The Next Ride: Sunday 7 August 2016 – Hassocks circular and Oldlands Mill

27 July 2016

Hassocks to Wivelsfield Green and return circular; taking in quiet country lanes and a working windmill.

Meet at Hassocks Station (west side/trains from B’tn) for 10.30am prompt start.

Mostly flat and easy pleasant riding with mixed scenery and woodland. One or two short off-road tracks which can be muddy. Hilly detour by road possible to Oldland Mill approx. 2 miles.

Ride via Westmeston, Plumpton Green. Wivelsfield Green for lunch 1pm Cock Inn – for menu.

Return via Hundred Acre Lane and Ditchling.

Tea stop at Oldlands Mill open 2-5.30pm for tea before the short ride back to Hassocks Station.


from Brighton:                                            from hassocks:

 09.44   arr 09.53                                         16.05   arr 16.16

10.14   arr 10.23                                          16.36    arr 16.48


The Last Ride: Sunday 24 July 2016 – The Level to the Palace Pier

27 July 2016

The Level to Rottingdean, via Falmer and Woodingdean, and back to Palace Pier

On the day Chris Froome retained his title for the third time, Clarion cyclists gathered for a Sunday morning Tour de France homage outside the Level’s Velo cafe. Angela and Sean’s route then took us up to Falmer and over the Downs to Rottingdean for lunch.

The start at Velo Cafe, The Level, Brighton

The weather was overcast and warm for most of the of the day, with some welcome light rain as we reached the top of the Downs. Nick, Fred, Angela, Helen, Rob, Julian, Henry, Corinne (who joined us at Rottingdean), Prudence, Chris and Richard were the 11 Clarionista participants.

Rest stop at Falmer Pond

Our first stop was the Falmer village pond, which was home for a number of gulls, ducks and geese. We assumed the light brown birds were geese, but nobody seemed to be totally sure.

Baby ducks (or are they geese?) in Falmer pond

We had a quick look in Falmer’s St Laurence church and discussed the merits of the two Fellowship of the Holy Spirt paintings by Sue Barnes, which some of the cycling art critics found a little intimidating.

Sue Barnes: The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit, A Falmer Pentecost

The steepest part of the route was the ascent to the Downs, where we stopped to take in an excellent panoramic view across a large corn field.
Corn field

We also met some ghurkas stewarding an Oxfam 100km walk.
Ghurkas! at an Oxfam 100km walk

The downhill ride to the lunch stop in Rottingdean’s Coach House was then only a few minutes away.

The protracted messy aftermath of the Tory Brexit referendum was discussed at length over lunch, while some of us also found time to comment on the quality of the chips served at the Coach House and added a few more chip photos to the Clarion Flickr food portfolio.

Lunch at the Coach House, Rottingdean

After lunch, those of us who needed to return to Brighton took the always rewarding undercliff route to the Palace Pier. This was a varied and thoroughly enjoyable ride, so thanks to Angela and Sean for organising. I hadn’t been on a Clarion ride since last October and really must try and take part in another one soon!


More photos on Flickr.


27 July 2016

Dear All

Many people will know that Adam Yates came fourth in the Tour de France and first in the ‘best young rider’ competition’ but unless you read Sunday’s Observer you probably don’t know about his Clarion background.

‘Bury Clarion Club will celebrate one of their own , 23-year old Adam Yates’  says the article which gives a potted history of the Clarion.  Both Adam and his twin brother Simon began their cycling careers with Bury Clarion.  Our friend and occasional contributor to this newsletter, Peter Roscoe, is quoted several times in the Observer piece which describes him as ‘membership secretary and club oracle who has been with the club since 1949.’

So well done Adam, Peter and Bury Clarion.  Great publicity!


I’m including Jim’s message about next Saturday.  It has already gone out to the google group but not everyone is on that.  See below

No offers yet for September.  Time marches on!



Jim writes:

Dear all

I have done a recce for this. I think it will take us about an hour and a half to get up to the Beacon. As the Londoners are predicting an arrival time of 4pm, we should set off from the Level at 2pm. We ride along Lewes Road, through Stanmer Park, and up through the village onto a dirt track, which, after a slightly unpleasant, uphill stony bit about three quarters of a mile long (we can walk it) becomes a nice smooth, relatively level path through lovely woods (Highpark Wood) for just under a mile, and emerges onto a fairly level section of Ditchling Road, a mile south of the Beacon. There will be ice creams at the Beacon. We may have to wait for the Londoners – but what a place to wait!

Due to the uncertainty in the Londoners’ arrival time, I have booked a table at the Signalman pub in Ditchling Rise for 6pm, and assuming they are not too late we plan to head for the beach first, maybe even have a dip, then head for the pub. The Londoners will be returning by train.

I will need to have numbers for the pub. You don’t need to ride if you just want to eat and drink, but tell me! As for getting up there, you can follow my route, ride up the Ditchling Road all the way, or even try your luck on the 79 bus from the Old Steine at 3.15 pm. Total distance for the round trip is about 12 miles.


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

27 July 2016

Badges? From ‘Cycle Trifle’ Clarion 26 March 1896


The Next Ride: Sunday 24 July 2016 – The Level to Palace Pier

13 July 2016

via Falmer, Woodingdean and Rottingdean

Distance: 13miles

Duration: 3-4 hrs including lunch

Start: 10.30 at the Velo Cafe at the Level

Finish:  Palace Pier

As this is a fairly short ride for this time of year, Sean and I thought that it might be a nice idea to combine it with a bit of a summer social by having a picnic on the beach at Rottingdean and possibly a swim for any brave souls!  If the weather is not good enough to have a picnic, we have provisionally booked the upstairs room at the Coach and Horses pub in Rottingdean.

We shall meet at the Velo Cafe at the Level at 10.30 and ride from there on the cycle lanes along the Lewes Rd to Sussex University.  From there we shall go up the slip road and round the roundabout to get onto the cycle path that runs parallel to the Falmer Rd.  This cycle path involves a not too challenging gradient, but at the top there are wonderful views across the Downs in one direction to Lewes and in the other direction across Brighton to the sea.  At this time of year the fields are a patchwork of different greens and there are also herds of beautiful cows.

We then cycle all the way down from Woodingdean to Rottingdean.  This road route is rather busy with traffic so we can cycle on the pavement which at first is not very wide but it soon widens out and is much safer to use than the road.  Once in Rottingdean we will make our way down to the seafront and, hopefully, if it is a sunny day we can have a picnic on the beach.  Those who do not wish to have a picnic can have lunch at the Coach and Horses.

After lunch we then cycle along the wonderful undercliff back to Brighton.

Look forward to seeing you all.

Angela and Sean

The Last Ride: Sunday 10 July 2016 -Dell Quay

13 July 2016

Sean, Tessa, Corinne

It was beginning to rain when seven of us met up at Chichester Station: Corinne, Jim, Julian, Sean, Sikka and Tessa having travelled by train, Angela by car. Too miserable for a photo, and there was no-one around to take it.

We set off in a south westerly wind and drizzle on the South Coast Cycle Route, aka The Centurion Way. Sikka and Tessa were reminded of the start of their recent Avenue Verte trip which also starts on a disused railway.

Everyone has a slightly different opinion of the weather forecast – some thought rain would stop at 12 and sun would appear, others thought that 12 was when the rain would really start. We all had hopes for a sunny afternoon!

Group with Centurions

We stopped for a group photo at the group of Centurions. Jim pointed out that their mouths and noses were the metal fastenings that gripped and held rails onto the tracks. Their bodies look like unexploded bombs.

We came to the end of the traffic-free path and onto a small but busy road leading to West Stoke. On our right we passed what look like lakes – fields of solar panels, before turning into Lye Lane. Julian told us we had climbed to the highest point of the ride (hardly noticeable!) and ‘it was all downhill from now on’. Was he lying, we wondered?

There was one more undulation to follow, but we forgave him. Small roads with potholes and an off-road track led us to Dell Quay and the Crown and Anchor. No room inside, and blustery outside, we decided to carry on to Chichester Marina for lunch.

The Lock Gates Open

At the Salterns Marina we had a few minutes to wait to before we could cross the lock as three yachts entered it before heading out to Cowes.


Seven of us squeezed onto a table for four at the Boathouse Café. There were mixed opinions on the quality of the food but conversation was jolly – Angela told us about her recent tour of the Houses of Parliament which she had found fascinating.

Swans on the road

The sun was out when he headed back to Chichester. Two adults swans and several large cygnets squatted on the edge of the tarmac of the Marina Road, perhaps for its warmth? A busy road, then smaller ones led us through Hunston to join the canal path. On Poyntz Bridge we admired the view of fields and Chichester Cathedral, screwing up our eyes to try and spot the satellite dish on the roof observed by Angela, only it was a joke!

Cathedral View

Sikka noticed a mother and baby Coot on the canal, and some of us were sprayed with water by dogs emerging from a swim.

On arrival at the Canal Tearoom, Sean discovered he had cycled the whole ride sitting on two bananas – better than a gel saddle!

We enjoyed drinks and cake sitting under the trees overlooking the Canal Basin and arrived at the station just as our train was pulling in.

An excellent day out, thank you Julian!


More photos on Flickr


13 July 2016

Dear All

I am, as Roger predicted in the last edition of this newsletter, ‘back in front of (my) computer’ and we now have, as you will see below, not only details from Sean and Angela of the ride scheduled for 24 July but also a message from Jim about meeting up with the London Clarion the following Saturday.

As I’m sure you are aware – it can’t only be me who is glued to the TV –  the first week of this year’s Tour de France has seen some spectacular results, with 5 of the first 8 stages being won by British riders.  I’m not getting nationalistic in my old age – it’s just that it’s only a few years back that this would have seemed the height of fantasy.  How things change – and often, recently, not for the best.  However the question posed by a recent edition of ‘Cycle Clips’ is whether races like the TDF actually get more people out on their bikes – which we would all agree is a ‘good thing’ whether or not we are interested in the races themselves.

“Arguably the greatest show on earth starts this weekend in Mont St Michel, as 198 riders compete for the Tour de France’s yellow jersey. Cycling UK asked Eurosport journalist Felix Lowe what’s the appeal and why it took him – a long term fan – so long to swap the sofa for the saddle. As we explored what the Tour meeans to Lowe he told us: “Cycling’s that unique activity whose stadia are public roads open to us all. Fancy a kick-about on Wembley’s hallowed turf? Good luck with that. What about a rally on Wimbledon’s Centre Court? In your dreams… But any of us can get on a bike and (well, at least try to) ride up the Col du Tourmalet.”

Well I’ve been up the Tourmalet 2 or 3 times – in a car.  I think I’ll pass on riding up it for now.

As you’ll see from the ‘Future Rides’ list below we  are – thanks to Helen and Julian – well catered for in August.  But it’s not to early to be thinking about  September.



Jim writes:

On Saturday 30 July (not a normal Clarion weekend for us) the London Clarion will be riding from London to Brighton. It has been suggested that some of us could meet them at Ditchling Beacon, ride into town with them (all downhill of course!) and repair to a house of beverage. The Londoners will be returning on the train.

I will devise a route up to the Beacon, possibly following Sikka’s suggested route, and will send full details to Ian for the next circular. I will need numbers at some point of course, for the pub booking.


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

13 July 2016

An apt warning about ‘Scorching’ from‘Cycle Trifle’ in The Clarion, 29 May 1897.