion Christmas social:  Lunch or afternoon tea at Hove Museum & Art Gallery – Reminder. Do please let her know you’re coming – see end of the message.

Saturday 10 December, 1.30–4.30 pm (but do come along earlier!)

The museum is at 19 New Church Road, Hove BN3 4 AB. Entry is free. The permanent collections are based around ‘Toys, cinema, local history and fine art’ and the special exhibition (also free) on 10 December will be ‘Robot Invasion’ – a vast range of robots and space toys from the collection of Sussex artist and illustrator Chris McEwan. Sounds fun!

On Saturdays the museum is open from 10 am to 4.30 pm. Our booking in the tea room is at 1.30 pm, but I hope people will want to turn up earlier and have a wander about first. Buses to the museum are numbers 1, 1A, 6, 6A, or 49 from Brighton North Street or Churchill Square stops, and Hove station is a short bike ride or a 20-minute walk away.

The tea room offers a range of afternoon teas, from cream tea (£4.50), or cream tea with sandwiches (£7.95), to a sumptuous-sounding three-tier cake stand loaded with cakes and sandwiches at £10 a head. The light lunches include rarebits, omelettes, jacket potatoes and fillings, lamb casserole or veggie options, etc, and should cost no more than about £9.

For more information about the museum go to the website at and select ‘Museums’. Then from the side bar on the left choose Hove Museum & Art Gallery.

The tea room will need some idea of numbers nearer the time, so please contact me as soon as possible this month via the Google group or text me on 07527 119 736 to let me know if you are planning to come.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!


The Next Ride: Sunday 18 December – Berwick Circular c 14 Miles only

8 December 2011

Our now traditional last ride of the year – a really short and flat one that maybe will tempt everyone out unless the weather is atrocious – like it was last year when I had to cancel it. [Finally did it in February!] Will we have better luck this year? Fingers crossed! And let’s hope the train is not cancelled at the last minute like with the last ride

We’ll do the usual loop round the Berwick, Ripe, Chalvington area and stop for lunch at the Yew Tree pub. This will be not only be the last ride of 2011 but the one on the shortest day we’ll have been out on.

Distance: c 14 miles.

Hills: If I say there aren’t any hills, someone is bound to point out that the road went ‘up’ for 10 or 20 metres at some point – but it really is pretty flat
Off road: None
Traffic: Quiet roads
Catering: Yew Tree for lunch
Possible tea stop (depending on train times and our own progress) at the Berwick Inn for tea.

Catch the 10.20 from Brighton station or meet at Berwick station at 10.43
[There’s only one train an hour –so I can’t suggest an alternative.]
Train back at 14.48 reaching Brighton at 15.12 or 15.48 (16.12)

(Be at Brighton Station by 9.50 for Groupsave)

My mobile number is 07770743287


The Last Ride: Sunday 4 December – Short and Sweet but with lots of “nots”; Hassocks to Wineham

8 December 2011

[ More photos on Flickr]

The happy band at Brighton station (Corinne, Joyce, Roger and Suzanne) learned that the 10.44 would not be stopping at Hassocks and that they would have to get the 11am train. Happily, the rest of the band (Angela, Ian, Jim, Leon and Rob) had not pedalled off without them, having been forewarned by Joyce and her trusty mobile phone. For once, no hapless passer-by was stopped to take a photo, so the group mug shot was duly taken by Leon who had not forgotten to bring his camera. And then it was off through Hurstpierpoint where not one single puncture was experienced (not like Hurspierpoint 9 January 2011 – what a joy it is to read those old ride reports on the website – thanks Fred).

Group photo. Hassocks Station.

A not-at-all-slow sweep down Wickham Hill and College Lane brought us to Hurstpierpoint College where we were not able to watch the lads playing soccer as they had just packed up for the morning and were being whisked away in the parent’s giant 4x4s. Along the meandering lanes until we crossed, from east to west, the roaring A23 (where we definitely did not want to be) and along Bob Lane (not to be confused with Jobs Lane east of that mighty highway). Jim pointed out that, both before and after lunch, the meandering river we crossed was not the West Adur but the cunningly named East Adur.

6. The Eastern Adur at Wineham

Although we were not expected by Mein Host when we arrived at The Royal Oak in Wineham (not Twineham, of course) he was not at all fazed and found a niche for us. There were definitely no “nots” about the lunches – pumpkin soup was supped, platters of ham, beef, salmon and pork pie were eaten clean. At one end of the table, no definite conclusion was reached upon how sea mist differed from land mist, and at the other end, there was no consensus of opinion on the best aspects of the Avenue Verte from Dieppe. We were not the quietest of guests – a crescendo being reached when we could not agree on the pronunciation of … well large chunks of the English language. So with some of us saying “potato” and others insisting on “potaaato”, we called the whole thing off (mainly as by then the landlord wanted not our company but our room for his 1.30 booking for 9 people) and creaked out way back on to our machines. Muscles were not reacting particularly responsively by now: the December temperatures were not as low as usual, but low enough to cause a few twinges here and there, Suzanne, and occasionally Angela, deciding that not cycling up the hills was preferable to cycling up them: Shanks’s pony coming into his own.

Henfield road, Albourne.

It did not rain.

And not forgetting to thank Ian for being our Good Shepherd for the day. Many thanks