The Last Ride: Corinne‘s Report

Dell Quay – Sunday 9 August 2015

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On a lovely hot sunny day, with a slight cool wind, fifteen people met at the south side of Chichester railway station at 11.15 am: Julian, Corinne, Prudence, Sikka Sue, Anne, Terry, Leon, Joyce, Richard, Tessa, Roger, Suzanne, Kate, David, and new member Jeanne, coping with complicated gears on her first major outing on her new bike. After the group photo, we went round over the railway level crossing to the north side to start riding on the cycle track from the car park. After a mile we began a northward ride on the Centurion Way, which soon becomes the New Lipchis Way.

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On the Centurion Way

After two miles we saw a small group of metal ‘Roman Soldiers’, and turned left to join a minor road passing the Huntersrace Farm fields of solar panels, and after about three miles took the West Stoke Road, which has a gentle rise until the middle of the village. We then turned south into Lye Lane, which has quite a fast and narrow downward incline until the B2178, and carried on down round the north and east of Fishbourne, then passed under the A27.

We took the Salterns Way bridlepath past Apuldram, where we appreciated this new cycle track which runs parallel to the road, as there was a long tailback of cars which we were glad to be able to bypass. We noted that there was more traffic than usual, and some impatient drivers. A buzzard was seen soaring near Fishbourne and a perching kestrel near Apuldram.

We arrived at the Crown and Anchor at Dell Quay for lunch at 12.55 pm, and were joined there by Mick, who had set off early and cycled all the way from Brighton, getting into shape for the London to Brighton ride. David left us at this point to join relatives and stayed with them for the afternoon. We all sat at the outside tables, enjoying the view over the Chichester Channel with its moored boats and active bird life, and also the food, which arrived at intervals.

First to arrive were two plates of prawn and salmon salad, which were announced as ‘prawn salads’ and placed at the end of table 67 and then ignored by all for some time, after which we asked the waiter to remove them as they were clearly not meant for us. Meantime other meals were brought, and consumed, and cleared away, while Jeanne and Julian still sat patiently waiting for their ‘salmon salads’. After everyone except Julian and Jeanne had finished eating, we found out that what the waiters described as ‘prawn salad’, and Julian and Jeanne described as ‘salmon salad’, were one and the same thing, so finally two salads (whether the original two or fresh ones we did not find out) were presented to Julian and Jeanne, who could finally eat their lunch.

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We set off after lunch at 1.40 pm, continuing on the Salterns Way south and crossing over the Chichester Salterns Marina lock gates to reach the Chichester Old Ship Canal. At the northern end of the Marina Entrance road we took the minor road to join the B2145 into Hunston where we crossed over the canal on the Poyntz Bridge onto a wider well-surfaced track. We stopped to take photos from this bridge of the distant view of Chichester Cathedral apparently surrounded by green fields and trees with no sign of any urbanisation, and canoeists on the canal. Soon we paused to observe a young heron sitting on the track in front of us, until it flew away.

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That view: only the power lines and brightly coloured clothes give the game away!

The ride ended at the Canal Basin with refreshments at the Canal Trust tearoom. Most of us took the 16.15 fast Victoria train as far as Hove, where Sue, Jeanne and Corinne changed trains and continued on to Brighton. Thanks to Julian for a great ride.

Corinne.

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