The Next Ride: Sunday 22nd Jan 2017 – Hassocks to Lewes

9 January 2017

We will catch the 10.44 train to Hassocks arriving just before 11am.

(Buy return tickets to Hassocks – return tickets on similar length journeys in this case Lewes to Brighton will be accepted.)

We head off through Ditchling to Keymer then turn left on Spatham Lane.

After a few yards we turn right onto an offroad track (weather permitting) through Streat, passing the church and crossing the road, for a further section past Plumpton Racecourse. We will by-pass Plumpton Green, continuing on a bridleway to arrive in East Chiltington for a late morning coffee at the Jolly Sportsman. Much of this track has a good easy surface, with short sections a little bumpy, where some may choose to walk.*

Regaining our on-road route, we head for Cooksbridge where we take a small road to Hamsey then Offham. Arriving there, we cycle the pavement of the busy A275 (the law having clarified that where it is dangerous to use the road, its ok to cycle on the pavement) before turning left into Lewes for a late lunch, probably at the Harvey’s pub by the river.

* (If weather has rendered the off-road route muddy, we will divert down Spatham Lane, in the direction of Wivelsfield, turning off before then to cycle through Plumpton Green and on to East Chiltington via quiet roads).

Trains to Brighton from Lewes: 22, 44 & 52 past the hour.

It would be good to have some idea of numbers so we can alert the pub. Please text Tessa on 07887 489900 or phone her on 01273 777574 to say if you plan to join the ride.

Tessa & Sikka

The Last Ride: ‘Brunch’ ride to Carat’s café – Tuesday 3 January 2017

9 January 2017

Clarion new year ride to Carat's cafe

A record turn-out?

There was Jenny and Leon, Chris, Roger and Sue
Charlotte, Kate, Julian, Joyce, Linda too.
There was Mick and Mick S, Joyce and Suzanne
Sue, Fred and Richard who chatted with Anne
With the red berets of Prudence and Julia
There you have our band all peculiar:
Twenty tough riders all wrapped up warm
That’s how to start the year – with a Clarion swarm.

But seriously, folks, thanks to Ian B for leading the ride, and it was great to see Sue B when we got to Carats. Chris from Lewes, resplendent in his Edwardian tweed jacket and matching waistcoat, suffered a puncture which proved too tricky to mend but luckily he was able to rejoin us later in the morning.

Tales of rides all over Europe and into deepest Hove were discussed as well as a myriad of other topics as is the Clarion wont.

Clarion new year ride to Carat's cafe

Never have so many been photographed by so many. Flickr will be awash, so don’t forget to look at the Clarion Flickr site.



9 January 2017

Dear All

Plainly, I was being a bit too optimistic when I scheduled a possible ride for tomorrow. But we had an excellent turnout for the ‘brunch’ ride last Tuesday (see Suzanne’s report below – already a strong contender for the 2017 B&H Clarion poetry prize!). And Tessa and Sikka have come forward with a ride for 22 January. I’m hoping to be able to lead one or two rides later in the year – but still don’t feel able to take anything on at the moment. So is anyone up for either of the two February rides – particularly the first one on 5 Feb? Let me know as soon as possible.

The 2017 AGM
No one has disagreed with my decision to have the AGM sometime in March, and, as you already know, Roger and Suzanne have volunteered to host it. We always have it on a weekday evening and since R & S can’t make Thursday or Fridays the choice narrows to a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. If anyone intending to attend has a regular commitment on any of these evenings please let me know at once and we’ll try and avoid that one.

When the AGM does take place one thing we will have to decide is whether to reinstate (or increase) our £1 p a local sub for 2018. (In order to make life a bit easier when it comes to collecting the subs – so that we know right at the start of the year how much we need to pay – we adopted the system of deciding it a year in advance.)

Last time I heard from Julian there were still quite a few people who hadn’t renewed their subs for 2017. If they’ve decided not to that’s fine of course. But if it’s just that you haven’t got round to it – easily (not) done at this time of year – please help Julian and the national membership secretary (if we have one!) by doing it now.


Sad News for the New Year
I heard yesterday from two different sources – one of them was Fred – about the death of Dave Gravett. Dave was a contemporary of the late Brian Hutton in the old Brighton Clarion section back in the late 1940s and early 1950s. I haven’t been able to access it (otherwise I’d include it in this newsletter) but there is a photo of Dave doing a very stylish bit of fast cornering during a time-trial in the History section of the old website <found it – fred!>.

I knew Dave as one of the long-time organisers of the Brighton Jazz Club. He was still in touch with Brian and I tried on a number of occasions to get him to follow the latter’s example and join us (‘you don’t have to ride a bike, Dave!’) or at least to come along to one of our social events. Without success. I think he felt a bit shy about being out of place – which he wouldn’t have been, of course.
His funeral takes place next Wednesday (11 January) at 2 pm at Woodvale. Sue and I will try to attend.

Better News for the New Year (from Cycling UK’s ‘Cycle Clips’ )
And hats off to the incredible Robert Marchand, who this week covered 22.547km (14 miles) at France’s national velodrome to set a world one-hour record in a new category – for riders aged over 105!

We’d all better get in training now!


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 the 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

9 January 2017

It was the emphasis on ‘amusing’ that distinguished the Clarion approach. From ‘The Club Stewpot,’ Clarion, 28 August 1897.