The Next Ride: Sunday 11 December 2016 – Dell Quay

29 November 2016

This is a short ‘circular’ route as cycled on 10 July.

Chichester – Centurion Way – West Stoke – Fishbourne – Dell Quay – Salterns Marina – Chichester Ship Canal Basin

Plan for trains, given the current uncertainty about delays and cancellations

If the 10.00 from Brighton station is delayed up to 30 minutes, the ride will go ahead, but will start later than 11.15 by the amount of delayed arrival in Chichester.

If the 10.00 from Brighton station is cancelled, but the 10.30 is not cancelled, the ride will go ahead, but will start at 11.45.

If the 10.30 is delayed, the ride will go ahead, but will start later than 11.15 by the amount of delayed arrival in Chichester.

If both the 10.00 and 10.30 trains are cancelled the ride will not go ahead.

So, in the morning on Sunday check the live departure board for your station at:

The forecast for the weather in Chichester is reasonable, as at Wednesday evening.

The ride

We meet at the south side of Chichester railway station at 11.15 am and then go over the railway level crossing to the north side to start riding on the cycle track from the car park. After a mile we begin a northward ride on the Centurion Way track and in about three miles we take the West Stoke Road which has a gentle rise until the middle of the village. We turn south into Lye Lane and on down until we go round the north and east of Fishbourne and pass under the A27. We take the Salterns Way bridlepath past Apuldram and, as a short diversion west on Dell Quay Road, soon reach the Crown and Anchor, Dell Quay, probably before 1.30, for lunch.

Afterwards we continue on the Salterns Way track south and cross over the Chichester Salterns Marina lock gates to reach the Chichester Old Ship Canal. At the northern end of the Marina Entrance road, at Cutfield Bridge, we cross over the A286 to take the minor road east to the B2145 T-junction, then north through Hunston to the Poyntz Bridge, a footbridge over to the west side of the canal and onto the wider well-surfaced NCN2 track. From this bridge there is a distant view of Chichester Cathedral apparently surrounded by green fields and trees and no sign of any urbanisation. The ride ends at the Canal Basin, just south of the railway station, where there is a fine Canal Trust tearoom, which closes at 4.15.

Trains to Chichester: Brighton 10.00 and Hove 10.04 arriving at 10.55.

London Victoria 9.17 arriving at 10.59

Meet on the south side of Chichester railway station at 11.15.

Terrain: a gentle gradient up to West Stoke, then downhill to the north of Fishbourne, and thereafter mainly flat. 17 miles – see O/S Explorer Map 120 “Chichester” (1:25000)

Roads: a mixture of cycle tracks and mostly quiet country roads.
There are three busy roads to cross: B2178 SE of East Ashling, A259 in Fishbourne, and A286 at Cutfield Bridge. However, we do not have to cycle along them.

Lunch: at the Crown and Anchor, Dell Quay.

Return trains times to:
Hove 16.15H 16.27SN 16.53SN 17.15H
Brighton 16.15C 16.27SN 16.53SN 17.15C
Victoria 16.15V (arr.17.56) 17.15V (arr. 18.56)
H: three stops before Hove
SN: stops at all stations before Brighton
C: change at Hove, with three stops before Hove
V: no changes: with five stops before London Victoria, incl. Clapham Junction

My mobile number is: 07896 353 563


The Last Ride: Sunday 27 November 2016 – Berwick Circular

29 November 2016

Six of Seven, Leon's photo on 27th Nov._1480285470706

Ever since we got started back in 2004, I have tried to make a slightly longer version of this circuit the final ride of the year – nice and easy and not too long in the cold! It hasn’t always worked. In fact the very first year it was just two of us – me and John Hopper – who did the ride. In those days our stopping point for lunch was The Lamb at Ripe. But that went downhill foodwise after the pub changed hands a few years later and we switched to the Yew Tree which among other advantages means that we don’t have so very far to ride with that full–up feeling after lunch.

Another time I recall – much more recently – was when there were dodgy patches of ice about. Jenny had just finished telling us about how she’d been brought down by one on the way to Berwick from Cooksbridge when an (unknown-to-us) cyclist came round the corner in the opposite direction, skidded on another patch of ice and crashed down – fortunately without doing too much damage. Then there was the time even more recently when, lost in a reverie brought on by a lovely day of hazy winter sunshine, I led everyone a good half mile past the pub before realising my mistake!

In 2014 I spotted in time that the trains were not right and we did the ride on the penultimate rather than the last date of the year. I failed to be as attentive last year and had to substitute a Twineham and Wineham ride with a stop at the Royal Oak as the final ride of 2015. But this report is supposed to be about yesterday – not the snows of yesteryear!

I’m not able to take on leading any rides for the moment, so I was delighted when I heard from Leon that he and Joyce had the Berwick ride in mind. Luckily, I was able to take part in spite of the machinations of Southern, our farce of a railway company, which, as you will have seen from Joyce and Leon’s post-ride note yesterday (below), did its best to sabotage our ride schedule.

But I made it by car and found Joyce and Leon having a cuppa in the Berwick Inn just across the road from the station. Soon Helen’s splendid people carrier – (Note to self – I must never call it a van!) – arrived with Angela also on board. So the five of us set out and soon were overtaken by a car containing Anne and Mick who parked at the side of the road, extracted their bikes, and joined us to make seven of us altogether. It was surprisingly sunny for a while at least and somewhere just before Golden Cross a bird of prey was spotted in the trees that no-one could identify for sure. A peregrine falcon? A very young buzzard? An unusual variety of owl? Julian was sorely missed at this point.

After lunch at the Yew Tree 27th Nov._1480285470157

Onwards we sped (perhaps not quite the right word – but you get what I mean) to the Yew Tree for lunch. Portions of everything seemed to be massive but I thought the food was not as good as I remembered from our previous visits. Perhaps I made the wrong choice. Over lunch our main topic was – almost inevitably – ‘Brexit’. I maintained, as I have done consistently since 24 June that ‘It’s not going to happen.’ Everyone else was less sure. I have to say in my defence that I was one of the few people who correctly predicted the outcome of the 1974 general elections. But that was a long time ago and my stock as a prophet (except possibly of doom) has declined since then. So don’t place any bets on the basis of my hunch, particularly since Mick drew on his legal experience to tell us that gambling addiction was a very strong contender for the most common cause of divorce.

We did also ‘talk of many things’ apart from Brexit. Shoes, ships and sealing-wax did not figure. Nor did we speculate on a boiling hot sea nor winged pigs. But we did touch on ‘cabbages’ (the food) and ‘kings’ (Michael Gove’s attempts to reduce the school history syllabus to a chain of stories about them). Also the possibility of having a handicap system for ‘power-assisted’ riders.

Photo by Leon

It seemed to have become a lot colder by the time we left the pub, though this may be simply the effect of leaving a warm environment. Mick and Anne reclaimed their car en route. Fortunately, for the remaining five of us it didn’t take long to get back the Berwick station. No trains in either direction were indicated on the electronic signs. Southern strikes again! We conferred on how we might get Joyce and Leon back to Brighton – probably with one of them having to run along behind, or both taking it in turns- but fortunately a train did arrive a few minutes later. And it was actually going in the right direction! Is this a record for Southern?


Photo by Leon

Leon and Joyce add:

We are sorry for those who were intending to come on the ride on Sunday for the disappointment. The cancelling of the 11.12 train was unfortunate, also unfortunate was that we could not warn people, although Leon had checked trains a week or so before, we only knew Sunday morning, first through Ian calling and our checking at the station. Another contre temps was that the membership email list Ian had passed to Leon could not be sent from his smartphone.

As it happens we were at the station very early and, knowing that Ian was intending to go by car to Berwick, we made the decision to catch an earlier train that happened to be running, thinking that others might be driving to Berwick, as indeed, as the report will show, some did.

We feel really bad about those who were disappointed and to avoid similar occurrences it would be useful if those who even think they might ride would text the organiser so that in an emergency they can be phoned/texted so they can be informed of any problems. Of course the organiser will continue to let people know the evening before that a ride is cancelled whenever possible.

Leon & Joyce

Clarion ride Berwick circular 27th Nov. 2016_1480285469672

Anne adds:

It was a lovely ride & really enjoyable. Ian phoned to tell us that the 11am train was cancelled, when I was dithering about whether we should go by car anyway, as neither feeling too good with colds & coughs. Lured by the thought of last leaves of autumn & prospect of meeting up with Clarion chums, we decided to risk it & hot foot it to Berwick. Delighted to see 5 Clarionistas about 5 miles from the pub. They waited while we took our bikes out of the car & we set off altogether.

One of my highlights was seeing a big bird fly across the very quiet road in front of me. I thought it must be an owl. I waited till the 3 following caught up with me, & he flew across in front of us again, then into a nearby field, spotted by Angela. She thought it was more likely to be a peregrine falcon. Must have a look online to check it out.

Thanks again Joyce & Leon, Ian & Angela & Helen.

News, and subs renewal

29 November 2016

Dear All

As promised last time, I’m including the entire schedule I’m proposing for next year – see after ‘Future Rides’ below. Do let me know if you discover any snags or mistakes.

The first date is 8 January. This is only a few days after our New Year ride on 3rd January. So far I’ve had no objections to this to date for the NY ride. I considered not including 8 January for the first ‘proper’ ride but then I decided to see if anyone offers a ride for that day. If no one does we can wait till 22nd Jan.

So, anyone want to take on either of the January rides? Or even both!

Somehow or other I managed to label Anne’s report in the last issue (15 November) as having taken place on 27 November – which would be a good trick if one could pull it off. Apologies all round – especially to Anne.

As many of you know I’m not a great fan of ‘off road’ cycling but we have quite a few members who are keen on it. So I thought it might be a good idea to include this piece from a recent edition of ‘Cycle Clips.’

Off-Road cycling off-limits on Rights of Way?
Today we published the preliminary results from our Off-Road cycling survey, which found that 74% of the 11,500 respondents consider current rights of way in England and Wales unsuitable for off-road cycling.

Under current laws cyclists have a right to use a mere 22% of England’s rights of way network, and 21% in Wales. Whether a route is a footpath, a bridleway or a byway is generally determined by its history of past usage, and not at all by its suitability. This can mean cycling may be permitted on an unrideable muddy bridleway but not on a tarmac-surfaced footpath, even where it is used privately by motor vehicles. You can see our full policy on cycling off-road here.

Meanwhile, on a legally accessible stretch of fantastic off-road cycling in South Wales, a Mountain Bike leader from Afan Valley Bike Shed, was left fearing for his life after hitting barbed wire strung out across a forest trail. Ben Threlfall shared his story on this BBC Radio Wales interview on Tuesday, where we expressed relief at Ben’s rapid recovery, as well as anger at this callous criminal act.

Very worrying – that last bit.

I’m repeating Julian’s message about subs and his renewal form has gone out with the newsletter.


Membership subscriptions for 2017

The subscription is unchanged at £8, all of which will be passed on to the National Clarion Cycling Club, as in 2016.

Prompt payment would appreciated. Membership ceases if payment is not received.

Please complete the form attached with this newsletter and return it to me at the address on the form.

If you prefer to pay by BACS, details of which are shown on the form, please use your surname as reference.  If you want to save a stamp and not send me the form, then email me at: to confirm your payment via BACS. Payment by PayPal is not possible.


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

29 November 2016

If you didn’t read this carefully and realise that the writer – in ‘Cycle Trifle’ – in the Clarion 10 March 1896 was having a go at Clarion Cycling Clubs for failing to vote on where they’d like the Easter Meet – particularly if like me your eye skipped over the word ‘South’ – you might mistake this for a comment on a much more recent round of voting – or possibly more than one!


The Next Ride

17 November 2016

Sunday 27 November 2016: Berwick Circular

The route:

From the carpark turn left into Station Road and continue to turn left into Lower Wick Street, then continue to Chalvington.

Turn left into Church road to Ripe village, continue onto Ripe lane and Deanland road to Golden Cross, (Do not cross the A22)

Turn right into Chalvington road and our lunch stop at the Yew Tree PH on the left-hand side after about two miles.

After lunch continue to Lower Wick Street.

Turn right into Station Road to Berwick Station. Terrain:

All country lanes, there are no ‘A’ or ‘B’ roads, although Station road does get busy at times.

There are no Tracks, footpaths or obstructions in the form of Stiles or Gates or Steps at Stations.

Out of hill grades 1(very easy) to 10 (challenging) I put all hills on this route at between 1 (very easy) to 3 (slightly moderate).

Meet at Berwick railway station, north carpark at 11.35am. Trains:

Brighton station: 11.12am to Berwick (unless cancelled or delayed). Return trains to Brighton: 36 minutes past each hour.

My cell phone: 07484803638


The Last Ride: Sunday 13 November 2016 – Haywards Heath to Shoreham

17 November 2016



Holly berries at Bolnore, SW of Haywards Heath

This ride was notable for sunshine all day and a profusion of Autumn colours on the trees and leaves carpeting the ground.

Six started off at 10.40 from Haywards Heath station (Boltro Road southern exit): Jim, our leader, Anne, Mick, Julian, Sikka and Tessa.  It took a while to escape the extensive clutches of the town.  In Beech Hurst Gardens solemn trumpets were playing and we passed through a tightly packed crowd shortly before the 11 o’clock gun was fired, celebrating the Armistice Day two minute silence.

BridlewayThe bridleway

We went SW down Copyhold Lane and then through a leaf-strewn woody bridle path, the sun flashing through the branches, and also across a muddy field path churned up by passing horse riders, to Harvest Hill, south of Ansty.  From here a fast ride down the Cuckfield Road to the A2300 near Burgess Hill.


The East Adur emerging from under Cuckfield Road

After walking on a broad grass verge we went due west along Jobs Lane and the crossing over the A23 at Hickstead.  Next came Twineham, nearly confused with Wineham further west, and we got onto the fourth 1:25,000 scale O/S map(!) going down Blackstone Lane.  About a mile and a half east of Henfield, while going through Blackstone, Julian’s front tyre went flat.  Its inner tube had to be replaced, involving active help from Jim, Sikka, Tessa and Anne, for which he was really grateful.


While Julian was pumping up his tyre, Jim took a picture of this pretty leaf.

So we arrived later than expected at The Plough Inn, Henfield, from Furners Lane, for a well-earned lunch, having traversed 12 miles.


Mick was already there, having chosen not to risk his new bike on muddy tracks & preferring the A road to the off-road. He had enjoyed his 1st course of scallops, pancetta & cauliflower puree & was now tackling pancakes stuffed with berry compote & cream with caramel sauce & asked me if I’d like to share some of its delights. I agreed to help him, willingly. We were seated in a charming nook next to a wood burning stove & the menu, both on the table & on the blackboard specials, was all tempting. I plumped for the soup & as I ordered at the bar other patrons declared the cauliflower cheese was especially good too, so threw in that as well.  Tessa & Sikka had their usual “child” roasts-lamb was highly praised & both had desserts too. Food was highly photogenic & highly recommended by us all. Pics on Flickr when I can work out how!  Talk turned to recent tragedies -i.e. Trump being elected & death of Leonard Cohen before or after. It was also suggested that we might do a different do at Xmas next year & DIY in members houses in a bring a dish format.-not everyone agreed, as looking forward to Hangleton Manor myself.

The pub – The Plough -was so congenial-that it was around 3pm when we set out for the 2nd half -another 12miles to do. We soon left the roads of Henfield for the track of the Downslink & drama again, when we all stopped to watch as 2 donkeys fought in a field. They was biting, rearing, kicking & chasing & hard to know what was going on. Should have videoed it & hope there are some pics, though some found it hard to watch & we needed to keep up the pace to outwit the dark. Maybe it was all a donkey game to keep the donkeys warm.

We’d seen a lot of horses both in the morning & in the afternoon, & they had churned up & mucked up the bridleways. On the track we saw a dead badger too-it could have been old age as he seemed undamaged, but a young rabbit earlier had definitely been road-kill. Lots of birdsong too – chattering hordes of sparrows & alarm calls from pheasants & other birds as 5 hi-vis chatterers skimmed around the roads. Mick prefers the dark side for his clothing & is also helmetless, but relies on his speed to keep him out of trouble, just as he used to on the rugby field.

The Downslink has been improved in some places & has some super views. Jim & Julian agreed to research further into the new electricity cabling, but all too technical for me & still fretting about the dark rising up around us as the sun started to set.


This is what prompted the discussion of electricity cabling: the site of the buried power cables linking the Rampian offshore wind farm to the grid at Bolney. It crosses the footpath between Blackstone and Henfield

Was relieved that the repair to Julian’s bike held in spite of more bumpy, flinty terrain. Mick again raced ahead to keep himself warm & we 5 kept together & raced for the river at Shoreham. Sikka decided to defy the warning” For Pedestrians Only” sign at one point & Tessa was tempted to join her, but , returned to the fold just as we were discussing Sikka’s illicit short-cut.  Sikka did arrive at the bridge first, having survived the footpath close to the river & only met one group of pedestrians.  All agreed that a group of cyclists would have been tricky so close to the water & the extra trek on the actual cycle track is preferable.

Finally arriving at Shoreham, with sunset over the river & little light left, bike lights were turned on for the roads to the station. Julian had a bit of trouble with his back light, but I was able to help with a spare, though we got a little left behind in the traffic too. We took a short cut under the bridge at Victoria Road & ended up on the right side of the tracks & a 5 minute wait for the 4.44 train at the station with the other 3. Mick texted Jim to say that he had arrived at the wrong side of the level crossing so had missed a train & was now cycling home.   On the train the dark descended & as I cycled up the final 2 hills to our home on the hilltop I was guided by the super moon. It will be a long time before we see the likes of that again [2034!]-apart from tonight!

Thanks to Jim for super cycle Clarion special, full of interest, autumn colours, sunshine, forests, leaves, animals, bumps, adventure, gourmet grub, fellowship, exercise, views[hills], & fun.  It was a short day but a long ride & we all did well to manage around 25miles in mid-November   cycling thanks to Jim’s careful planning & shepherding.



An old coach house in Chownes Mead Lane, Haywards Heath


17 November 2016

                                                       15 November 2016

Dear All

To date I’ve had no offers for 11 December – but I live in hope!   Otherwise the next one will be the last till the New Year. (Stop press: Julian has now offered a ride).

Which brings me neatly onto the question of rides next year. I think I’ve managed to work out a schedule with regular fortnightly rides which avoids both the beginning and end of BST (which can always be a problem) and the London to Brighton Ride on 18 June.  I’ll   include the full list in the next issue, not so much in the expectation that everyone will start making notes for next October or November in their new diaries but rather so you can check through it and see if you spot any errors.

New Year Ride

But in the meantime I need to consult you about our traditional New Year ride to Carrots Café. For many years we used to do this – sometimes hungover and blearly eyed – on 1 January itself.  But an increasing number of other people seemed to get seized with the same idea and it became increasingly difficult to find anywhere to sit  – and more or less impossible to find anywhere where we could all sit together. Not surprising since we’ve had very good turnouts – 14 this year. So for the last few years we have switched to 2 January and that has worked out well, I think.

However, New Year’s Day will be on a Sunday in 2017 and that means that the Monday will be a Bank Holiday  – so the café is likely to be almost as busy then as on the Sunday.  So I am proposing – but we can change this if people disagree – that we  schedule our ride for Tuesday 3 January this time.  Let me know what you think.  Whatever day we decide on I hope to come to this one on the bike – rather than on crutches like this year!

I have sent a message from Tessa with an invitation to the ‘Art in Clay’ exhibition in which she is participating separately

I’ve received the following message on Sunday

Hi Ian,

Unfortunately due to various operations this year (last cataract op tomorrow) I have not done much riding this year but have managed to do the courses to become a South Downs National Park Cycling Ambassador as well as set up Hove Lost Dog Cycle Search Team

I have attached the article I wrote for the Rough Stuff Journal as well as the Search Team Flyer in case people want to widen their cycling experiences.

I hope to be joining rides in the new year as I should be able to see where I’m going as well as hold the handlebars!


Dave Churchill

Well done Dave! I’m attaching both the article and the flyer with this newsletter.

And now, still with 2017 in mind, a message from our Treasurer. (below)


Membership subscriptions for 2017.

The subscription is unchanged at £8, all of which will be passed on to the National Clarion Cycling Club, as in 2016.

Prompt payment would appreciated.  Membership ceases if payment is not received.

Please complete the form attached with this newsletter and return it to me at the address on the form.

If you prefer to pay by BACS, details of which are shown on the form, please use your surname as reference.  If you want to save a stamp and not send me the form, then email me to confirm your payment via BACS.  Payment by PayPal is not possible.


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

17 November 2016

The Clarion went in for picturesque headings to its regular columns.  But this one from 14 March 1898 might seem a little daring – a bit racey – for the time. Or perhaps it’s just another example of fin-de-siècle reaction against ‘Victorianism’ (Even though Queen Victoria was still very much around and had celebrated her Diamond Jubilee just the year before.)

In any case the illustration shows something best not attempted. I confess that I haven’t read the Highway Code recently – but I’m pretty sure there’s a section which tells you not to do this!