The Next Ride: Sunday 3 May: Hassocks to Wivelsfield Green bluebell and windmill ride

24 April 2015

Meet Hassocks Station for 10.30 prompt start.

Mostly flat and easy pleasant riding on quiet country lanes with mixed scenery and woodland. One or two  off road tracks.  May be muddy en-route to the windmill unless you want to do your own detour by road (approx. 2 miles).

Ride via Westmeston, Plumpton Green, Wivelsfield Green for lunch at the Cock Inn. ( go on-line to view menu) 1pm.

Return via Hundred Acre Lane where hopefully bluebells will be in abundance. Tea stop at Oldlands Mill which will be open for its first of the summer season viewing.

Return to Hassocks station.

Train times:

From Brighton: 10.00 (arr 10.10); 10.14 (arr 10.23). Return at 15.38 (arr 15.47); 16.06 (arr 16.16); 16.35 (arr 16.45); 16.38 (arr 16.47).

From Hove: 09.46 (arr 10.10). Return at 16.06 (arr 16.33); 16.35 (arr 17.00)

From Lewes: 09.44 (arr 10.23). Return at 16.23 (arr 16.55).

From Victoria: 09.06 (arr 10.23). Return at 16.10 (arr 17.21).


The Last Ride: Sunday 19 April 2015: Adur to Arun

24 April 2015

[Editor’s note: Because of the many comings and goings, we actually have two half-reports for this ride. Here’s Nick of the “Shoreham Boomerang” faction on the first half:]

April 19, 2015: Adur to Arun

L-R Jim, Delia, Sikka, Julian. Photo by Nick

Bright sunshine combined with a cool breeze accompanied  Jim’s Adur to Arun ride. Rather like the Magnificent Seven, we gained riders as we cycled on the trail towards Ashington and the Red Lion lunch stop, Although Julian, Jim, Delia , Nick and Sikka were at Shoreham station for the group photo shoot at the start, other Clarionistas joined along the route.

April 19, 2015: Adur to Arun

Hannah’s tyres had not seen duty for a while …

We were joined by Hannah at a picnic spot by the River Adur. Following some expert cycle maintenance, we set off on a route which took us past two groups of cyclists mending punctures and one egret (unfortunately the bird flew away before I could take a photo). At the 7.5 mile stage we were unexpectedly joined by John and Michael, who decided they would join us at the Red Lion pub for lunch via a different route.

Lunch at Ashington

L-R Julian, Delia, Mick, Nick, John, Michael, Sikka, Hannah, Jim.
Photo by Anne

We were joined by Mick and Anne at the Red Lion lunch stop (without their bikes this time). I have sampled chips in bowls and buckets, but had never been served chips in a mug before. The mug of chips was alright as a light lunch, but I was rather envious of the veggie nut roast some had chosen. The large Yorkshire pudding perched precariously on top of a pile of vegetables looked particularly impressive.

April 19, 2015: Adur to ArunApril 19, 2015: Adur to Arun

After lunch, three of us (Nick, Sikka and Hannah) decided that we needed to retrace the route we had taken in order to be back in Shoreham station for 5pm. Sikka took us on a slightly different route along the tow path of the river Adur, which made a great end to the ride.

[And now let’s hear about the adventures of  the “Amberley or Die” cadre from Julian …]

Jim and Julian set off north from the Red Lion on the B2133 through Ashington, then turned west along Rectory Lane and stopped to go into the 13th century early English Gothic Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Warminghurst, which is now cared for by The Churches Conservation Trust.

Warminghurst Church - interior

Warminghurst Church – interior

They then sped down Park Lane (!) viewing the lovely white hedge blossom, and going through the north-east of Storrington and past the road sign to Roundabout (!) and West Chiltington and after a few yards of the high street, turned down Monastery Lane passing the C of E and Catholic churches.

Park Lane

Park Lane


Yes, “Roundabout” is actually the name of a place!

The West Sussex Literary Trail led into Parham Park and a stop by the church provided a good view of the Elizabethan south facade of Parham House in the sunshine.

Parham House

Parham House

After passing the old Dove Cote, they left the park through the West Lodges gate.  Rackham Road soon led west through Amberley to reach The Riverside Cafe for tea with Lemon Drizzle and Chocolate cake slices.  The 4.26 train  from Amberley station took them to Barnham where they changed and went on their own ways.  The total mileage of the ride from Shoreham to Amberley was 23 miles.

The Arun at last!

The Arun at last!

[But what about John and Michael? They were with the “continuity” faction after the “revisionists” returned to Shoreham; but such an advanced vanguard were they that they sped off into the distance, never to be seen again. John explains …]

I wasn’t sure of your route from Warminghurst so we carried on to Pulborough Brooks before returning via Ashington and Steyning.  I don’t think I can add anything to the report other than as always it is a pleasure to chat to such friendly people.

[And so just one question remains … what became of Delia? It turns out she cycled back to Shoreham station on her own, probably ahead of the other three, and possibly by a different route.] 

The Next Ride

8 April 2015

Sunday 19 April 2015

Adur to Arun:


When we last went to Amberley, in April 2012, for Angela’s circular ride, we had to turn back after Storrington and West Chiltington. Since then I have wanted to do a linear ride, to cover the gap between here and the more familiar territory around Steyning.

Starting from Shoreham, we’ll cross the Adur at the toll bridge and ride up through Coombes, although anyone seriously allergic to hills (even the 1 in 25 between Coombes and Botolphs) can use the Downs Link instead and meet us in Steyning. The next bit of the plan was to go along the lovely Mouse Lane, but that ends in a gate saying NO PUBLIC ACCESS and no way round Wiston House. Bah! So we will continue from Steyning to Spithandle Lane, and then Ashington where we’ll have lunch at the huge Red Lion, with plenty on the menu and average pub prices.

After a short climb to the 13th century Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Warminghurst (which may be worth a visit – I haven’t been inside) we will descend and undulate a little as far as Storrington, then through the lovely Parham Park (as last time but in the opposite direction) to Amberley village. If we want a tea stop, we can choose between the tea room in the village, and the Riverside Cafe overlooking the Arun and near the station (which we visited last time; my vote would be for the latter, which has the advantage that we can use up time here while waiting for the train).


Length: 22.5 miles

Duration: About 6 hours including lunch and a tea stop

Terrain: All hard roads, mostly quiet, a few undulations

Start at: Shoreham-by-Sea railway station, south side, at 10:20

Getting there: Get the 10:00 train from Brighton to Shoreham (or the 9:30 to avoid the rush). Londoners can get a direct train from Victoria at 8:17 or via Brighton at 8:32. Lewesers: oh dear, you’ve got buses …

Getting back: Trains leave Amberley station at 26 mins past the hour, a 90 minute journey to Brighton with a change at Barnham. (You will probably need a return to Amberley, unless two singles are cheaper. Londoners will have to change at Barnham too, because of buses from Horsham, and the journey back will take 2½ hours. Bring a fat book).


Sunday 5 April 2015: EASTER BONNET RIDE FROM LEWES TO NEWICK AND BACK … or … Lewes to Nearly Newick and Back (with Added Ringmer)

8 April 2015

Group at Lewes

L-R Rob, Jim, Angela, Sue, someone hiding, Corinne, Chris, Joyce, Kate, Helen, Julia, Suzanne, Leon, Roger

Fears that an Easter Sunday ride might be unpopular were clearly unfounded, as it attracted no fewer than 18 riders – the highest turnout this year. Setting off from Lewes Station were Angela, Ann (Link), Chris (our leader), Corinne, Helen, Jim, Joyce, Julia, Kate, Leon, Nina, Pauline, Rob, Roger, Sikka, Sybille (a friend of Chris’s from London), Sue (Priest) and Suzanne. There was even a cameo appearance by Jenny at lunchtime, so I suppose you could call that 18½. Chris had advertised this as an “Easter Bonnet ride” and although nobody wore a bonnet, Chris’s bowler hat was very impressive, and Helen had brought daffodils, and Easter treats to hand out at teatime.


Helen with flowers and treats

Chris had changed the advertised route slightly, so at Earwig Corner we set off along the Ringmer road, most of which is now accompanied by a cycle path. Before getting to that, however, we had to cross the A26 and negotiate the nasty junction with the B2192, and it was here that Joyce was struck by the wing mirror of a car from the Uckfield direction rounding the very sharp corner rather too quickly. The impact was hard enough for me to hear it perhaps 30 metres away, yet the driver didn’t stop. Joyce had a bruised arm and was understandably shaken up, but managed to get back on her bike after a few minutes’ delay.

From Ringmer we took Ham Lane back to the A26 and rode alongside it on the old road as far as the Cock Inn, then after a short time on the racetrack itself we reached the Barcombe road. I had not encountered this road before, nor seen the fascinating array of channels and ponds at Barcombe Mills, and I was able to add Pikes Bridge to my collection of Ouse bridges made during the Ouse “trilogy” in 2012.

Barcombe Mills - weir

Barcombe Mills

Lunch at the Royal Oak was a very pleasant affair, the pub having prepared a table for 16 people which was almost square, so that we could all talk to one another with ease. Three of our number sat outside with sandwiches, and Jenny popped in with another group on a little 50 mile ramble to somewhere or other. Nina, Pauline and Sikka went home after lunch.

Chris had decided to give the “Newick neo-nazis” a miss, so after Newick Park we stopped at a left turn that would take us back down south. Well, actually, about half of us stopped, but unfortunately the other half had already sailed straight on. They were out of the range of my whistle, so we took advantage of an athletic-looking rider overtaking us to ask him if he could send the “splitters” back when he caught up with them.

Helen, Ann, Trees

Helen and Ann

United again, we sped down this deligthful lane, at the bottom of which was a bridge over the Longford Stream, a tributary of the Ouse which joins it near Isfield (and which we had of course crossed on the way up, at Longford Bridge). Along Markstakes Lane and so to a place shown on the map as “South Street”, but described by Chris as “Chailey”. A lot of these little villages seem very spread out – there are actually at least three Chaileys (North, South and – well, middle I suppose) and also three Barcombes of course, not to mention East Chiltington (of which more later) which is nowhere near West Chiltington. We sat in the garden of a very nice pub (the Horns Lodge), had tea, coffee and hot chocolate, with Helen handing out the treats, and talked about diverse topics including internet porn – well, my table did anyway, while the other table burst into a rendition of “Daisy, Daisy”, and Angela suggested that bicycle-themed songs be mandatory for future Clarion rides.


We stopped in Honeypot Lane to have a look at the old Chailey Workhouse – later Lewes Institution, then Pouchlands Hospital, now luxury flats. Chris had worked here briefly in the 1970s, and we shared memories of the bad old days when anyone who was slightly “abnormal” (including women whose only “deviation” was having illegitimate children) were banged up in these dreadful places and kept subdued with large doses of largactyl, and how much had changed since then.

Old Workhouse

The old workhouse

Then back through the lovely quiet lanes of East Chiltington, with Ann and Sybille stopping off at Cooksbridge for a snack, and the remainder splitting at Offham, the “Offham Offroaders” (Chris, Rob and myself) taking the steep, knobbly and slightly-muddy Landport Track and the “A275 Daredevils” (Sue, Angela, Corinne, Helen, Julia, Kate, Roger and Suzanne) staying on the road. Joyce and Leon were last seen going into Offham Church.

At just under 21 miles and pleasantly sunny if a little fresh, this was a perfect early spring ride. Thanks to Chris for organising it, and to everyone who participated.


Barcombe Mills - stream


8 April 2015

Dear All

Whan that aprille with his shoures soote

The droghte of march hath perced to the roote

Pedalling out both long and wyde

Thanne  longen folk to lede a Clarion ryde

Or so I would like to think (Sorry, Geoffrey)   Thanks to Jim we have a “next ride”  Can we  now have some offers for the May ones – especially 3 May?

It’s always good to hear from our friend Peter Roscoe, the Bury CCC secretary.  After the last newsletter he sent me this message

Enjoyed reading the notes. At one time I thought the North with its hills was much more interesting than the South but reading Brighton’s notes makes me think the South is more interesting. I suppose the thing is approach – our club riders are just taking exercise – Brighton are enjoying the interesting things in their area. I noted the ‘stop’.

He’s probably being a bit  hard on the “club riders”, but I’m just glad we do  find time to “stand and stare.”



Easter Meet  at Llangollen, Club Rides and Time Trial   Mick reports

I was a bit apprehensive about the first of the weekend’s club rides. It was 35 miles and after the start and the start was at the top of a 350 metre climb with a gradient of 25 degrees. That is 3 times the height of Ditchling Beacon and a lot steeper! All but one of us got off and walked up some of it and even a car had some difficulty. At the top we had a bit of a wait as Grayson had broken his chain on the way up. We set off, without him, going down the other side of the hill and that was even worse than the ascent because the gradient was 1 in 3. There was another wait at the bottom. We eventually set off again and then we were flying along the valley beside the river through spectacular scenery.

As various people got lost and found (does this sound familiar, Brighton Clarionettes?) our numbers varied between 11 and 15, we wound our way over a few undulations and through pretty villages. Eventually it was decided to form a fast group. We were instructed to form a chain gang, riding handlebar to handlebar and right on the wheel of the person in front. When someone called out “change” the chain moved one step anti-clockwise, until you were leading it. This was thrilling, albeit scary, as we were going along at 20 mph. We arrived at the pub by the aqueduct Cysyllte where we met none other than Bob Harber who had been doing a recce of Horseshoe Pass. After some appropriate refreshment, we rode back to Llangollen along the canal towpath.

That evening at the ceilidh I was relieved to hear that the time trial had been shortened from 24 miles to 8 miles for technical reasons (a new set of traffic lights in the way). The next day the fog was hanging over the mountains and we shivered at the start for 45 minutes while the race organiser checked out the safety of sending us up into the peasouper. This was my first time trial since 1961, could I get up the Horseshoe Pass?

Eventually 14 riders (5 having dropped out) set off at 1 minute intervals. I was the 3rd one off. I knew the really tough bits were at 1 mile and 2.4 miles. As I went up I could see the 2 in front, they seemed to get a bit closer but some of those behind were also going past me. At 2.4 miles I went past number 1 but number 2, none other than our own Bob, was still in front until at 3 miles I caught him as well but then as the road flattened he sped past me but a few yards later, as we arrived at the top someone suddenly put their hand out and called out “Finish”! Up ahead visibility was nil. What a relief! The race had been reduced to a 3.6 mlle hill climb and I did not need to climb up Horseshoe Pass from the other direction. We all repaired for tea and cake to the Ponderosa Café, already heavily populated by many leather-clad, well-upholstered, old blokes with their motor-bikes.

I was expecting to be last but ended up 10th  of 14 finishers, a lot better than I had hoped for, with all the lads from the London Section and Bob behind me on the list.

Finally the fog cleared and we set off on the second club ride in three groups on our way to Corwen. The B group of 4 led by the weekend’s organiser, Frank, included Bob and myself, while David was with the London section in the C group. We went along quiet but narrow country lanes which followed an undulating ridge with magnificent views. We saw and heard some curlews. Frank missed a right turn and so we arrived at the cafe in Corwen before the A group so this provoked much banter of the what kept you lot kind. The A group claimed that they were held up by Ian Clarke being dropped on the hills by 13 year old Alex.

It was so hot at lunchtime I had to go and buy some sun-cream. David arrived, having enjoyed his ride with the London section and others. After lunch the groups split up as some went to the pub to view the Tour of Flanders on TV. Bob and I set off with Frank, Amy (who has just qualified for the Ironman World Champs in Hawaii) and Heinrich. It was another rollercoaster above the River Dee. On one perilous descent on a poor road-surface Bob had a puncture and most of us some rear wheel wobble. After it was fixed  Bob and Frank decided to head for the pub and the 3 remaining went on past Horseshoe Falls (my photos of which were unfortunately marred by a stray finger) back to Llangollen,

It had been a great weekend of enjoyable cycling and fellowship.



Question Time Election Debate for Brighton Pavilion

Leon has asked me to include the details of this event which will feature the parliamentary candidates for the constituency in a debate modelled on the BBC Question Time,  He thinks this will be of particular interest to people on Sundays ride who asked him for details. It’s at the Brighthelm Centre near the top of North Road.

Tickets: £5 General Admission / £3 concessions Tickets will be available on the door as well.

Doors and bar open:  7.00pm, Deadline for submitting questions:  7.30pm

Debate starts:  8.00pm

Advance notice for another of Chris’s rides – On a Saturday so won’t clash with our regular series

GRAND TRAVEL LOG LEWES/CYCLE LEWES TWEED AND RETRO BIKE RIDE 2pm on Saturday 30th May Bored with Lycra? Don’t want mud stripes up your bottom? Meet at 2pm on Saturday 30th May in the Lewes shopping precinct outside Boots for a 10 mile or so leisurely ride, to include a visit to a traditional pub at Barcombe. Style tweed or retro, so bring your retro racer, your upright shopping bike with basket and flowers your mum/dad’s old, your best outdoor hearty tweeds or you’re cycling to church outfit or anything else that would fit the bill. Before the start time you can visit the Lewes Hike and Bike festival fair which is taking place in the precinct. You won’t get barred if you can’t manage these (unless you turn up in Lycra) but you will receive acclamation for stylish bikes or dress. For more details email

This newlsletter is turning into a very long one, so we’ll leave it at that.  More about the Easter Meet next time.


The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s: 180. Cycle trifle

8 April 2015

from Clarion 29 May 1897   Couldn’t resist the pic (just got back from Paris)  But what a terrible libel on women cyclists in the extract!