Pouring with rain at 9.30am & so we decide not to go,but it stopped at 9.45 so we set out. Headwind so strong that I had to pedal down Duke’s Mound & decide that I’ll only make it to Palace Pier meeting point & then enjoy the tailwind home.
However – at pier I see almost 8 people in yellow vests & rain gear all ready for the off. There’s Joyce & John Clinton, whom we’d not seen for a while, David – our leader, already cycled from Shoreham & hardly wet at all, though he said storms were expected at Shoreham at 11am & dark clouds surrounded us. Chris, Mick, Sikka, All ready to face the 20+mph headwinds & gusts. Chris was asked to take a photo for another group or pier pleasure-seekers but general view was that our Clarion Group Pic could wait till Marocco’s Cafe where we would be joined by Hovians.
Graham joined at Peace Statue & Tessa & Pru at the italian ice-cream cafe & we all had chat & photo op & ploughed on to next stage along the prom [as much as permitted] to Lagoon, where I again thought I could manage one more leg, though Harbour Way prospect was daunting in such strong winds. It seemed a long way to Carat’s Cafe but then I said, like Goethe at the San Gothard Pass “Thus far, but no further”. Mick ,who had a cold agreed to join me & the Clarion Convoy proceeded, hoping to lunch at southern end of Worthing Pier.
Joyce did suggest that I could ride to Worthing & take train back, but I was longing for the tailwind to carry me homeward bound. Mick & I had a little stop to watch the surfers ride the waves. There were at least 30 & two who had finished told me it was good out there. Saw a few crashes, but plenty more surfers arriving for the thrills. Windmills on horizon were enjoying the spin too!
Rain, sun & rainbows back in Brighton, but mostly wind! Hope the rest of the bunch had fun & good fortune. I had a nap & Mick had the England – France rugby. Thanks to David for a jolly ride [or-half a ride] or even less in our case.
Clarion Ride Palace pier to Worthing pier … a continuation.
Mick and Anne left us at Carats car park. We continued battling the headwind to Shoreham where David suggested a welcome coffee stop. On an earlier ride Prudence had discovered an upstairs ‘sitting room’ in Toast on the Coast cafe and recommended it. It was indeed delightful and though the coffee may not have been as good as the cafe next door chosen by Joyce and John, we enjoyed the convivial setting which we had to ourselves.
We reassembled, and all apart from Joyce and John decided to continue to Worthing. There was no sign of the predicted rain and the sky was lighting up with shreds of sunlight. We persevered into the headwind thinking how easy our return journey would be.
Arriving at Worthing pier David gave us the choice of two lunch stops, one either end of the pier. We chose the end of the pier because both sea and sky looked so magnificent and we would have those views. The building is Art Deco, warm and inviting with a discreet piano player for entertainment. Unfortunately the menu was sparse, most of us choosing baked potatoes with fillings. We were disappointed and all wished we had chosen Graham’s tomato and pepper soup. Conversation at both coffee and lunch stops centred on holidays of one sort or another- yachting, cycling, Center parcs and the Dieppe raid. Gardening was another subject, compost and the sex lives of worms – of which we knew little?
The sun was out when we set off home. As we approached Shoreham, grey skies appeared with a magnificent rainbow, then a smattering of rain. Apart for a few gusts the wind was with us. We gathered for a photo of the group on Shoreham Beach before leaving David at home and continuing eastwards fast to beat the rain.
Thank you David for trusting the weather and leading us on an invigorating ride.