For the first time since the website for the Brighton and Hove Section began, there was no ride report submitted for the last ride! According to Jim, there were 12 riders (13 if you count John C’s little cameo appearance at lunch and shortly afterwards!), and John later provided the following contribution:
A route through Shoreham using the wooden bridge towards Steyning seemed the obvious way to go. About 25 miles to West Chiltington by my reckoning. I started late and wasn’t sure of meeting up with the rest of the Clarion. Good if it happens, if not it’s nice country around and an area I’ve thought about exploring before. Steyning behind me and along Spithandle Lane, a lovely wooded ride. Too early for the bluebells which carpet the woodland but perhaps a glimpse of the deer which inhabit this area. Not this time. I joined the road to Ashington taking me under the A24 turning left towards Warminghurst. I love this lane, narrow, infrequently used, real country. Uphill passing the two cottages, resting at the top before the drop down towards Heath Common. Warminghurst church and the grand old buildings alongside are in a time warp. It’s a little like stepping back into the 19th Century or being in a Hardy novel. And the weather, to brighten the day, sunshine. Good to be out. Taking the middle of the roads leading to Storrington and Smock Alley took me to West Chiltington.
The Queen’s Head wasn’t hard to find. Surprised faces greeted my entrance as I walked through the gate leading to al fresco dining. Jim looked twice and wondered, I think where I had come from. The ladies at the table I joined less surprised were very welcoming. Lunch was almost over for the Clarion. Not the best I heard, rather expensive. Roasts only, not the variety of fare available to Jim on his scouting trip mid week. It happens! I made do with a chocolate bar and an apple from my back pocket. We talked about, what else, cycling. Somewhat longer distances than Clarion distances were discussed. Thoughts put to one side for possible later consideration.
The return for all was through a golf course (Hurston Warren) and woodland across the River Storr. Not wet underfoot but difficult enough, slippy sand. Glad I didn’t bring the road bike! At the A283 I reckoned at 4:30 pm it was time to part and take the direct route home. The others headed towards Amberley and the station. Oh, I forgot Angela was the best dressed of all, in contrasting items of pink, red and I believe black. We were enthralled. There’s something about the Clarion you don’t find anywhere else. Long live the social cyclists!
PS This route runs close to Pulborough Brooks the RSPB bird sanctuary. A pleasant destination with a good cafe’. Some of the route I took coming would make a fine day out on the bikes!
[Please feel free to contribute, using the Comments section below, or email to Ian or Fred. Also please upload any photos to our Flickr group – Fred]