The Next Ride

31 July 2014

Sunday 10 August:   Brighton to Berwick (Sussex!)

Meet at Palace Pier at 10am & cycle East to Berwick along the NCN2 with some modifications & some chance to escape back by train, should weather, health or inclination incline.

We could modify the route depending on who turns up, but yesterday we took the more undulating top route rather than the Undercliff to Rottingdean & the Hoddern Farm road to Newhaven, rather than the exciting[!] clifftop footpath! If weather is still warm, we propose picnic & swim at Seaford, but, if slow or nasty weather can eat at The Ark at Newhaven.

We can stop for tea at the Litlington Tea Garden & proceed to Berwick Station for the train back to Brighton, or return by train from Seaford for a shorter ride.

Trains leave Berwick station hourly at 48 mins past 3,4,5, etc & Seaford station half-hourly at 27 & 57 past 2,3,4, etc.

Lunch Bring picnic or there are cafes at Seaford & if nasty weather can eat at The Ark,Newhaven.

Terrain Almost all on quiet roads with considerate drivers[yesterday anyway!] Somewhat undulating in parts, but only short parts. Good views.

Distance 23 miles.  .

Anne and Mick

The Last Ride – Suzanne’s Report

31 July 2014

Sunday  27 July 2014: Redhill to (by common consent) Gatwick

The group at Spynes Mere

 At Spynes Mere Nature Reserve. L-R: Joyce, Suzanne, Anne, Jim, David, Julian, Sean, Rob, Roger, Prudence, Martin

JIM was
In change of the the
Motley group.


Jim (and half of Julian) at the Moors Nature Reserve

JOYCE struggled personfully to ensure that five bikes would fit into a space for three on the up line
On the return journey she decided that Godstone was the station for her.
Yes, the rest of us were very sorry to lose her from the last leg but she had
Certainly enlivened the lunch-time conversation, as
Ever. (Thanks, Joyce!)


Joyce (left) and others at the Moors Nature Reserve

Adventures and
Vicissitudes started
In Redhill Station where he involunarily played at going up and
Down the lifts and stairs. (Yes, he caught up with us in the end)

SEAN missed the group at the station having
Exited by the wrong gate.
And, as is his wont, he too was able to catch up with us
Near Cormonger’s Lane. (Cormongers, so it seems, sold offal).

Really seemed to enjoy her first outing with Clarion
Undaunted by the ten other
Dotty Clarionettes she met up with and who
Endlessly chattered about this, that and the other.
Notwithstanding her claim to go no further than Waitrose by bike, she proved to be a great new
Clarionette and we hope she will
Enjoy many more rides with the group. (Welcome, Prudence)


Prudence (far left)

JULIAN’s wheels have
Undergone a transformation. The sleek
Lines of his smart new bike were
Impeccable, the hydraulic brakes
A marvel and
Nevermore will his chain jam as disastrously as on the last ride. (And thanks for all the Bird Info.)


Roger, Suzanne and a donkey all admired Julian’s new bike. Sean, however, appears to be mooning at it.

ANNE, as always, was
Never at a loss to share a kindly word or a sweet, but
No group leader is going to get away with refusing her an
Extended afternoon tea stop (Thank goodness that café was open in Horley).

ROB who could easily have sped off at twice the speed of most of the group
Obligingly rode as “lanterne rouge” to ensure that no one was left behind as we went through
Blechingley and Blindley Heath (Riding a superbly elegant Moulton small wheeled bike)


In Tilburstow Hill car park. Eight Clarionettes, only 2 bikes! L-R Roger, Jim, Julian, Martin, David, Rob, Sean, Joyce

MARTIN (London Clarion) joined the group at Redhill
After having already cycled 25 miles from Tonbridge! Another strong
Rider happy to take a “back seat” and chat about travels and cycling with
Those who could keep up with his expertise.
In Croydon Barn Lane we waited for Jim to return from escorting Joyce to Godstone and then
Next it was time for Martin to wend his 25 miles back to Tonbridge (Let’s hope we meet again soon)

Opted for returning via
Gatwick station rather than Horley to avoid having to change. After the Riverside Garden Park,
Emerging from the lift into the bustling departure terminal of the airport was confusing but Network
Rail have provided not only a new platform, but a new lift, so by 6pm, everyone had got their train.

Riverside Garden Park, Gatwick

Riverside Garden park

SUZANNE was daunted by the thought of all those
Undulations (due and undue) but in the end she had
Zip enough (it was not she who accused our great leader of being an “Undulation denier”)
And so managed to keep up. She loved the
New and very pretty route that had been planned for us and
Never once regretted setting off,
Even though getting out of bed had been hard

Hats off
And congratulations to our
No nonsense and



Egyptian Goose

An Egyptian Goose at the nature reserve


31 July 2014


Dear All

It was a relief to get two offers for 10 August.  But it was disappointing that both were from the “usual suspects.”  We have had several people who haven’t done it before taking on rides during the last year or so – which is great – but we could do with a few more.  It’s not that difficult.

It’s difficult to come up with an entirely original route – but by all means try.  But why not consider any ride you’ve been on that you’ve particularly enjoyed?  If you can remember who led it you   can always ask her or him for the details – or you can have a scroll through the ride reports on the blog/website.

Actually leading the ride isn’t difficult.  If there are more than about six people it’s best to get someone always be the last rider – or lanterne rouge as Suzanne has it in the report below.  That way you know everyone has caught up without having to count – not always easy when people are moving about.  Stop at every junction where someone off the back might go the wrong way. [As an added precaution, tell everyone to stop if they can’t see the person behind them – Jim]. Remember to check the trains (if using) looking out especially for bus replacements which are no use for us with bikes! That’s about all there is to it.  For more advice see Roger’s excellent guide which I’m attaching with this newsletter

I await the flood of offers for the remaining August and September dates (and perhaps later ones) that may follow.  My fingers are crossed!

A Message from Jim:  Next Year’s Summer Weekend Ride

I know it might seem a bit early to start thinking about this, but it is always good to plan ahead before the weather turns.

Has anyone had any thoughts about a suitable route?

I have my own favourite: ever since Joyce’s wonderful Bath-Bristol ride I’ve wanted to explore more of the Kennet-Avon Canal route – which is part of NCN4. Probably the section from Reading to Pewsey would suffice for us over a weekend, with an overnight stay somewhere in the middle, and also possibly at either end (or staying in the same place and getting trains each day – there are stations at each end and at other places on the route).

I’d be prepared to survey this during August or September, but first I’d like to hear about any other ideas people may have had.

Let Jim know what you think about this at

Sorry this newsletter is a bit later than usual.   I did explain in the last edition.


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

31 July 2014


163 Report from Bolton CCC   27 June 1896

The fact that I am the third secretary of the Bolton Clarion Cycling Club since the commencement of the present season is probably the reason that no report of our doings has hitherto been sent. Comrade Brears has gone to Glasgow, and Comrade Kay, secretary number two, has been obliged to give up his post through the exigencies of business. Progress up to now has been cheering, new members joining weekly, and none falling away, our numbers now being between 50 and 60, including several ladies.

We have had many enjoyable runs, invariably characterised by good fellowship and perfect harmony among those taking part in them, and leaving in our minds what in years to come will be very pleasant memories. About ten of us visited Bakewell and were delighted with the outing. “Yours truly,” however, only managed to reach there with one wheel, having been scattered on the “scratter” near Longstone Edge, and thereby earning the unique distinction of reaching Bakewell if not on, with a uni-cycle Since Easter we have had runs to Leyland, Longton, Bollington, Alderley Edge, Littleborough, Whalley, Sale &c. We generally make a day of our Sunday runs, spending the middle of the day in walks through woods and fields, or sitting on some hilltop, as we did last Sunday at Alderley Edge, making the welkin ring with Labour songs. We hold a picnic and social at Entwistle on July 18th, and also a similar event on August 29th at Rivington, to which all who care to come will be welcome.

We have also decided to have impromptu runs on Wednesday evenings, starting at Nelson Square at 6-45 prompt.  Not much propaganda work has been done up to now, but during the remainder of the season an earnest effort will be made in this direction.  Socialists willing to send material suitable for distribution may be sure of our doing the best we can to sow the seed. Parcels may be addressed: Secretary, Clarion Cycling Club, I.L.P Rooms, Prince Street, Bolton


Next Ride: Sunday 27 July 2014: Redhill Circular

15 July 2014

Redhill – Nutfield Marsh – Bletchingley – Tandridge – Blindley Heath – Smallfield – Horley – Earlswood – Redhill

This ride incorporates sections of three previous rides plus a totally new bit. We’ll start off across Nutfield Marsh with its associated lovely nature reserves (where the path is now some 3 inches higher, so we won’t get wet) but – much to the relief of many, no doubt – we will not turn left and ascend the North Downs as before, but will continue south-eastwards, passing through Bletchingley and arriving at our lunch stop, the Griffin in Tandridge Lane.

We then return westwards by a more southerly route, encountering (but skirting round) the ominous cow-infested swamps of Blindley Heath (click here, and scroll down to 14 September, for a report of a previous memorable visit). Then back through Smallfield to pick up NCN21 to Redhill. (Those wanting a shorter ride can return home from Horley station; there may be an even shorter version available by returning from Godstone station).


Start at Redhill station down side (platform 3) exit at 11:00

Getting there: The 10:00 train from Brighton to Victoria and the 10:27 from Victoria to Brighton both stop at Redhill.

Getting back: Trains leave Redhill for Brighton at 58 minutes past the hour and for London at 14, 37 and 49 minutes past.

Length: About 25 miles (19 if returning from Horley; about 12 if returning from Godstone)

Duration: About 6 hours assuming 5 mph and 1 hour lunch.

Terrain: Mostly quiet lanes and good quality Sustrans-standard cycle path (NCN21)

Undulations: Not many.

Undue undulations: None.


The Last Ride: 13 July 2014: Highdown Hill

15 July 2014


On the seafront, west of Worthing

Having nagged Roger to repeat his Highdown Hill ride ever since the last one, way back in September 2009, I was looking forward to this one; but as I set out it didn’t look as though it would be a very popular ride, due to the overcast skies and forecast of rain, quite apart from the mention of a h*** in the ride description. But twelve Clarionettes (Anne, Elaine, Graham, Jim, Julian, Marilyn, Mick, Richard, Roger, Sikka, Suzanne and Tessa) decided to brave the weather, and prove the Met Office wrong – which we did, as we enjoyed warm and sunny weather nearly all day, with just a little breeze and about five raindrops towards the very end.

My report of the previous ride reminds us that Highdown Hill is actually only 81 metres above sea level, and thus considerably less of a hill than, for instance, the Cuckoo trail, which rises through nearly twice that amount from end to end. As before, we approached it cunningly along its gentle northern slope, arriving in astonishment to panoramic views of Worthing, Shoreham, Brighton and even (some of the very clear-sighted among us claimed) Seaford Head.


Looking eastwards from the top of the hill

But first, there was the getting there. This ride started from Worthing, not Goring as last time, so we had a bit further to ride. As before we went through Ferring, over the Rife and alongside it, then inland to Angmering. At one point it was suggested that we should be re-named the Clarion Walking and Cycling Club, because it was impossible to ride through the long grass alongside the Rife. Only later did Roger admit that he’d missed a turning so that we had a lot more Rife than we should have had, ending up on the beach.


Ferring Rife, looking north towards Highdown Hill


Walking through the long grass

This was a picnic ride, with the picnic planned for after the ascent. But Roger had also mentioned a shop in Angmering village for anyone needing to buy food, and in the end we had our lunch on the village green here rather than waiting for the hill. We had crossed the A259 via a huge footbridge which had shallow steps (so no good for wheelchairs, as someone pointed out) with ramps at the side (so rather good for bikes).


At the top of the hill, some of us recalled that previous ride when we had seen a newborn calf. No such luck this time, but there was still the wonderful view. Then past the Miller’s Tomb (fully documented in my previous report) and into the garden, where the Miller’s somewhat premature building of his own coffin and tomb, together with the notice forbidding the scattering of cremated remains, lent a somewhat funereal aspect to the conversation.


After the garden, the café, which was still as delightful as I’d remembered it. Here, as we queued for tea and scones, bread pudding and other delicacies, we encountered an “off-duty” Clarionette, Annie Callaghan, who had come by train.

On the way back to Worthing station, we enacted an old Clarion ritual, the Puncture Repair. Mick had picked up a small, sharp chip of flint which had gone straight through his tyre. Luckily he had a spare tube, I had tyre levers, Richard had pliers, Tessa had a pump and Graham had experience. So most of the group sunbathed on the grass as the usual procedures – such as “forgetting which of two identical inner tubes is the good one”, and “trying to work out which bit of the chain goes round the gear wheels” – were followed. Meanwhile Julian explained how to tell a swift from a swallow by its flight behaviour, and I found a giant fungus that had come off a tree.


Finally Mick was on the road again and we sped on to the station, in time to just miss the Brighton train, Elaine and Graham having departed by car. There was a last minute drama at the station, as Julian’s chain came off and became firmly wedged between frame and cogs; even the pliers would not shift it, so he had to hobble home.

Thanks to Roger for a long-overdue repeat of this lovely ride.



15 July 2014

Dear All

The next newsletter after Jim’s ride on 27th will be just a little later than usual. I am going to be away that weekend and returning from Strasbourg late on the Wednesday evening. If possible I will send it out then or failing that early on Thursday. I did consider getting someone else – Roger probably – to handle it but decided in the end that it would be simpler to stick to our usual practice even if that meant that it would be a couple of days later than usual. Hope that’s OK with everyone.

At this moment we haven’t any rides scheduled for August or September – so if you fancy leading a summer ride now’s your chance! Let me know before 25 July if you want to take on 10 August.

Local Transport Plan. Do we have views?

Mick has sent me the following. I just haven’t had time to look at it properly so I’m passing the details he sent me on.

Local Transport Plan 4 Consultation

Briefing for the thematic partners of The Connected


The vision of the travel section of our community strategy states:

‘We want to continue to develop an integrated and accessible transport system that is well-maintained and enables people to travel around and access services as safely and freely as possible, while minimising damage to the environment and contributing to making our city a safer, cleaner, quieter, healthier and more attractive place.’

(Brighton & Hove – The Connected City)

The preparation of a new LTP enables us plan ahead and identify transport measures and initiatives that will contribute towards ensuring that the city of Brighton & Hove remains a place that can continue to grow its economy and to meet the many different expectations that people and communities have of it. The city has to prepare an LTP. It is a statutory requirement of the 2000 and 2008 Transport Acts.
The LTP will set out the objectives, strategies and measures proposed to maintain and improve travel within and around Brighton & Hove for the next 15 years. By developing the LTP we will:

* Review & confirm transport goals for the city
* Outline the problems or challenges that the city faces
* Consider the best way to resolve these challenges
* Propose potential options and decide priorities
* deliver the agreed strategy

Giving us your views

We welcome hearing from you and invite you to give us comments about travel in the city under the following broad transport headings.

* Your overall transport experiences
* What works well (or not)?
* What we could do more of?

This can be fed directly into the Brighton & Hove Consultation portal at:

which is open to receive your comments, closing at end of September 2014

If you have further questions please do contact us at:

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A Message from David

Inspired by watching Le Tour de Yorkshire and some delusional aspirations to try to get fitter, I have committed myself to enter the Challenge Cancer Cycle London to Brighton Moonride on 20 September that I saw advertised in the latest issue of the CTC cycle magazine.

I recently mentioned my foolhardy action on the B&H Clarion Google Group website and received some favourable responses It seems that I have gone too far to pull out now. I have just started the recommended training plan to build up to a 100km in one session.

This is my website that i have just set up:

I’m sure that I will at least be able to find a few family members and close friends to help me out.

That should be a report worth reading in late September!


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

15 July 2014

162 Swiftsure visits a factory – and meets some Clarion cyclists

From Cycling Notes 28 June 1896

Swiftsure had visited the Dunlop tyre factory at Coventry.

Returning from Coventry on the Sunday we had dinner at the famour Dolphin Hotel in Lichfield where I found a number of Clarion cyclists, who informed me that the meet of Midland clubs at Newhall had been a splendid success.

The whole journey to Coventry and back to Manchester, about 200 miles, occupied about sixteen hours riding time.

[I’ve been so busy with my book that I haven’t had time to collect more extracts and am near to running out – but I hope to be able to resume normal service soon – Ian.]

The Next Ride: A Picnic on Highdown H***: Sunday 13 July 2014

3 July 2014

The aim of this short ride will be to have a picnic on Highdown Hill, an attractive piece of countryside just north of Worthing, owned by the National Trust.

We will start at Worthing Station and take a gentle westward spin along the almost interminable seafront.  Look out for a couple of new buildings along the way.  There is a modern block of luxury flats nearing completion just east of Heene Terrace.  Later we’ll pass an elegant new art deco style building, also flats, but smaller.

The seafront does eventually end, at Ferring.  We’ll go briefly off road here to cross Ferring Rife and rejoin the road at Kingston Lane.  Then we’ll cross the railway, followed by the traffic infested A259 (using a pedestrian bridge).

This brings us to Angmering where we’ll stop briefly.  There is a Co-op shop for anyone who needs to buy their picnic lunch.  Then we set off along Dapper’s Lane.  This is when we start the climb up to the Hill.  There are some slightly steep bits but generally speaking it’s reasonably gentle.

The last lap is a bridleway some of which most of us will probably walk.  It brings us out onto the top of the hill with wonderful views.  On a clear day you can see the cliffs at Seaford.  My reaction on arrival was to wonder how I’d made it with so little effort.

Other delights on the hill include the “miller’s tomb” which may or may not have been used in the 18th century to hide goods smuggled by John Olliver, who may or may not have been a miller.  Highdown Gardens can be visited for those interested in flora and fauna.  There is also a café for those who didn’t bring enough picnic.

Once we’ve sampled the delights we’ll make our way back to the station through some of Worthing’s spacious northern suburbs.



Worthing station (south side) at 10:30.

Getting there: 
Take the 10:00 train from Brighton (10:04 from Hove).

17 miles (12 before lunch)

Flat until Angmering, then a mainly gentle climb to the picnic spot.  After that it’s downhill all the way.

Mainly on-road. We’ll use a footpath to cross Ferring Rife and a bridleway and footpath to get on and off the hill – cycle or walk as you wish.

Bring a picnic or buy something in Angmering.  We’ll finish at the station but central Worthing is fairly close by for those who want tea before the train.

Getting home:
Trains to Hove and Brighton at 24, 42 (change at Hove) and 54 past the hour

My mobile:      
0789 985 1172.


The Last Ride: Sunday 29 June 2014 – Polegate circular

3 July 2014

We gathered at Polegate: Amanda (our leader), Corinne and Roger by train, Rob by bike and Elaine & Graham (on his first Clarion ride) by car.

We headed off up the Cuckoo Trail as far as Hailsham and then onto pleasant country roads. Amanda had promised “no hills to speak of”: so we spoke of the occasional slope instead, but basically the ride was pretty easy going. She also promised a “meander” and meander we did, along leafy lanes with no wind and hardly any traffic.

Wisely no one had made any promises about the weather: in fact it was warm and quite sunny. The occasional dark cloud appeared but failed to produce anything wet.

Lunch was at the Yew Tree Inn at Chalvington – prompt service, good food and a garden to sit in. Conversation at lunch ranged over topics such as Schopenhauer’s attitude to women, how Coca Cola protects its brand and why accountants always get the top jobs.

We also stopped at Arlington Tea Gardens for tea and (in some cases) cake – possibly a first ever visit by Clarion – certainly one to remember for future rides. The aviary prompted much talk of matters related to birds.

Corinne and Rob both recorded the ride on their GPS-enabled smart-phones [see below]. According to Corinne’s results we covered 23 miles at an average cycling speed of 7mph.

Many thanks to Amanda for a very pleasing ride.


PS. Corinne Attwood uses MotionX-GPS on the iPhone and is sharing with you the following track:

Name:Track 023 polegate
Date:29 Jun 2014 11:14 am

Map: (valid until Dec 26, 2014) View on Map

Distance: 22.9 miles
Elapsed Time: 3:12:06
Avg Speed: 7.1 mph
Max Speed: 20.5 mph
Avg Pace: 8′ 23″ per mile
Min Altitude: 0 ft
Max Altitude: 399 ft

Start Time: 2014-06-29T10:14:15Z

Start Location:
Latitude: 50º 49′ 18″ N
Longitude:0º 14′ 40″ E

End Location:
Latitude: 50º 49′ 16″ N
Longitude: 0º 14′ 41″ E

What is MotionX-GPS?
MotionX-GPS is the essential GPS application for outdoor enthusiasts. It puts an easy-to-use, state-of-the-art handheld GPS on your iPhone.

Can I use MotionX-GPS?
Sure! MotionX-GPS can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store.

How can I display tracks in Google Earth?
Follow the directions on the Google Earth web site to download and install the Google Earth program. Save the attached “Track 023 polegate.kmz” file to your computer [ask Corinne or Roger for the file]. Launch Google Earth, select File, Open, and open the saved “Track 023 polegate.kmz” file.