14 October 2018

14 October 2018

Dear All

It’s always unfortunate when a ride has to be cancelled – but it’s no fun getting soaked while pretending you’re enjoying yourself. I’m sure Jim did the right thing in cancelling this morning in the light of the forecast.

Graham has switched the dates for the next two rides . We’re just looking for offers for 25 November and 9 December now.

I’m sending this out two days earlier than usual – it gives everyone maximum time to look at the next ride. If anyone was planning to send a report for this newsletter I will send it out separately – if I get it, of course!


In the next newsletter I’m planning to include the possible dates for rides in 2019 so that if I’ve got it wrong you can put me right. I always try to avoid rides at the beginning and end of BST 31 March and 27 October in 2019 – especially the first where there’s always the danger that someone will turn for the start of the ride only to find everyone else has left an hour before – and the London-Brighton Bike Ride on 16 June. If anyone can think of any other dates we should avoid please let me know at once.

In Case You Missed It

Just now and then you get a message that makes you feel that in our very small scale and modest way we are doing something worthwhile as well as enjoying ourselves. If you’re in the google group (see below if you’re not) you will already have seen this – but it’s not something I would want anyone to miss. Haven’t yet checked with Fred and Jim – can we take up Emily’s suggestion?   And would a report based on this be a good idea for the proposed Christmas Boots and Spurs. Let me know what you think

My name is Rachel Walters, and I just wanted to let you know how much my daughter Emily enjoyed your page, . She just recently learned to ride a bicycle at the end of the summer, and has been really hooked on it since! Her birthday was over the weekend, and we finally got her her own, as she’d been learning on a bike we borrowed from my sister’s kids who are a few years older. Needless to say she was ecstatic!

Emily has been spending her computer/free time reading about biking safety, tips, and upkeep- And that is how she came across your page- She called me over quite a few times to point out things she was learning, and I mentioned that it might be nice to send you a quick thank you note- Emily thought that it’d be great to share another article about basic bike maintenance,– as well! I thought it was a neat article, and was hoping you’d be able to include it on your page? I’d love to show her that she could contribute another helpful biking article- she’d be thrilled!

I’m proud of her for being so proactive about learning more about safety and upkeep for her new bike! Thanks again for providing such cool and helpful resources for bike enthusiasts new and old! Hope you enjoy the article Emily wanted to share, and if you end up being able to include it, please let me know so I can tell her! Have a great day and hope to speak again soon!

Denis Pye Memorial

Denis, the author of Fellowship is Life: The Story of the Clarion Cycling Club which I strongly recommend to anyone without a copy, sadly died earlier this year. I’ve recently had a letter from Charles Jepson of the ‘1895 Clarion’ about a plan to remember him with a memorial bench at the Clarion House – run by the Nelson ILP Clarion Society – at Roughlee and asking for donations. I met Denis a couple of times early in the century – and I’ve visited the Clarion House. I’ve sent a small donation; should you want to do the same, send a cheque made out to NCCC1895 to Wendy Pye at 34 Temple Road, Halliwell, Bolton BL1 3LT

Google Group

As I mentioned last time it’s good to see so much useful discussion in the google-group. If you’re not in it do join   It’s on the web page:

Graham’s ‘Rehab’ programme

Good to hear that Graham’s great idea of short rides on Thursdays is starting to work. If it keeps up long enough I hope to be able to join in at some point. I’ve recently had X rays of my left knee and hip which has shown degree of arthritis and I’m waiting to hear from the orthopaedic folk to see what I should do next. I may have to follow Sean’s example.

Until yesterday I hadn’t been on the bike since before the fall I had in August which resulted in six stitches in my nose. I’d been having a bit of trouble getting on and off the bike before then and the fall -although it had nothing to do with that – just shook my confidence. But I managed a tiny ride on the seafront yesterday and I’m hoping – leg etc permitting – to gradually work up; from there and perhaps join the rehab group.

Good to hear also that the Mitre meeting was so productive of good ideas

Re: Good News for Bury Clarion

After my reference to the success of Simon Yates in the Vuelta I had a message from our old friend and keen reader of our ride reports Peter Roscoe. He writes:

Pleasing to see you mention me in relation to the Yates brothers. I liked the bit about keeping chips warm – I’m always dismayed on holiday when the meal plates have not been warmed properly. There must be a market for plates that can be kept warm during a meal.i.e. battery heated.

Bury Clarion are enjoying some glorious years. I managed to be relieved of Secretary, Treasurer and Membership Secretary at this year’s AGM. At 84 I have some personal affairs to sort out.

I was baffled for half a second by the reference to chips – then I remembered Nick’s report. Peter really does read our ride reports!





2 October 2018

2 October 2018

Dear All

Thanks to Roger for looking after the last two newsletters when I was away.

Graham has taken on 28 October and 11 November so we now need offers just for 25 November and the final ride of the year on 9 December if anyone is thinking that far ahead.   I think the London line will be operational again by then – but it’s always best to check any trains needed at an early stage before putting too much time and effort into planning a ride.

Beginning while I was away there has been considerable discussion in the googlegroup about the possibility of including some shorter and easier rides in our programme.   I think this is right. We have always had a variety of different sorts of rides in our programme. For example, some of us aren’t keen on off-road cycling while others prefer it and if you look back at the rides we’ve done since 2004 you’ll see that we’ve always had plenty of both kinds. Similarly, we’ve had more and less demanding rides. Before I was put out of contention (I hope temporally) by my leg problem the rides I was hoping to offer this year were all in this category and I hoped they might attract people who had not been on a ride recently.

Following up on the discussion, Graham has come up with what seems to me – and judging by the responses via the google-group others as well – an excellent idea for helping to get those of us who need it back into shape. I just wish I was up to taking part in it at the moment – but I live in hope!   Of course one would have to add to Graham’s mileage whatever it would take to get to and from the Peace Statue but this is a really good suggestion. At the end of his suggested programme Graham says ‘Could start next week.’

As always when you’ve been away, I’ve had a lot to catch up on – apart from Clarion things and am almost certainly out of touch. So, I’m not sure whether or not any of the suggested rides have taken place. It would be good to have some brief report or reports – not necessarily more than a sentence of two – about how it is going.   Anyway, with thanks again to Graham, here it is again

Graham’s ‘Rehab’ programme

Every Thursday weather permitting at 11am

Starting point Angel of Peace Statue

Initially 5 ride lengths with cafe half way.

  1. 4 miles Return   (Big Beach Cafe Hove Lagoon)
  2. 8 miles Return   (Carrots  Cafe Shoreham Harbour)
  3. 12 miles return     (East Beach Cafe’s Shoreham)
  4. 16 miles return     (Lancing Beach Cafe)
  5. 20 miles return     (A Steyning tea room) (Drop out at 1 or 2)

You can drop out, take a break and return at any of the Cafe points.

Longest ride maybe 3 hours  + Cafe  (Strictly no photo stops or reading of nature signs or eating roadside fauna or flora)

Group decides distance on the day

Should self function

Good News for Bury Clarion

It was good to see that Bury Clarion got a mention in reports in both Guardian and Observer when Simon Yates won the Vuelta (Tour of Spain – one of the 3 three-week grands tours.) I’m sure our friend – and regular reader of this newsletter, Peter Roscoe, Bury’s long-time secretary, was pleased.

Usual episode of Clarion history at the end of the newsletter,




19 September 2018

Clarion Latest

16 September 2018

Dear All

I visited Julian recently and we spent a pleasant hour or so chatting.

Recovery from his stroke has been slowed by a couple of recent set-backs, but his spirits are still good and he is working hard at the various exercise regimes he has been given to help bring back his mobility.

He showed me the post card he received from the Clarion group in Bath which had pleased him greatly. He asked me to pass on his thanks to everyone involved.

One of the topics we talked about was driverless cars. We agreed that it is hard to believe that they will ever be able to deal with all the multi-various situations that human drivers can. They will probably be pretty good on motorways but what about on a narrow un-surfaced track when confronted by a herd of sheep, or another driverless car coming from the opposite direction?
If you follow this line of thought, you start to think that maybe we should see them as primarily motorway vehicles in which to travel long distances, while reading, snoozing or getting drunk – a bit like trains really. And if they could do that sort of work, do we still need HS2?

Turning to more immediate concerns, you will see that the “Future Rides” list is verging on empty at present. Ian will be back in the editor’s chair for the next issue, so, if you have any ideas for rides in October and beyond please let him have them (

No read on for a “bumper size” issue with reports on the most recent ride and the Bath weekend …


<The Bath weekend report can be found here>


5 September 2018

4 September 2018

Dear All

Sue and Ian are away on their hols, so I’m in the editor’s chair for this issue.

Which gives me a chance to tell you about a recent road safety study into “shared spaces”. These are places where the kerb separating the sidewalk from the road has been removed in the belief that walkers, cyclists and drivers can mingle without conflict. They have been the subject of robust discussion during rides in the past.

Brighton’s New Road is a local example which seems to work reasonably well, possibly because it is short and the ratio of pedestrians to motor vehicles is high.

Exhibition Road in London is very different, as I discovered recently when walking along it with my young grand-daughter. She had been well trained to stop at the kerb, but in Exhibition Road there is no kerb, as I realised when I saw her wandering into the path of a black cab!

The study I mentioned is called “Accidents by Design”. Its findings are based on an opinion survey which showed (amongst other things) that 63% of those questioned find their experience of shared spaces “poor”, while only 18% find it “good”. The study concludes by recommending an “immediate moratorium” on new shared spaces.




Suzanne makes history!

The Regency Square Area Society has just published a book to celebrate the bicentenary of Regency Square.  The book has been written by Clarionette, Suzanne and Gill Wales, both of whom live in the square.

The book will be launched by the deputy mayor at an open-air “do” (with gazebo) on 22 September at 11 am in the north garden of Regency Square- books on sale at the launch price of £10.00 (cover price £12.95)

Do come along and bring your friends to enjoy the music.  Any speeches will be very short.


News from Ian: The Best-Laid Plans of Mice and Men

I’m writing this the day after the last (21 August) newsletter, feeling for some reason the need to share with you some of my current woes. I realise that in that newsletter I inadvertently repeated the same episode of Clarion History that had appeared previously. Sorry, but I’ve been more than a bit distracted – as you will see. I’ll get back on track next time.

At the beginning of this year I was determined to get back into coming out on Clarion rides – in fact I selected 4 ones I’d done before over the years that weren’t too demanding and worked out a schedule based on me gradually getting myself up to doing at least one 20 mile ride in the weeks previous to the dates I’d chosen for my full return to Clarion activity then – unless someone else got in first – offering one of the planned rides. It wouldn’t matter if I fell a bit short of this and only managed one or two. With 30 odd members of the Brighton and Hove Clarion and only about 26 rides a year I didn’t have to emulate Jim -or Julian last year – to feel I’d done my bit.

But then the on-going left knee problem kicked in. So in March I had real trouble walking. I got physio help and did my exercises fastidiously and by the time we went to Venice for a short trip at the beginning of June I was walking normally and thought I was back on track for rides. But then I had a bit of a relapse knee-wise. I was just starting to get back to something like OK when another unkind stroke of fate intervened.

Our next door neighbours were away and we were feeding Billy, their cat. The day before the last newsletter went out I was stepping over the low wall between our path and theirs when I somehow caught my foot and went crashing down landing largely on my nose. There was so much blood it looked like a murder scene from a gruesome TV thriller. After 3 ½ hours at A &E – which I’m told is quite quick for these days – I had 6 stitches put in my nose together with some glue on the graze on my forehead. I’ll spare you the photo. Suffice it to say that at present I look like something out of an old Hammer horror film, perhaps with a title like The Curse of the Living Dead or The Creature from the Black Lagoon. So for the next couple of weeks – which will be some way in the past by the time you read this – I’m concentrating on just getting fit to go on holiday at the start of September. As for my ride ambitions – well, hope springs eternal!



22 August 2018

Dear All

I am going to be away early to mid September, so from now on please send anything you would like included in this newsletter, including the ride reports from Jim’s Bath-Bristol weekend and the 16 September ride to Roger at Please copy it to me as well so I can get up to date with what’s happening when I get back.

I’ve still had no response to my query about whether people not taking part in Jim’s Bath-Bristol expedition want to have a local ride on 2 September – always assuming anyone wants to offer one. If there is a last minute offer I’ll send that out separately. Otherwise the September are taken care of (see Future Rides).

BHF London to Brighton ride
Its a long time till next summer so I’m repeating this message from Alan of London Clarion and their Bike Ride Team

In 2019 London Clarion have decided to enter a team for the British Heart Foundation London to Brighton ride. We already have a few signed up. I have just emailed Bob the details I wondered if you could let your other members know and tell them they would be more than welcome to join us. We will end up getting at least a dozen.

You can join their team via this link

Alternatively, if the link does not work, your can search for the team name on the sign up form. 
Best wishes
The London to Brighton Bike Ride Team.

That sounds like a great idea – at least for the fitter and more energetic! I haven’t managed it this century though I enjoyed doing it several times in the 1990s and can recommend the experience.

The Latest on Julian
I spoke to him briefly on the phone on Monday. He has been discharged from the stroke unit but is less mobile than at any time since the initial stroke last year.



6 August 2018

6 August 2018

Dear All

I’ve still had no response to my query about whether people not taking part in Jim’s Bath-Bristol expedition want to have a local ride on 2 September – always assuming anyone wants to offer one.   I’ll wait to see if anyone does – otherwise the September rides will be on 16th and 30th.   Any offers for any of them?

If you’re not too familiar with the cafe in Hove Park – the starting point for the next ride – check out the blog where you will find a little map Graham that has supplied.

Jim tells me there are people who actually want to join us – and pay their subs(!) There is now just one way we do this – which is a lot easier than in the past. The link needed is the membership mojo at

BHF London to Brighton ride

I’ve recently received this message from Alan of London Clarion and their Bike Ride Team

In 2019 London Clarion have decided to enter a team for the British Heart Foundation London to Brighton ride. We already have a few signed up. I have just emailed Bob the details I wondered if you could let your other members know and tell them they would be more than welcome to join us. We will end up getting at least a dozen.

You can join their team via this link the registration link.

Alternatively, if the link does not work, your can search for the team name on the sign up form.

Best wishes

The London to Brighton Bike Ride Team

That sounds like a great idea – at least for the fitter and more energetic!

The Latest on Julian and Leon

I’ve spoken to both of them on the phone in the last few days. Julian is waiting for a brain scan this week and has, he feels, been able to make little progress since the last time I reported – but he remains hopeful. Leon is also coping and feels optimistic about the way his treatment is progressing. We are thinking of them both.


News – 24 July 2018

25 July 2018

Dear All

I’m delighted to report that Graham has volunteered to take on a ride on 19th August. Thanks, Graham. Sikka also volunteered – just a bit too late. Perhaps one of the September rides?

So far I have had no response to my query about a possible alternative to Jim’s Bath-Bristol weekend on 2 September. If anyone would like to offer a local ride for that date please let me know.

You’ll see that I have added ride dates for the rest of the year in the ‘Future Rides’ grid.   Should help forward planning, I hope.

Reading Jim’s report on Sunday’s ride it struck me that we may have to consider providing some protection for him if it is read by any irate inhabitants of Hailsham. Praising Bebble’s Langos may not be enough to deflect their righteous anger!

The Latest on Julian

I phoned Julian to see how he was getting on. Like me you’ll be distressed to hear that after making some slow but steady progress when I last reported in this newsletter, things have not gone well – to put it mildly. He had another stroke on 8 July which has put his recovery back a long way.

And as if that wasn’t enough while shifting him from bed to trolley or vice versa the hospital porter managed to dislocate his shoulder. He’s been told this may result in a ‘frozen shoulder.’

Let’s hope for something better to report next time he appears in this newsletter.