Clarion Ride Report Chichester Circular via Pagham Harbour – 8 September 2019

16 September 2019

Group_HD

Ten Clarionistas caught the Chichester train – it was good to see Jenny and Joyce after too long an absence, along with Angela C, Corinne, Sean, Sikka, Tessa and Wendy T. Unfortunately it was also the day Southern chose to unveil its new bike policy of a maximum of half a bike per carriage, evenly distributed along the train, with all the skilfully bisected half-bikes leaning against the doors so that they had to be shifted across on the command “We are now approaching Hove”. The guard was very nice and polite, but her strict rules turned out to be somewhat at variance with the official policy laid down at https://www.southernrailway.com/travel-information/on-board/bringing-a-bike. No doubt Southern are attempting to undercut the Great Western, whose policy of 1⅔ bikes per carriage on the Great Malvern service seems absurdly generous ….

Passing through the network of lakes on the site of an old quarry (Ivy Lake, Copse Lake, East and West Trout Lakes) we headed out through North Mundham and beyond on a quiet lane, with plentiful birds, butterflies and blackberries and fields stretching out to infinity. We saw a lovely Comma butterfly with its scalloped wings, but it was unfortunately rather camera-shy.

Field

We continued onto a bridleway, following the NCN88 signs (if you “get your kicks on Route 66”, what do you do on Route 88? Seal your fate …?) and so to Sidlesham Quay where we had our picnic, sang “Happy Birthday” to Sally, and marvelled at the achievement of 18th century water engineers who had built a huge tide mill here, the only remnant being the brick platform on which we sat, and the pool beyond. (Sometimes one wonders whether “technological progress” is not perhaps an oxymoron ….)

History of the tide mill at Sidlesham Quay

After Angela D’s warnings about the political affiliations of the inhabitants of Hayling Island, we were heartened by a prominent “Stop Brexit” sign here.

Picnic at Sidlesham Quay

While we tried to identify a mysterious wader, Tessa passed around some photos taken by Leon, and one of his drawings, and Joyce announced that a special memorial ride for Leon is to take place on 20 October.

RSPB Medmerry was just a loo stop, where we had to weave around a large crowd of bird-walkers doing a roll-call before setting off. More bridleways and narrow paths took us to Itchenor where the little ferry boat, now apparently officially named the Itchy Bosom, loaded up with bikes, but unfortunately not ours, as we were at the back of the queue. While waiting on the jetty we watched the large electric solar-powered catamaran, the Solar Heritage, complete with electric wheelchair lift, docking – but had to turn away when it appeared that the wheelchair would be propelled straight into the water on the other side of the narrow jetty … but no, they just managed to turn it around and save its occupant from an unscheduled dip.

The solar-powered "Solar Heritage" at Itchenor

Jenny took a shortcut to Chichester while the remaining 9 had a welcome tea stop at Bosham, with teas, coffees, milkshakes, crumble and toasted teacakes. We then set off for the final crawl to Chichester via Fishbourne, bisecting our bikes once more in order to comply with Southern regulations. Thanks to Sikka and Tessa for a wonderful day out, and for shepherding us so well with their well-known leader-and-backstop routine. All Clarion rides should be like this!

Sally and Jim.

Chichester Harbour

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Clarion Ride Report Sunday 01 September 2019

16 September 2019

Jim (leader) Corinne, Sally Angela D

Report by Angela Devas 03 September 2019

Ever so slightly bleary eyed we assembled at the station in the very early hours of the morning, barely able to make one another out in the almost pre-dawn gloom, but my vision was not so badly obscured as to not observe rather enviously the coffee clutched in our leader’s hands.

We decanted at Haywards Heath the back way to make as precipitate a departure as possible from that dormitorial suburb – apologies to those mistaken apologists for that god-awful town. The plaintive cry of ‘When is the coffee stop?’ soon emerged from Jim’s followers. ‘At the elephant!’ he cried – I believe Jim recently attended a rewilding talk by the excellent Dr Chris Sandom, University of Sussex, where Dr Sandom discussed elephants twice as big as African ones roaming the Sussex landscape in the Palaeolithic era. Jim, mindful of every eventuality, had provided all his followers with whistles to prepare themselves in case of their sudden reintroduction, although I can assure all concerned Clarionistas that the whistles were not needed for that purpose on this occasion. We arrived at a café cum shopping centre at a crossroads – and found to our delight a pleasant café, apparently, according to Jim, called The Elephant, though no such sign was visible, where we sat on a terrace overlooking a charming garden. Delight soon turned to distress as we discovered a party of 50 had arrived just before us and we might have to wait a while. Clarionistas can be stoic so we discussed not only the extinction of the Sussex elephant but of the country as a whole; we were, of course, feeling a touch guilty about enjoying the view and not joining in one of the demonstrations happening in Brighton.

Clarion ride 1.9.19 - Ketche's Lane

Very soon after our coffee stop we were at our lunch stop The Peacock  but undeterred we ordered; as our plates arrived we looked at one another helplessly as there seemed no one present who was able or willing to say grace, I mean of course the Instagram ceremony, the modern version of grace, where all food is photographed before consumption, so rather sheepishly we tucked in without a smart phone blessing. I can only offer my deepest regrets that no Clarionista will be able to partake virtually of our excellent meal. I do remember fish pie, vegetarian risotto and wild boar sausages. Our whistles, apparently, are also a good deterrent to the latter, the boar that is, before their sausage state.

Continuing our excellent adventure we were rather detained by what Sally claimed was essential practice in sharp shooting from the hip with a gun in each hand. Now I know some of you will be a little astonished that not all Clarionistas are signed up members of the Anti Blood Sports League, but it appears that Sally is the founding member of the Pot Shot Action Against Undesirable Tories, and knowing that next week I am going right into the heavily militarised Thorney Island she was determined I should learn to protect myself. Accordingly, some time was spent riding my bicycle as fast as possible with my hands initially in my pockets and then releasing them suddenly and twirling imaginary pistols. Perhaps fortunately no live ammunition was present as I am notoriously astigmatic and might well have incapacitated our leader or another hapless Clarionista.

Clarion ride 1.9.19 - Slow Cats Corner

After lunch we wobbled on – this is an exact word as for various reasons we were all a little unsteady on our wheels. Corinne because she kept peering at her heart rate on the mini surveillance gizmo she attaches to herself and every time it hit 308 she leapt anxiously out of her saddle because she thought she was having a heart attack; Sally because she insisted on leaning backwards going uphill because she heard the cawing of a raven – in fact it was probably me shrieking ‘Horsham slab’ at passing rooftops or East Mascalls manor house https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1025621 and Jim because he attempted to ride his bike into any passing shed thinking it might be his longed for pumphouse http://www.villagepumps.org.uk/pumpsSussex.htm – but somehow or another we pottered along the lovely Norlington Lane, having ridden up the avenue of lime trees to Bentley wild fowl museum to discover that the whole reserve was closed and now given over to industry https://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/news/shock-closure-of-leading-family-attraction-in-sussex-1-8691586 – perhaps a nice little metaphor for the way this country is going?

At the Depot café by the cinema in Lewes we collapsed, looking like wasted extras from a late-night horror movie, onto outdoor sofas and we would probably still be there had Corinne not sensibly rounded us up to catch a train back to Brighton.

Clarion ride 1.9.19 - Relaxing at the Depot

Many thanks to Jim for organising and leading this ride.


Clarion Ride Report: Sunday 01 September 2019

3 September 2019

Haywards Heath to Lewes

Jim (leader), Corinne, Sally, Angela D

Report by Angela Devas 03 September 2019

Clarion ride 1.9.19 - Jim, Angela and Corinne at Haywards Heath station

Ever so slightly bleary eyed we assembled at the station in the very early hours of the morning, barely able to make one another out in the almost pre-dawn gloom, but my vision was not so badly obscured as to not observe rather enviously the coffee clutched in our leader’s hands.

We decanted at Haywards Heath the back way to make as precipitate a departure as possible from that dormitorial suburb – apologies to those mistaken apologists for that god-awful town. The plaintive cry of ‘When is the coffee stop?’ soon emerged from Jim’s followers. ‘At the elephant!’ he cried – I believe Jim recently attended a rewilding talk by the excellent Dr Chris Sandom, University of Sussex, where Dr Sandom discussed elephants twice as big as African ones roaming the Sussex landscape in the Palaeolithic era. Jim, mindful of every eventuality, had provided all his followers with whistles to prepare themselves in case of their sudden reintroduction, although I can assure all concerned Clarionistas that the whistles were not needed for that purpose on this occasion. We arrived at a café cum shopping centre at a crossroads – and found to our delight a pleasant café, apparently, according to Jim, called The Elephant, though no such sign was visible, where we sat on a terrace overlooking a charming garden. Delight soon turned to distress as we discovered a party of 50 had arrived just before us and we might have to wait a while. Clarionistas can be stoic so we discussed not only the extinction of the Sussex elephant but of the country as a whole; we were, of course, feeling a touch guilty about enjoying the view and not joining in one of the demonstrations happening in Brighton.

Clarion ride 1.9.19 - Fashions at the coffee stop

Not only elephants and coffee but fabulous fashions too!

Very soon after our coffee stop we were at our lunch stop The Peacock but undeterred we ordered; as our plates arrived we looked at one another helplessly as there seemed no one present who was able or willing to say grace, I mean of course the Instagram ceremony, the modern version of grace, where all food is photographed before consumption, so rather sheepishly we tucked in without a smart phone blessing. I can only offer my deepest regrets that no Clarionista will be able to partake virtually of our excellent meal. I do remember fish pie, vegetarian risotto and wild boar sausages. Our whistles, apparently, are also a good deterrent to the latter, the boar that is, before their sausage state.

Continuing our excellent adventure we were rather detained by what Sally claimed was essential practice in sharp shooting from the hip with a gun in each hand. Now I know some of you will be a little astonished that not all Clarionistas are signed up members of the Anti Blood Sports League, but it appears that Sally is the founding member of the Pot Shot Action Against Undesirable Tories, and knowing that next week I am going right into the heavily militarised Thorney Island she was determined I should learn to protect myself. Accordingly, some time was spent riding my bicycle as fast as possible with my hands initially in my pockets and then releasing them suddenly and twirling imaginary pistols.* Perhaps fortunately no live ammunition was present as I am notoriously astigmatic and might well have incapacitated our leader or another hapless Clarionista.

Clarion ride 1.9.19 - Ketche's Lane

Sally ascending a slight undulation on Ketche’s Lane

After lunch we wobbled on – this is an exact word as for various reasons we were all a little unsteady on our wheels. Corinne because she kept peering at her heart rate on the mini surveillance gizmo she attaches to herself and every time it hit 308 she leapt anxiously out of her saddle because she thought she was having a heart attack; Sally because she insisted on leaning backwards going uphill because she heard the cawing of a raven – in fact it was probably me shrieking ‘Horsham slab’ at passing rooftops or East Mascalls manor house and Jim because he attempted to ride his bike into any passing shed thinking it might be his longed for pumphouse

Clarion ride 1.9.19 - old pump house at Fletching

… but somehow or another we pottered along the lovely Norlington Lane**, having ridden up the avenue of lime trees to Bentley wild fowl museum to discover that the whole reserve was closed and now given over to industry – perhaps a nice little metaphor for the way this country is going?

Clarion ride 1.9.19 - The Avenue (returning without tea)

The avenue

At the Depot café by the cinema in Lewes we collapsed, looking like wasted extras from a late-night horror movie, onto outdoor sofas and we would probably still be there had Corinne not sensibly rounded us up to catch a train back to Brighton.

Many thanks to Jim for organising and leading this ride.

Clarion ride 1.9.19 - Relaxing at the Depot

* I witnessed this daredevil spectacle – but was unable to record it for posterity, as this would have involved taking my camera out, switching it on and taking a picture, all the while whizzing downhill “no-hands” at great speed, which would almost certainly have resulted in me falling off and not being able to shepherd my little flock to the safety of the Depot – Jim.

** Seasoned Clarionettes may recall that on 5 September 2010, Norlington Lane was the venue for the Norlington Speed Trials, in which Jenny Millington and Jim Grozier competed for the Golden Helmet award. As Roger reported at the time, “The aim was to register the highest maximum speed over a measured distance in Norlington Lane; the distance specified was ‘hardly any’ and the winner was our undisputed leader with a miraculous maximum of 23.3 mph. Jenny came a disappointing second with a miserable 23.2.” 


Last Ride Sunday the 18th August 2019 Hayling Island

23 August 2019

By sheer luck and by minutes to spare, Jim, Sally and I managed to get to Brighton station before a major downpour which, unfortunately, Angela D, Sikka and Nick did not avoid and consequently arrived somewhat wet and bedraggled.  Still, the downpour did not dampen spirits as we boarded the train to Havant, checking the Met Office weather report once on the train which reassuringly stated that the sun would be out in Havant.

Arriving at Havant Station, the sun was indeed out and we began our ride. From there it is a short ride to the beginning of the causeway that links the south of Havant to Hayling Island and, cycling along the causeway in the sunshine, Angela D, Sikka and Nick began to warm up from their drenching. From the causeway you have amazing views across the Langstone Harbour towards Portsmouth and the unmistakeable landmark of the spinnaker tower.

August 18, 2019: Hayling Island cycle ride

August 18, 2019: Hayling Island cycle ride

Once on Hayling Island you cycle along an old railway line with further wonderful seascape vistas. There were many stops for photo opportunities, including one of a lone egret paddling on the shoreline, hoping to catch its lunch. We continued along this path for a few miles in the lovely sunshine, though it was quite windy, winding through the residential part of Hayling Island, until we reached the southern point and the beach where we were to have lunch and some people wanted to swim.

August 18, 2019: Hayling Island cycle ride

Unfortunately, there were quite a few windsurfers in the water, making swimming possibly quite hazardous and, with the wind now quite strong, the sea did look a bit choppy and so the swimmers decided against going in. So, we had our lunch sitting on some benches on the seafront and had a look at the very tall, stone WW2 memorial to a group called, ‘Combined Operations Pilotage Parties’ who went on secret reconnaissance missions on proposed enemy held invasion beaches and whose information evidently saved the lives of thousands of service men and women.

August 18, 2019: Pie & Vinyl, Southsea

After lunch we set of to the south-western tip of the island to catch the ferry across to Portsmouth. Angela D, having done a recce with Sally of the route, took us past a rather amazing Victorian crescent which would not have been out of place in either Bath or Brighton, but which did seem rather out of place on the island. Evidently, built in 1825 it was to form part of a vision of Hayling Island as ‘Utopia by the sea’ but that vision never came to fruition. Norfolk Crescent stands alone as a reminder of the rather grand future that had been planned for the island.

We then boarded the little ferry, most of us not having to produce ID to prove we qualified for concessionary tickets, except for Nick who, of course, is a ‘spring chicken’ compared to many of us!!

Sikka and I agreed that we love the excitement and adventure of a ferry ride as it is just such a wonderful feeling being out on the open sea with the wind in your face and there certainly was plenty of wind.

Arriving in Portsmouth we began the final stint along the seafront to the station to get home.  By now the wind was really strong and we were riding directly into it. Sally and I found it too difficult and got off our bikes and walked with them. It was perfectly fair enough that the stronger riders went on, especially as Angela D had to get back to Brighton by a particular time.

So, after we got off the seafront into Portsmouth itself, it was Jim, Sally and I who arrived at Fratton Station in Portsmouth to get the train home.

Many, many thanks to Angela D and Sally for organising this very pretty and interesting ride and I do hope we will do it again when, hopefully, it won’t be quite so windy.

Cheers and love to everyone –

Angela C xx


The Two Last Rides: 21st and 28th July

9 August 2019

21 July 2019

Polegate to Pevensey via Herstmonceux and the Astronomical Observatory

Angela (D) Wendy (S) and Anne report

The Clarion crowd met at the station, David, Sean, Angela C, Wendy S and Angela D, awaiting their leader, but ever optimistic that something would turn up, assembled in the train. Just as it was departing, Graham dived into the train, followed by the Pru. Were they dallying in the waiting room? Dawdling in the coffee shop? No matter, we were off.

We scooped up Mick and Ann at Polegate Station, and cycled a few hundred metres to our first stop – Polegate’s conveniently placed public conveniences.

The first part of the ride was Arcadian bliss with bits of sunshine, lovely rambling through the Pevensey levels and an all-round state of expectancy and fun. This is never a good moment for Clarionistas, for it generally presages a doom-laden scenario of future disaster, and so it was this time.

As you all know, we are near the anniversary of the moon landing and we were threading our way through the back routes leading to the Observatory. The combination of possible space travel and a star-gazing mission, alas went to our leader’s head, and round about a disused sky tower he propelled us into a cosmic orbit which led us into one of those black holes we hear so much about. Stoically the Clarionistas followed while our leader must have faintly heard the strains of ‘Ground control to Major Graham’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYYRH4apXDo

 

Pevensey Picnic

And, as you know, it does not end well. Meanwhile, amongst the crew, there were stirrings of dissent and mutterings of ‘My cosmonaut outfit is at the cleaner’s!’ and ‘I am not convinced these protein balls are 100% vegan’ ‘I am not going without my little Laika’ https://www.space.com/17764-laika-first-animals-in-space.html

So our space-addled leader took his head away from the clouds and returned us to the ground and we were all instructed to back-pedal madly – we are good at this Clarionistas – especially if we think there might be a picnic at the end of it.

So the last part of the ride was a straight, no-nonsense road, entirely divorced from a fantasy life of orbiting astronauts and cosmic rings; we were all glad to assemble safely, with our more sedentary companions who knew nothing of our space travelling adventures, in the grounds of Pevensey Castle.

Mostly Angela (D)

Pevensey Picnic

On arrival at Pevensey Castle folk dispersed briefly – Pru and Graham hit the café, in need of coffee, David and Sean disappeared into the pub in need of beer, and the rest of us joined the advance party, comprising Joan, TJ and Nye – all the way from their new home in Wakefield, and Clarion National Chair, our own dear Secretary Ian, with Sue and Joyce. Some of us were surprised to learn of Joyce’s near election as our MEP for SE Region around 1992 and to hear more about her campaign, with help from Sheila Shaffer. The castle ruins made a picturesque backdrop for our picnic, and folk shared some delightful delicacies such as strawberries, beetroot cake, pork pies, home-made bread and choc and banana loaf.

Pevensey Picnic

Pevensey Picnic

Suitably refreshed, and the ride having officially finished at Pevensey Castle, ideas began to emerge as to how to spend the rest of the afternoon. Ian, Sue and Joyce returned to Brighton by car, Joan and family called in to the café for afternoon tea before continuing their ride, Angela D went off to contemplate a swim at Cooden Beach, Graham and Pru decided to return via Eastbourne and the remaining Clarionistas cycled off towards Polegate, with Mick taking over the yellow jersey. Our arrival at Polegate Station was perfectly timed, thanks to Mick who thoughtfully added in a short detour ensuring that no time was wasted hanging about on the platform! As our train pulled away from the Station, it was lovely to catch sight of Anne waving us off at the barrier, reminiscent of Jenny Agutter in the Railway Children.

Thank you Graham for thoughtfully planning this summer picnic, to include an enjoyable cycle across the levels plus options for arriving by car and train. It was lovely to see some of our Clarion friends who have been unable to join us on rides for a while. Folk seemed to appreciate the pub and café options, and there was no shortage of ideas for routes home from Pevensey.

Wendy ( S) and Anne

28 July 2019 Nick and (mainly) Angela report

Portslade to Withdean Woods via the Chattri

It was Portslade station where Tessa, Sikka, Angela, Marilyn, Wendy & Nick gathered for Dave’s mostly off-road cycle route, which took us along the Dyke Railway Trail to Devil’s Dyke, Rushfield’s Garden Centre Cafe, Pyecombe and along the South Downs Way to the Chattri Memorial. The route ended in Patcham & Withdean Woods.

July 28, 2019: Portslade to Devil’s Dyke & Chattri Memorial

Highlights included Wendy’s tomato soup in Rushfield Garden Centre’s cafe, the narrow path descent from Devil’s Dyke (which most of us considered far too treacherous to cycle down) and the always magnificent Chattri Memorial.

Sikka, Marilyn & Tessa had to leave the ride before the end, so we were reduced to a quartet for the Pycombe Church afternoon picnic. This was an excellent day of summer cycling, which avoided most cars and busy roads.

Nick

At Portslade our leader Dave, had a health and safety announcement regarding the importance of ICE or what to do In case of Emergency so we could all have our friends and relations know what had befallen a Clarionista en route. Now Dave is mister inventor and scorns conventional and ungainly methods in favour of his own, homemade devices.

It appeared that Dave had all our next of kin addresses and details invisibly tattooed on his forehead; to make these details appear all he needed to do was gently rub the site with a handful of Sussex grassland or a few leaves from the wild. All this information would be available to whoever needed it…except of course to Dave himself. Unfortunately the days when genteel Clarionistas would never go out for a ride without an elegant little device known as a powder compact which allowed lipstick and other fripperies to be discreetly applied en route with the aid of the mirror in the box (also helpful for signalling and making fires in the wild and many other uses which need not concern us here), as I say these days modern manners prevail and now everybody holds in their hands a mobile phone or suchlike. What to do in the event of a mass Clarion combustible incident, leaving Dave alone with the names and numbers of our loved ones and him unable to read them?

A resourceful, television addicted member of the Clarion team came up with the solution; there would be a Designated Survivor, similar to the television series (she recommends it highly). The difference would be the designated person would not be assigned the role but it would be left to chance; we, as Clarionistas, would make sure one member of the group (as well as Dave of course) would stay alive and well enough to read off the numbers inscribed on Dave’s forehead.

We all agreed this was an excellent idea and were able to set off. Dave is a hero straight put of The Perils of Pauline (1914)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Perils_of_Pauline_(1914_serial)

A series from the silent era which I’m sure many Clarionistas will remember. Dave led some of us (others were too sensible, or too cowardly, or pleaded the sensitivity of their electrical bicycles) along a winding and perilous route down Devil’s Dyke, towards an abyss with a sheer wall to one side of the path and a drop of several thousand feet on the other. I am sorry to report that your narrator had an attack of altitude sickness; the world spun round; I dared not look down; going forward on the narrow path was impossible and reversing unachievable.

July 28, 2019: Portslade to Devil’s Dyke & Chattri Memorial

My companion on the path, far from wishing to help in any way, was poised ready with his camera to capture the exact moment when the photogenic fall took place. I believe he has form on this issue – but I am pleased to report I arrived at the bottom of this crevasse as he was suffering from a disruptive form of the bicycle bends. Dave, among his many gadgets, had a portable decompression chamber but pointed out Rushfields café was not that far Many other adventures befell us (as with The Perils each instalment will form part of a serial to be shown in cinemas weekly – enough of Netflix!) but we were all agreed that Dave was an excellent leader, very patient and calm and carefully keeping his scattered Clarionistas wonderfully together. Many thanks to him for leading this ride.

July 28, 2019: Portslade to Devil’s Dyke & Chattri Memorial

 

Angela (D)


The Last Ride 7 July 2019 Palace Pier to Worthing

11 July 2019

Sikka’s Report

Nick, Mic, Ann, Wendy, Angela, Doris and Sikka set out from the Palace Pier on a cold, damp, misty morning, decked out in waterproofs.

July 7, 2019: Brighton Pier to Worthing Pier

The weather offered an excellent excuse however to stop for a hot drink and a long chat at Carats Café in Southwick.    The sun still refusing to emerge but the temperature warmer we moved off once again into the mist, crossing the walkways over the harbour locks as sailing boats were emerging to gain the open sea.

We followed Sustrans Route 2 through the back-roads of Southwick into Shoreham and crossed the Adur river on the glass-walled bridge.   Passing by Widewater Lagoon with its swans and egrets is always a delight – away from traffic and on smooth  tarmac.   Past the posh beach huts, static home parks and sailing club.  Today there were small yachts sailing on the water below us.

July 7, 2019: Brighton Pier to Worthing Pier

Ann was feeling tired and had an aching shoulder so she and Mic left us in Lancing.  It was then that Sikka and Doris were discovered to be missing and, assuming they were lagging behind, were waited for.   Thank goodness for mobile phones – after all!  A brief text revealed the missing pair, deep in conversation, had outstripped the rest and were waiting to have their lunch on Worthing Pier, puzzled as to what had happened to everybody else?

Happily reunited, with the weather still sombre but warmer, there was talk of a swim.    However, the lure of food triumphed and we settled down for soup and ciabatta in the art deco café at the end of the pier, sitting beside the windows looking out on a grey expanse of water and a wide sky.

July 7, 2019: Worthing Pier

Once fed and the temperature chilly again all thought of swimming vanished and we made our leisurely way homeward.   Sikka and Doris opted to take the train home from Shoreham and as I am writing this report I am unable to describe any adventures that later befell Nick, Angela and Wendy.

Thank you Nick for leading a lovely gentle ride, particularly suited to the day’s weather conditions.

Sikka

Having said our farewells to Sikka and our potential new recruit Doris at Shoreham station, Angela C and I followed Nick through the streets of Shoreham in search of the small blue signs marking the NCN2. We stopped briefly at the lock for snacks then Angela went on ahead while Nick and I sat on the beach to eat more snacks and watched a woman fishing off the beach. The prospect of a swim was mentioned several times on the return cycle ride as the sun emerged through the cloud cover, but the idea was swiftly dismissed remembering Mick’s recent encounter with a jellyfish – that and the lure of the vegan ale festival at the Cowley Club.

July 7, 2019: Brighton Pier to Worthing Pier

We purchased 3 different pints for a tenner and forgot which was which as they got moved around for Nick’s Flickr photo shoot.  No worries – we like to practice the art of discerning floral hop aroma from craft keg from golden pale ale.
Thanks Nick for organising today’s jaunt – very enjoyable, and lovely to see old friends and new.

Wendy S

Anne writes

As a footnote to Sunday’s Clarion Ride, Mick & I turned back at Lancing & lunched at the Italian Restaurant opposite  the church in Shoreham. I made a regretably unadventurous menu choice, as did Mick , & will have to sample their baked avocado with brandy & mozzarella &/or chicken livers with italian bits[forgotten] another time.. Mick had his perennial lasagne. We were just buying tickets at Shoreham Station when Sikka & Doris came along & all caught same train, then missed them on exiting Brighton station.  Hope Doris comes again. We found that she’s done the same Cuba trip that Mick, Fred & I had done.


The Last Ride 23rd June 2019

27 June 2019

Hove Park to Devil’s Dyke

Participating Clarionistas: Angela, Wendy, Richard, Dave & Nick

Angela’s Sunday cycle outing was planned as a short ride which wouldn’t take up the entire day. The route from Hove Park to Devil’s Dyke is steep, but a great way to reach the South Downs relatively quickly.

June 22, 2019: Hove Park to Devil’s Dyke

Both Angela & Richard fell off their bikes in unrelated accidents near the Devil’s Dyke summit, which luckily didn’t result in injury for either cyclist. I witnessed Angela’s fall into long grass and felt a little guilty that my first instinct was to take a few photographs. I have decided (so far) not to put my exclusive Angela accident photos on Flickr.

Our Devil’s Dyke pub lunch consisted of crisps, French Fries and double cooked chips. After discussing the merits of the pub’s chips, I was very pleased to find myself in a conversation about the work of Captain Beefheart when Richard mentioned it was 50 years since the release of the Trout Mask Replica LP (released June 16, 1969). Angela’s feminist critique of Killing Eve was also discussed before we started considering routes back to Brighton.

June 22, 2019: Hove Park to Devil’s Dyke

Angela and Richard decided to freewheel down the road from Devil’s Dyke towards Brighton. Dave came up with a more involved off-road cycle route, which both Wendy and myself were keen to try out.

Dave’s route took us on a diagonal path along the South Downs, dropping down to Saddlescombe (no time for a tea stop), then Waterhall and through Patcham old village. Dave pointed to the location where slide rules were manufactured in Patcham in pre-pocket calculator times before we joined London Road back into Brighton.

June 22, 2019: Hove Park to Devil’s Dyke

The off-road return was an occasionally steep (effective brakes required!), but enjoyable way to return to Brighton. I would be interested in doing something similar soon (perhaps a cycle ride across the South Downs?) during the summer months.

Thanks very much to Angela for organising the ride and to Dave for the ingenious post-lunch return.

Nick