The next ride: Sunday 1 December – New Lanes and Links (plus Amex 360)

20 November 2013

We welcome people who want to try one or two of our rides before joining. If you would like to join the Clarion club, click here to download a membership form.

The first part of this ride is much the same as one I led last year to Stanmer and Falmer.  The main difference this time will be that I won’t fall off my bike.

The other main difference is that the cycle lane along the Lewes Road has been upgraded. It now keeps us well protected from the traffic, including buses once we’re past the Vogue Gyratory. The bus stops are now on islands cut off from the main footpath by the cycle lane:  is this good for pedestrians?  A suitable lunchtime discussion topic perhaps.

So we start at the south end of the Level and take the A27 to Stanmer Park. We’ll take a circular detour through the park, just because it’s nice. Then under the main road to the station and up a seemingly endless ramp across the railway line.  On the other side we’ll take a spin right round the Amex Stadium (close up), just because it’s possible.

Now we get to the gem at the heart of this ride, the new cycle link between Falmer and Woodingdean. At last it’s possible to ride between these two places without being turned into a quivering jelly by the traffic on the narrow B2123. Mind you, the hills are still there:  those who choose to walk up the steep bits will probably gain a fuller appreciation of the stunning views. It’s quite amazing how, in spite of all the new developments at Falmer, you can suddenly find yourself in beautiful, open, rolling country – pity about the traffic noise.

We’ll take a back road through Woodingdean, partly to avoid the traffic, but also to sneak a peek at one of our secretary’s best kept secrets.  Then a long and steep downhill run (test your brakes!) to the road into Rottingdean where we’ll have lunch at the White Horse  (tel. 01273 301945).

The final few miles of the ride could be along the Undercliff Path or, if that’s too crowded, along the cliff top cycle path. The ride will end back at the Level with tea at the Velo café.  Non-riders might like to join us:  approximate time of arrival 3 pm.


Meet: 11 am outside the Loving Hut cafe at the south end of the Level
Distance: Approx 18 miles
Hills: Quite steep between Falmer and Woodingdean, otherwise fairly flat.
Terrain: Road, cycle lane, track and shared space.
Catering: Lunch at the White Horse at Rottingdean (tel. 01273 301945), tea at the recently opened Velo Café at the Level.

My mobile 0789 985 1172.


The Last Ride: Sunday 17 November – Autumn Undulations

20 November 2013

Ten cyclists assembled at Lewes Station: Mick, Jenny, Ann, Rob, Suzanne, Sue, Linda, Angela, David, and Roger. After the usual greetings and the usual group photo, kindly taken by a passing train passenger, we set off in an orderly fashion behind our leader (Mick).

Lewes Station at 10.10. Must have sadly only just missed Nick H.who only just missed the 9.47 train from Brigghton.

Lewes station at 10:10

We were soon out of Lewes and into the Sussex country lanes, surely the spiritual home of B&H Clarion. They were particularly attractive in their autumn colours. The sky was grey and there was a little wetness in the air (no, not rain, not yet); it was neither windy nor chilly, perfect cycling weather.

Sue gliding into Piltdown having dallied picking up 2lbs of apples from roadside.

Sue gliding into Piltdown after collecting 2ibs of apples from the roadside

Discussions during the day covered a whole range of topics, which cannot possibly all be listed here, since your reporter was not able to be in all of them all the time.

So I will mention only one, “undulations”. Just what does this delightful word mean? The question is important since the word was used in the advance announcement of today’s ride. For some it suggests gentle ups and downs. For others it warns of nothing less than hills. For all however, it meant a very thoughtfully planned ride, with hillier undulations before lunch and gentler ones after.

November 17, 2013: Lewes Circular

Angela gets the usual treatment for uttering the word “hill”

Nick, meanwhile neatly sidestepped the issue. He missed the designated train from Brighton thanks to confusing advice from a station official. Hence he also missed the departure of the ride from Lewes. Undeterred he took a direct, and less undulating route to meet up with the rest of us for lunch at the Laughing Fish in Isfield.

Lunch was varied, ranging from chips and ketchup to pigeon, black pudding and bacon pie, all well cooked and efficiently served.

Exotic food at Laughing Fish;-I had goat koftas, Mick had home-made pigeon, blood sausage & bacon pie, Rob had quiche, Linda & Angela sweet potato soup, Nick had chips.

Lunch at the Laughing Fish

November 17, 2013: Lewes Circular

Nick’s Chips

And then we were on our way home, which is when, it has to be admitted, the grey sky got greyer and the wetness in the air definitely became rain. Cycle lights were turned on, waterproofs were pulled out of bags and we headed back to Lewes Station as quickly as full stomachs and tired legs allowed.

A wonderful way to spend a November Sunday – many thanks to Mick and Ann for planning it.



20 November 2013

Dear fellow members 

Everyone will be very sorry to hear about Joyce’s illness. We all wish her the speediest recovery.

Still no volunteers for early 2014 rides.  I shall keep calm and carry on.

If you haven’t already let Angela know if you can come to the Christmas Social please get in touch with her ASAP on

Details are:- Cafe Rouge, Brighton Marina, on Saturday 21st December for 12.30pm.

Like me you will have been horrified to hear about the spate of cyclists being killed on the London roads. Boris Johnson’s ill-timed comments didn’t help much, did they?

Here are a couple of items from the CTC’s “Cycle Clips” which deserve the widest possible circulation.

Urgent action demanded at tragic roundabout

CTC is urging further action after a terrible week in London where five out of the six cyclists hit were killed. On Tuesday, around 1000 cyclists attended a protest ride at the Bow roundabout, where three cyclists have died in recent times. Head-cam footage shows the difficulties cyclists face there. Meanwhile, the New York Times exposes hostile conditions cyclists there too.

Hauliers must explain themselves

CTC has today written to urge the Transport Minister to adopt a dramatic new approach over cyclist fatalities after a six riders in ten days have been killed in the UK in collisions involving HGVs. We would like to see the leaders of the haulage industry called in to see the Transport Minister and explain themselves in person every time HGVs kill a cyclist. It’s cost-free and needs no legislation but will put vulnerable road users at the front of the minds of those running the haulage industry

But – as another item says “Despite this week’s bleak headlines, it’s important to remember that cycling is actually a relatively safe activity: the health benefits outweigh the dangers by a factor of twenty.”


The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s: 145. B’ham Clarion, ILP conference and Bakewell Meet

20 November 2013

More from the Clarion  28 March 1896 “Cycling  Notes”


The club starts for Bakewell on Friday morning, April 3rd, at 8 o’clock from Waterworks, Lichfield Road.  The route to be as given in the Clarion March 21st Lichfield, Burton, Derby , Belper,  Matlock, Bakewell.

*          *          *          *          *          *            *          *          *

I have a communication from the organisers of the Nottingham I.L.P. Conference at Easter requesting me to draw the particular attention of Clarion cycling clubs to the fact that a great demonstration is being orgnised to take place in the Albert Hall on Easter Tuesday April 7th. Sympathisers and members are earnestly requested to attend, and insure the meeting being a big success.

. *          *          *          *          *          *            *          *          *

In answer to several inquiries, I am enabled to say that Nunquam,  Mont Blong, Dangle, and possibly the Bounder* will be present at the Meet.  The only thing wanted now is Fine  Weather and – By Jovc! It nearly slipped off my pen.  I don’t mean the weather!  The phrase!

* That’s to say, in order, Robert Blatchford and his brother Montagu, Alex Thompson and Edward Fay.

Next time: (Just for a change) Cycling on footpaths in France and “Mrs Swiftsure’s views on ‘novice scorchers'”

The next ride: Sunday 17 November – Lewes Circular; Piltdown man & Back

6 November 2013

We welcome people who want to try one or two of our rides before joining. If you would like to join the Clarion club, click here to download a membership form.

An early start for the 9.47 train from Brighton to Lewes. Jenny, who flew downwards past us as we toiled up a hill today, has now given us a much better way out of Lewes than the one we used today. So then it’s Barcombe, Piltdown, Isfield & Ringmer, with some great views & country lanes. About 23 miles with lunch most probably at The Laughing Fish, Isfield. Plenty of trains back from Lewes to Brighton.

Meet Brighton station 9.47 arrives Lewes station 10.02
Return Trains back roughly every 15 mins
Terrain good views, undulating.
Lunch almost certainly at The Laughing Fish.

Anne and Mick

The Last Ride: Sunday 3 November – Choppy and Changy

6 November 2013

A linear–circular ride from Palace Pier to Palace Pier via Shoreham – 3 November 2013

The 20 foot spumes of spray towering over the banjo groyne should have given it away.

The fact that it took Roger and Suzanne only 2 minutes to cycle ¾ of a mile from west to east should have given it away.

The fact that Ian Nick, Linda, Angela, David, Suzanne, Anne, Sue, Roger, Mick, Ian and leader Jim all stood facing east whilst waiting for Jim’s whistle for the “off” should have given it away.

November 3, 2013: Brighton to Shoreham

The “off” was a slow struggle westwards into a 35mph wind. The whole group valiantly made it to Courtney Gate where the group did then divide. Five hardy souls battled on along the coastline. The more timorous (no names, no pack drill) ambled along New Church Road and “round the back”. But all and sundry had but one common aim – to Carats, to Carats was the cry.  And half of Sussex cyclists must have had much the same idea: long queues for coffee, yellow jackets abounding at the outside tables and cleats click-clacking on the paving stones.

November 3, 2013: Brighton to Shoreham

Coffee and walnut cake and a quick brunch having been consumed to the last drop and the last crumb (yes, Mick and Nick, names and pack drill) we were sorry to lose Ian who left us to go for a dose of afternoon culture at a concert.  The remainder of the valiant 10 crossed over the locks, and admired the choppy waters. We then took the not too blowy inland route to admire the new cycle/pedestrian bridge at Shoreham. Alas, still not open.

November 3, 2013: Brighton to Shoreham

By common consent (Clarionettes being very common … in their consent) we gave Shoreham Fort and the houseboats a miss and set off for lunch, unfortunately losing Jim who was feeling unwell and who sensibly decided that home was a better place to be.

November 3, 2013: Brighton to Shoreham

Arriving at Shoreham Airport with impeccable timing for our 1.00 pm booking, we were pleased to be greeted by Joyce and Leon who had come by (sssssssshhh) car. A large table had been reserved for us, far away from the noisy main restaurant.  The staff very obligingly took our orders (not always easy with assembled, chattering Clarionettes) and the normal talking of thirteen to the dozen started up.

We had paid our dues by struggling against the west wind in the morning. Our reward was to be wafted back into Brighton with ease and speed. In rather Agatha Christie-mode, we lost even more members one by one: Linda to Lancing; David at Shoreham, Sue at Southwick, Roger and Suzanne by the West Pier which left just Angela, Mick, Anne and Nick who could truly say that they had done the whole 20 mile ride.

Thanks, Nick, for the photos and above all, thanks, Jim for planning the ride and for the meal arrangements.  Get well soon.



6 November 2013

Dear fellow members

Welcome to the annual festival of religious bigotry edition. (What has Lewes got to offer besides that and a prison? OK, I like the castle and Harvey’s beer.)

Haven’t yet been exactly overwhelmed by new ride leaders coming forward with great ideas for the early 2014 dates – but this may be because it’s still only the beginning of November and they’re all busy working on interesting routes to offer. (You can’t do this job for ten years if you’re not an optimist.)

NHS demo 2 November 2013

Busy day on Saturday – not to mention the “ill wind” ride on Sunday (see Suzanne’s report below). In the morning it was the “Defend the NHS” demo. Nice to see so many Clarionettes – Anne, Jim, Joyce, Leon, Mick, Nick – and Sue with the Silver Sounds contingent leading the way with some excellent samba. Sheila – a founder member of both our section and Silver Sounds – would have been delighted (being hopeless with such things I’m sending photos to Fred requesting he put a couple of them on Flickr).

Then in the evening we met up with Alex and the redoubtale London Clarion members who’d ridden down and met us at the Signalman. We discussed the possibility of joint rides – maybe with a common lunchtime meeting place (most likely a pub) and the two groups arriving from north and south respectively – if you see what I mean.


The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s: 144. Newcastle CCC prepares for the 1896 “season”

6 November 2013

From the Clarion 28 March 1896 Cycling Notes


This club will be pleased to enrol new members for the coming season, and arrange inter-club runs. They will also feel gratified if Clarionettes in the immediate district will forward us notice of any opportunity of attending places where meetings have been arranged and literature may be distributed.

Our opening run will be to Durham (on Good Friday) headquarters Rose and Crown Hotel where we shall be pleased to meet unattached members or other clubs,

For futher particulars write to the hon sec, F Phillipson, Swinblourne Place, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Next time: B’ham Clarion, ILP conference and Bakewell Meet