The Next Ride Sunday 9th June Hove Park to Shoreham via Henfield (revisited)

30 May 2019

Starting at Hove Park Cafe this route makes a three quarter loop round the downs  via Devils Dyke, Poynings, Fulking, Woods Mill, Henfield, Partridge Green, Steyning and back to Shoreham.

 This is a RED (Hard) Ride (see Below) (New experimental colour coding)

 Please fully read the instructions on the tin before consuming.

Leaving the cafe after an opportunity for an early morning coffee and loo stop we head north west upwards through Hangleton to the Dyke railway trail.

At the end of the trail we turn left onto Devils Dyke Road to the high point at the Golf club and swish down to Saddlescombe and the Wild Flour Cafe.

From Saddlescombe we go left through Poynings and then turn right onto Clappers Lane as we enter Fulking which takes us north towards Woodmancote.

Before reaching the A281 we turn right onto Bramlands Lane which brings us out onto the A281 for a mile or so and into Henfield and Lunch, likely at the Plough Inn.

After Lunch we will Join the Downslink and head north to Partridge Green then south on the road to steyning and onto the downslink.  There is also the easier option to head south to Shoreham on the downslink from Henfield saving three miles.

Length:  25 Miles approx.

Terrain:  This is a long and sometimes hilly ride with over one thousand ft of climb along the route of which half is the climb up to the Dyke Golf club.

Difficulty: This is a RED (Hard) ride. I am hoping that we can cycle this route in between 3 and a half and 4 hours cycling excluding breaks, wind and weather permitting.

  • Green(Easy) Less that 20 miles, reasonably flat
  • Blue (Moderate) Over 20 miles, reasonably flat
  • Red (Hard) Hilly or over 20 miles or fast
  • Black (Difficult) Very Hilly, over 25 miles or lots of rough Bridleway

Starting Point:  Hove Park Cafe , BN3 7BF (South end of park west of tennis courts). at 10am for 10:15 start

There are no parking restrictions around Hove Park on a Sunday

End Point: Shoreham Ropetackle Arts Centre

Time: About 6 hours

To help me book lunch please email me at if you are coming


The Last Ride 26th May 2019

30 May 2019

Andela (D)’s Report

Cuckoo Trail and Pevensey Levels

Graham, Prudence, Dave, Nick, Sikka, Wendy, Angela D

Southern Railway had excelled itself in providing its usual Sunday dysfunction with rail replacement buses from Brighton to Timbuktu, but Graham had carefully organised the ride with a straight through trip to Polegate. Talk on the train was of leaks and bathrooms, and stress, with something about water entering the hips, or the head, I’m not sure which, and causing sciatica. Unfortunately I was called away because my bicycle handlebars were engaged in an unwanted embrace with the straps of a daytripper’s rucksack.

May 26, 2019: Cuckoo Trail & Pevensey Levels circular

We all disembarked safely and headed off to the Cuckoo trail.  Our nominated back-stopper – the one who has a picture of JC[1] tattooed on their chest, with JC[2] trying to ride two bicycles at the same time and falling off both – unfortunately lost any sense of socialist communality and headed out front in an attempted populist  takeover. Perhaps they glanced behind and saw the rabble rousers that is Clarion on the go, and decided it was not much of a following, for they soon relinquished their place to our true leader.

Graham had planned a long ride – thirty miles it seemed! Though for those of us who completed the Downslink ride of forty miles in one day, we tried bravely to make it look like a bagatelle, but still anticipating it with dread and secret thoughts of toasted teacakes. To keep us in line, Graham issued us with patented Clarion Cadence Calibrators™. These are exquisitely designed to have all Clarionistas pedalling at the correct pace, with a uniform distance between us all and an auto-fitted device which prevents loitering, dawdling, chatting, the taking of photographs and all time-wasting activities whether or not they add to the enjoyment of the ride.

Unfortunately, somewhere near the beginning of the ride, mine fell off and I was held up for a while searching for it, and when I looked into the bushes I could see it being devoured by a passing wolf. I can’t say whether the same fate befell the others, because from that point onwards I was continually detained by said wolf who followed me menacingly with their yellow eyes and constantly blocked my way as it tried to spit out the indigestible gizmo. Perhaps it was the spirit form of JC?[3]

Bebble's Garden

We were all able to take a breather at Bebbles Langos café in Hailsham, where the more reckless amongst us consumed large portions of Hungarian food, especially the eponymous langos, deep-fried dough with different fillings and I was brave enough, considering the long and difficult road that lay ahead, to have a pudding, a delicious cold fruit soup.

May 26, 2019: Cuckoo Trail & Pevensey Levels circular

The British wife of the Hungarian chef told us about the rise of racist micro aggressions she and her husband had suffered since Brexit – one of the many indictments of our country.

There seemed to be a lot of hills over the next bit – but I didn’t mind because me and the wolf (now nicknamed, of course, JC[4]) kept amiable company – just as well because the others all disappeared far away and over the horizon though they patiently waited at the turning for the tea-shop (Tottingworth Farm Café).

May 26, 2019: Cuckoo Trail & Pevensey Levels circular

At the tea shop we consoled our backstop who was distraught because they had not been invited to JC’s[5] birthday party which was the same day. Tea cakes arrived and were distributed to the inconsolable, who soon revived. All our wearinesses semi- banished, we started off back home with a stop to buy asparagus.

It is well known that the Pevensey levels are a place of mystery and intrigue where the winding trails through the rushes cause a disruption of the senses; for some reason our leader, with a faithful companion,  disappeared into the sunset – except it wasn’t a sunset but a cold, grey, depressing mist. I can only leave you all in suspense as to the reason for this precipitate departure because, as usual, I was trailing behind and missed any discussion about their evanescence. I did, however, see the wolf, who by now had deserted me, snapping hungrily at their heels.

However, we cheerfully re-grouped and Sikka took over as our excellent leader and guided us ably to Polegate, a sad and dispiriting sort-of suburb, that for once we greeted with delight, as it meant we had arrived at our destination.

Even a damp, chilly wait at the railway station did not dishearten us as we collected snackettes from the co-op and tactfully avoided discussing JC[6] and the European elections.

Many thanks to Graham for planning and leading the ride and to Sikka for leading the last part.

Angela Devas

[1] JC = Julian Clary (celebrated Brightonian)

2 JC = Julius Caesar (the Romans did have bicycles, so there)

3 JC = John Cleese (though I always thought Sybil (Prunella Scales) was funnier

4 JC = Jackie Chan

5 JC = Joan Crawford (yes I know she’s dead, but she still has a birthday)

6 JC = Jackie Collins (apparently in her spirit life she’s writing a steamy romance about Guy Verhofstadt and Theresa May)


30 May 2019

Brighton Cycle Challenge 19 May 2019


BHT 30 Mile loop Report (David and Graham)

Start at Brighton Velodrome


Graham and I survived a gruelling ride around the ‘short’ 30 mile Devil’s Dyke Loop in the rain, there was a refreshment stop at Woods Mill and a cafe stop in Shoreham by which time the rain had stopped.

Arriving back we were rather disappointing to find only Roger and Suzanne had been doing laps of the velodrome for such a worthwhile cause.

I don’t know whether it was just the effect of the intense thirst that we had built up during the ride, but the Bedlam SMaSH craft beer at The Hare and Hounds after the ride was the best beer that I’ve had for years; a delicious blend of Golden Promise malt and Mosaic hops that explodes the tastebuds and aroma with tropical fruit, citrus, peaches, and apricot.

We could have stayed there all afternoon. The chips weren’t half bad too!


This year the 30 mile ride had a lot more riders maybe 30 or so all of the Lycra clad variety. We made it round in four and a half hours at a respectable 10mph ride speed, noting that the Lycra clad one’s are happy to just get wet.

As David says the level of Clarion support this year for this local cause was very disappointing. The 30 mile route is really not that hard (not gruelling) and surely well within most members capability, although the 9am start is early. Everyone should at least be doing laps of the velodrome.

The Last Rides: Two reports to read for Sunday 12th May

16 May 2019

Please scroll down to read both reports for last weekend

The Last Ride: Sunday 12th May Shoreham to Littlehampton

16 May 2019

Last Ride –Chris’s Report

David and I met Sikka, Prudence and Corinne at Shoreham Station and we all promptly set off for the coastal cycle path. I did wonder if such a prompt departure was a first for Brighton Clarion!!

Once the Widewater Lagoon had been reached David accosted an unsuspecting passing walker to take the obligatory group photo. I was also, thoughtfully, reminded by David and Sikka that I had promised to write the report for the ride, four out of the five members present agreed that this was a good idea.

Widewater Lagoon at start of ride to Littlehampton

Cycle track to Worthing

Without more ado we struck out for the Bluebird Cafe at Ferring for a well earned refreshment break. David, realising that we might be missing Nick’s presence, paused from time to time to take photos, we understood these were to be uploaded onto Flicker for the benefit of those on the Puttenham trip.

Coffee at The Bluebird Cafe

Start of last leg through Kingston Gorse Estate

Suitably refreshed we continued our ride to Littlehampton. Those who had taken part in previous rides were pleased to note that the pedestrian gates to the Kingston Gorse Estate had been modified such that it is now possible to push cycles through the gates rather than have to lift them over.

Littlehampton and our waterhole, The Arun View Inn, were soon reached, the lack of wind and the sunshine certainly aided our progress. We were made most welcome by the staff. The menu was extensive and catered for all tastes, vegan options were available and a good range of draught beers was on offer. A venue to remember for future rides.

Lunch at The Arun View Inn, Littlehampton

The roast lamb was excellent

Arun View patio and Littlehampton Bridge

Our lunch time conversation focused on environmental issues and in particular the problems of plastics and a throwaway society. The reports in the weekend papers on the rise in the number of public sector pensioners, primarily in the NHS, with pensions in excess £100,000 a year caused comment. It was also observed that Medical Staff were retiring early because under the new tax rules they are breaching the maximum amounts they can add to their pension pots and can no-longer claim tax relief.

Sikka and Corrine had intended to catch the train back to Brighton but, mindful that we had cycled to Littlehampton in approximately 2 hours and of the wonderful weather decided to cycle back.

The return journey was completed in one go, Sikka left us at Lancing to catch the train as she wanted to get home to prepare for an evening engagement. David, Prudence, Corinne and I enjoyed a relaxing coffee in Shoreham before departing for home.

It was very pleasing to see Corinne back with us after what she thought was a two year break and well done for tackling what was a 30 mile ride straight off.

On a personal note I find I will not be able to join you on our planned rides again until early July owing to other commitments although I might be able to make the odd pop up ride.


The Last Ride: Sunday 12th-14th May Late Spring Break

16 May 2019


Angela D, Graham, Nick and Wendy gathered at Brighton station for the train to Shalford . Packed but the next two trains from Gatwick to Redhill and Redhill to Shalford were empty.

Arriving on time we transferred to the Snooty Fox cafe for a well deserved coffee after such an arduous rail journey.

Sunday late spring break

Leaving the comfort of the Snooty Fox we travelled north on the 22 then west across Shalford Park and crossed the river via a lovely foot bridge (with steps) where a nice young man assists Angela with her bike, and then up the very steep St Catherine’s hill, then via Sandy Lane and Sandy wwy (aptly named) onto the downs and down via the North Downs Way through lovely wooded countryside to watts chapel then another well deserved coffee at Watts gallery.

Sunday late spring break

Sunday late spring break

Now for the final 1.5 miles to Puttenham and arduous eco barn existence.

Sunday late spring break

Oh not that bad lovely barn , the suns out and there’s a pub next door. (That sadly serves no food on Sunday or Monday evenings)


Yes the eco barn was V cold. After a leisurely outdoor breakfast of porridge and toast we set off west towards Seale and then south and southeast to the tarn lake on Puttenham common. Then southwest along some delightful wooded byways to Tilford.

Monday spring break

Across the Wey then a loop through Farnham Heath nature reserve and back to an excellent lunch stop at the Barley Mow in Tilford.

Bridge at Tilford

Monday spring break

Monday spring break


Nick has his shorts on today but only now do we discover that not only did he forgot to bring a belt but they are rather loose. No problem though as Angela find a suitable Bungee cord to save the day.

Leaving the pub we take a sandy byway to Elstead to buy our evening meal ingredients and back via shackleford to the barn.  Meal cooked excellently by Angela and Wendy. Warmer tonight.


The final day will we make it. 8 am drinking tea outside in the sunshine but a late start at 9:30.

To get to the Downs Link we have a 5.5 mile trip back across the North Downs sandy tracks and bridleways and it’s so not flat. So a welcome coffee break at the

Snooty Fox in Shalford again before heading south at about 11:30.

We lose Angela temporarily after a mile when she chooses her own route onto the downs link instead of following the group. Having found her we head south past Bramley and Cranleigh (Tarmac path) towards Baynards, uphill all the time encountering fallen trees across the path at two locations.  At Cranleigh we lose Nick who makes the same mistake that Angela had for 15 mins or so.

Tuesday Downslink Tree on the track

Tuesday Downslink

Tuesday Downslink

Then up the steep hill over Baynards tunnel and down towards Rudgewick and a break at the Milk Churn cafe. (Nice cafe but not the food very processed and no vegan options)

Here we find that progress had been slow with it being uphill and with us all having two full panniers on the bikes . 2.5 hrs for only 11 miles.

Tuesday Downslink

Heading on we made better time, passed Christ’s Hospital without thinking about trains back and reached our last coffee stop at Southwater about 4:30pm still 16 miles to go.

Tuesday Downslink

Then past Partridge Green (Sadly missing out on Stan’s which closes at 4pm and Bramber to a finish point at the Amsterdam at 7:30 and a well deserved pint.

40 miles including 35 miles of downs link in 10 hours. Taking out stops, getting lost, fallen trees and obvious faffing around probably 7 hours of cycling, but according to the cycling gadget less than 5 and a half hours of pedalling, where does all the time go,(see Angela note on black holes). Not quick but a great trip and four clarionistas join the 40 mile club. Would probably have been quicker without the heavy luggage.


A Postscript from Angela

I do feel we should collate our collective wisdom on the many things we have learned on this trip, so here is a start:

· Woking is always an interesting subject of conversation and there are very many topics of conversation on this subject

· Eating is important. Food is important.

· All pub kitchens close the day before we arrive and all cafes close an hour before our arrival. The only ones that can be open have no vegan options

· Wendy and Angela’s claim that bungies are a necessity for every emergency was amply born out on this trip; Nick has now started a new fashion trend

· The crucial importance of having a freshly ironed white shirt waiting at home so you can go clubbing right after the end of the trip, preferably after doing 40 miles

· Soda water drinking, on its own or mixed, should not be tolerated – it encourages the leaving of pubs before 1AM or closing time

· The importance of establishing the function/existence of black holes in the time schedules – to this end experiments will be conducted on silent rides v talking rides, dilly-dallying v getting a move on, coffee for breakfast v decaffeinated herbal mouthwash, bicycles with brakes v anarchy bikes that recognise no right to be restrained. Further suggestions for scientific experiments welcome



16 May 2019

Dear All

After quite a long period when we’ve had lots of offers for rides we are now running out. Anyone like to take on 9 June or 23 June – especially the former? Haven’t yet had any response to my appeal, but it’s early days. If we do get a volunteer I’ll let everyone know as usual.

The ‘target date’ for the next newsletter is Tuesday 28 May. But it’s also the day I am going on holiday – which makes things a bit awkward. Roger has kindly agreed to stand in for me, as he has often done in the past. So from now on please send reports, ride offers, and anything else you’d like in the newsletter both to me at

and to Roger at

I will be in the process of putting the newsletter together until I go away but if you send things to both of us that will make sure nothing gets left out

July Picnic

As you’ll see from the Future Rides grid Graham is proposing to revive our old tradition of a summer picnic. It will probably be at Pevensey Castle with a ride to the venue but also accessible by car or train. Watch this space!

Brighton Festival – Artists Open Houses Message from Tessa

This year a change of venue!  I am taking a break from my May Festival Open House in Lorna Road.

Instead I am invited to show my work at ‘Art in Bloom’  also part of the Hove Arts Trail.

Karen Hollis would love to welcome  you to her beautiful home and garden where six artists will be showing their work. If you would like to join us at our Private View on Friday 4th May  please email me for invitation  details.