Clarion Annual New Year Ride

Part 1.   Anne reports

Clarion annual Carats cafe ride and brunch

A goodly crowd of folk gathered at Brighton Palace Pier on a cold winter morning & photographer Fred performed the ritual snap. New arrival Wendy T. agreed to snap the all-inclusive Fred as well Photo & a long line of yellow jackets wended their way to the next rendez-vous outside Marocco’s Cafe on Hove sea-front. The numbers now soared to 20 plus we almost recruited two more on the spot, when they recognised the joy & camaraderie of Clarion Cycling Club

Since the weather was so nippy & the cycle track so busy, it was difficult to chat en route in the usual friendly way but the miles seem to fly by & we reached Carat’s Cafe well before 12pm & started to queue & to find space to seat 20. No seats out in the sunshine this year, nor tempting silvery sea for paddling. It was sometimes silvery but was too shivery too!

We joined the queue & on finding out  that the soup was spicy vegetable I decided on that & soon reached the till & paid up & received my receipt & number. Before I’d left the counter the kitchen staff anounced that there was no more soup, so I went back & ordered the veggie brekkie, which did sound good. Another receipt was given me  but as I tried to leave again kitchen called out that there now was soup, By then I had become keen on the option of the veggie brekkie but had agreed to the soup now. Further down the queue Wendy S. was waiting with Graham & she wanted soup but agreed to order the veg breakfast if there was no longer soup.

By now earlier birds [or cyclists] had bagged tables – 1 inside & 1 in sun lounge extension so I took my soup inside where Ian, Sue B, Richard C, Prudence, Joyce & Leon, Wendy B, Fred, & Graham were seated. I would have needed another space, so when Fred got up to take some more pics, he sat himself down at a nearby table, whence Graham, then I, went to join him. Wendy had been seated in the extension with Sikka, Jim, Sally, Suzanne, Roger, Julia, Nick, Angela D. Tessa & her nephew, Rupert. There had been no more soup [again] so she’d ordered veg. breakfast, so I invited her back to room 1  to sample my soup & hopefully, share her breakfast. That worked very well as she liked the soup, though not the buttered bread, being a vegan. The breakfast had an egg on toast  which she w/couldn’t eat but I relish, though not white toast. Fred & Wendy, maybe Graham,  shared the copious mushrooms & sampled the fatty, deep-fried veg sausages & fatty hash browns & we all enjoyed the baked beans. So that worked well.

Angela D joined us & discussed cycling on to Shoreham or back to Brighton to sample /recce The Walrus, as some don’t like the food at Carat’s & had just had tea or coffee & were thus somewhat peckish still. 4 or 5 in the end went on to Shoreham from where Graham will take up the tale.

What will 2019 bring?  Can we stop Brexit & UKIP & Tories? Or are we all doomed?   Happy New Year to all our readers & riders & welcome to our new rider Wendy Tait.  A good start to the new year.

Sorry that I haven’t reported on the other tables but maybe they can add their bit too.


January 2, 2019: Clarion ride to Carats

Part 2. Graham adds:

Angela, Jim, Sally, Wendy, Prudence , Nick and myself went over the locks and as far as Shoreham. where we settled into the comfy chairs upstairs at “Toast by the coast” for coffee and snacks until about 2:30, then cycled back.

PS. Prudence left her red beret in Carats and is wondering if anyone picked it up


Part 3. Jim adds:

There were certainly a lot of us at the café, and I am sorry I didn’t get to say hello to everyone.

While waiting for everyone to lock up their bikes in Shoreham, Sally and I were approached by a gentleman on a bike who asked us where we had cycled from. He gave us a newspaper cutting about wearing cycle helmets. OK, it was from the Mail On Sunday, but I promised to pass the message on – which was that a doctor, Dr Michael Mosley, had written a full page article under the heading “Don’t all shout but I refuse to wear a cycle helmet and here are my reasons why”. Despite that headline, most of the article was about the benefits of cycling, and only the last few paragraphs were about helmets. He says he “finds it an uncomfortable inconvenience” but goes on to add that “according to University of Bath scientists, drivers are more likely to veer dangerously close to helmet-wearers due to a subconscious belief that those who wear a helmet are more serious, experienced and predictable than those without”.

It’s a familiar argument, and I wouldn’t contradict it, but I must say I was glad of my helmet when I got too near an overhanging branch on the Downs Link a few years ago! Also there are other precautions you can take, including getting a mirror to warn of approaching motorists (I wouldn’t cycle without one) and also maybe  a swing-out fluorescent arm such as Rob has.


Part 4. Fred adds:

After a trouble-free albeit nippy ride back to the Palace Pier, I was in town cycling west past the Corn Exchange when I had an encounter with a car door, my first ever. Due to unfortunate timing, a driver opened his door just as I was passing and I crashed straight into it… it was one of those time slowing down moments and could have ben a lot worse. The driver apologised, but I was too shocked to take any details. The only damage done seemed to be with my left big finger, which was numb, and my left hand brake lever. Over a coffee in the warm nearby Caffe Italiano, feeling gradually came back, much to my relief,  and I reflected on what had happened. I was obviously riding too close, to avoid the traffic to my right, and thankfully I wasn’t going fast. Moral: be eternally vigilent!


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