The Next Ride: Berwick Circular Sunday 26 January

17 January 2020

This ride has still to be checked out, Full details will be posted via the google group on or after 20 January.

Trains – catch the 10 05 from Brighton to Berwick

Return is every hour at 55 minutes past the hour from Berwick station

Angela and Nick


The Last Ride:  Sunday 12 January 2020

17 January 2020

The Last Ride –Nick’s Report

Hassocks to Lewes

‘We have the right of way here too, you idiot!’, I yelled as the car accelerated
away from us. Sikka joined me in admonishing the unpleasant 4×4 driver,
who had stopped briefly to tell us why he thought roads were for car drivers
only. The unhinged motorist may not have heard our disapproving shouts
as he sped away, but yelling at this narrow-minded fool was certainly
therapeutic for us.

We were relieved to find that the example of car driver road rage was an isolated incident in an otherwise blissful 18-mile cycle ride from Hassocks station for lunch in Lewes, on a mild day in January. As well as ride leaders Tessa & Sikka, it was Angela D, Angela C, Joyce, John, Doris, David & Nick who comprised the Clarionista nine for Sunday’s ride.

It was a short cycle ride of only a few miles to the coffee stop at the Plough Inn, which opened at noon. We arrived a few minutes before midday, so had time to sample the vegan biscuits Tessa & Sikka had generously brought along to share with us.

Although I had visited the Plough Inn before, I’m not sure I had ever ventured inside. The pub decor consisted of a spitfire & biplane hanging from the ceiling, motorbike illustrations, a bus stop sign and pop music ephemera from the 1970s (Bob Marley, The Clash & Marc Bolan). I was particularly interested in the Marc Bolan ‘Say it loud’ promotional poster for the NME (circa 1970?) displayed on the wall.

January 12, 2020: Hassocks to Lewes

As we drank our coffee, the room was warmed up by a blazing coal fire next to the table we were sitting at. The pub jukebox treated us to a UB40 track (So Here I Am), followed by St Etienne’s version of Neil Young’s ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart.’ I thought the coffee we were drinking was a little weak, so appreciated Frankie Valentine’s lively syncopated electro Latin grooves (identified by Shazam as the track ‘Spanish Dance’) to help us get in the mood for the ride to Lewes for lunch.

Tessa was right to warn us of the badly cracked concrete path which formed part of the route to Lewes. Recent heavy rain had left the path waterlogged in places and was potentially treacherous for cyclists. We all concluded that walking our bikes along the disintegrating path was the best approach, even if we had to cope with wet feet when walking through the occasionally deep puddles of water.

The route to Lewes was fairly straightforward (via Cooksbridge & part of the A275). Although Tessa & Sikka said they had cycled it many times, it was all new to me. I think I counted only one or two steepish hills we had to cycle up, which is quite rare in East Sussex.

Crossing the River Ouse towards Lewes, it didn’t take long for the familiar Harvey’s Brewery building to appear. Our lunch stop (and ride end) was across the road from the brewery in the John Harvey Tavern. I had visited this pub for the first time earlier in the week and sampled what I thought was an alcohol free beer for Dry January. Their ‘low alcohol’ beers do actually contain some alcohol, so I opted for a pint of lime & soda this time.

January 12, 2020: Hassocks to Lewes

I had a bag of chilli peanuts to accompany my pint of lime & soda for my Dry January/Veganuary lunchtime experience. Most of the other Clarion cyclists had a more substantial meal though. Joyce’s vegetable curry option looked particularly appealing.

The CND t-shirt I was wearing prompted Joyce to recall the anti nuclear demo she went to outside Faslane nuclear submarine base in Scotland a few years ago. Other topics discussed over lunch included the inevitability of Scottish independence, HS2 and how we all hoped to be flying around with jet packs very soon.

Thanks to Tessa & Sikka for an efficiently organised cycle ride with plenty of memorable moments. None of us got lost either, which must be a Clarion first!

Nick


Clarion Latest 13 January 2020

17 January 2020

Dear All

Angela (D) and Nick have volunteered to take on the 26 January ride, so now we are looking for an offer for 9 February (and/or 23 February)  Anyone up for taking on one (or both!)?

Thanks  to Nick also for getting the report of yesterday’s ride  to me with exemplary speed.  Pity about the nasty 4×4 driver. Who do such people think they are?  And what century do they think they are living in​?  Born in 1941, I still catch myself writing ’19–‘ on cheques etc.  But at least I actually know we are nearly a fifth of the way through the 21st century.  Some people!

National conference motions

I explained in the last newsletter that  with motions for the Clarion national conference – at the Easter Meet in Warwick – we need to make any proposals  ‘no later than 2 months before the annual conference.’   That means – as I also explained –  that I need to receive any in order  to allow time for a meeting if necessary by Friday 18 January  – this Friday!  None received so far.

Our AGM

I’ve had a message from Anne saying that she and Mick are willing to host the AGM in March once again.

Great!  That’s a load off my mind. Thanks to them  both.

As soon as I can find time I shall begin putting my Secretary’s report for last year together.  I wouldn’t want to twist anyone’s arm, but it would be nice if other office-holders sent in a written report for circulation –  as has often been done in the past

I’ll be consulting Anne and Mick about which day in March will be best for the AGM.  Then – assuming there is more than one possibility –  as I have done in the past I’ll ask everyone to choose the best one for them.  Inevitably, it’s             all too likely that it won’t be  good for someone – but it does seem the fairest way of doing things.

Ian


The Last Rides: Xmas Beano and New Year Ride

17 January 2020

Clarion Gastronauts Xmas Beano 21 December

Anne’s Report

The chalice of the Xmas Lunch was handed to Sean from Wendy & he rose to the challenge, picking ”The Walrus” on what turned out to be  a wet & windy day, though warmer than previous seasonal celebrations, organised by Jim, Angela, Jenny & me.

Clarion Xmas lunch 2019

Wetter & blighted by Brexit, which we all deplored & by Labour losing the disastrous December 12th General Election & Friday 13th living up to [down to] its reputation as a very dark day.

12  of us made it to the table on top floor of the rambling Walrus, in its Xmas decor. There are some super snaps on Flickr of all of us & most of the tasty food.  Sean, Mick & I had chosen the mysterious ”verinne ”-mainly out of curiosity- salmon eggs atop smoked & steamed salmon mousse atop cucumber & watercress jelly.  Neither Sean, nor I ,got through to the jelly, as both had tender tummies & none had spoons, but Mick did & was underwhelmed by the bottom. Would have been easier to reach its depths with a spoon, but too tricky with knife & fork

Next course was light & juicy-cod with samphire, mussel[s] & potatoes which looked like scallops but were even nicer [especially for tender tums.]   Traditional turkey & vegan options were provided but I was surrounded by fish eaters.& we were all charmed by the dish.

By dessert course my tum was delighted to receive both a chocolate tart & a plum & vanilla cheesecake-having agreed to go halves with Mick.  Joyce got her vegan custard for a not very fruity crumble &  Angela D. said custard better than the traditional Xmas pud proffered. Sean’s cheese & biscuits looked pretty & he told me charcoal biscuits were good for the blood, so I’ve been chomping on the ones I bought recently from Lidl wondering why they were black & thinking maybe ”having coal for Christmas”.

Angela Coulter challenged us to say what was our favourite Clarion Ride of 2019  & I plumped for the Ride for Leon, organised by Joyce, David Jezeph & John Clinton.  Fred said he’d missed Joyce’s speech but Joyce replied that it hadn’t really been a speech, more happy recollections of wonderful times together with Clarion & others had chipped in. She mentioned the photos she’d chosen for the grave & the frames that they found in India on their trip there together.  She told us about her time working in France  for UNESCO & about French pensions[in the news again as Macron tries to”reform”] & the better childcare facilities there.                                                           

I thanked her for pointing out to us all the Interegs money that EU gives us for  benefits to the environment-such as Cuckoo Trail/Avenue Vert & NCN linking Channel Ports.  All saddened that most people don’t seem to have known ”what the EU ever does for us”.   Misled by Boris’s lies we’re now at the mercy of US Vulture Capitalism. Shame that John Pilger’s documentary on NHS was suppressed until after the General Election. Scales may have fallen from some voters eyes, had they seen that before the vote.

Ian thanked Sean for organising the event , at short notice,  & to everyone’s acclaim & enjoyment.  Mick & I were the only Clarionistas to cycle there, I think, &  had the strong West wind to push us home, before more winter storms began.   Angela Devas had encouraged us to join  her ride from Hove Park on the next day & we did, when it was sunny & bright all day long

Shortest Day over but Burning of the Clocks must have been  a washout on  21st, whereas our Christmas Beano  was jolly good fun..  Thanks to Sean for organising & for turning up on the day, since he’d been out late in London on night before & trains were disrupted by.floods, in spite of engineering works having been carried out to prevent floods to tunnels.  The election disaster can only make climate chaos worse as Tories plan to build more roads & more concretisation , whereas Labour had an ”oven-ready” Green New Deal” which FoE  applauded.    Hope the New Year heals some wounds  & that all have a healthy, happy Yule etc.      See you all on the annual Carrats Cafe Ride on Jan 2nd.

Anne

The New Year Ride 2 January

Suzanne’s Report

There was Tessa and Sikka. There was David and Fred. There was Ian and Anne and Suzanne. There was John and Ian with Mick and Nick and last but not least Roger and Joyce. There were old bikes and new bikes, helmets and headscarves, socks and cycle clips.

January 2, 2020: Clarion cycle ride to Carats

There was cycling from Palace Pier to Carat’s Café. There was a wardrobes-worth of (peaceful and peaceable) yellow jackets. There was a stiff sou’wester but the rain didn’t date put in an appearance.

There was laughter and chat and debate: politics, personalities, planning, postulations and even some expostulation of the very best kind … that between friends.

A lovely way to start the New Year and thanks to Ian for getting all 13 of us together. Obviously 13 is now our lucky number.

 Boots!                                                          

Suzanne


Clarion Latest 3 January 2020

17 January 2020

Dear All

I’m quite used to getting emails from my friend – indeed our friend – Peter Roscoe who I first met at an Easter Meet about 15 or so years ago when he was the Clarion’s national treasurer and secretary of Bury Clarion. Hope I’ve got that right.

As I’ve reported from time to time in these newsletters he is on our mailing list and very much enjoys reading our ride reports. Sometimes I get an appreciative message about them which I then pass on to everyone in this newsletter.

However, this week marks the first time I’ve heard from him about – not a report of a ride – but in response to the ride details from Tessa and Sikka (repeated below) which I had sent out in advance.

            Happy New Year to all in Brighton Clarion. May you long continue as the club you  are.

I have just done the 12th January ride in my mind with you – it ‘was’ wonderful.

Peter

Thanks Peter. I hope you’ll continue to enjoy reading our newsletter for many, many more years and let us know what you think from time to time.

National conference motions

I’m proposing to call our AGM, as usual, sometime in March – but it’s not too soon to volunteer to host it.

I am also sending on to you the message I’ve received from Ian Clarke, the national secretary, with attachments concerning nominations and motions plus the draft agenda for the national conference on 10 April.

You will see that he’s asking for any motions or nominations to be sent (see Nominations and motions to conference doc) ‘no later than 2 months before the annual conference.’ In the past we have not been exactly prolific in proposing motions or making nominations at the conference. But this time we might want to. Since the conference is on 10 April that means that we will have to make any proposals by 10 February.

I propose that anyone wishing to suggest a motion or nomination lets me know ASAP and in any case – since our constitution requires me to give you notice of meetings at least 21 days in advance – not later Friday 18 January. If I’ve received any by then I’ll call a meeting – Sue and I will volunteer to host it. It should be then in time to meet the deadline assuming that whatever is proposed is agreed. I think that’s a better solution than bringing our own AGM forward to early February. If there’s time – if I get a proposal well before 18 January – I might put whatever is proposed out to everyone to see whether there is any opposition, in which case a meeting might not be necessary if there is none. Hope that’s OK with everyone.

——————————————-

Below you will find reports of the Christmas Lunch by Anne and of the New Year ride by Suzanne

2020 Subs – one last time!

Just in case there’s still anyone who hasn’t renewed their membership for 2020 – and wants to I’m repeating our Treasurer/Membership Secretary’s message below once more

Ian

Next Year’s Subs Message from Julian

Your Clarion subs for 2020 will be due on 1 January. The fee will be £15, as Brighton & Hove section agreed at its last AGM to a local sub of £3 to supplement the national fee of £12. It is some time since we had a local sub, but it is necessary to levy one every few years as our bank balance dwindles. (The £12 all goes straight to the national Clarion).

The £3 will contribute towards various costs such as website fees, together with providing a buffer in the event of an increase in national Clarion fees (last year we lost a substantial portion of our reserves following an unanticipated national fee rise). The subscription does NOT buy members any “services” other than third party insurance, which is covered by the national portion of the sub. All our rides and other events are organised by members, on a voluntary basis.

Membership details are held in an on-line database called “Membership Mojo”, to which you should have been given a unique login that does not require a password, and you can use this to update your details.  Membership Mojo has the facility to renew directly by making a payment to Paypal, but we have disabled this because we cannot access our Paypal account. Instead, you need to EITHER transfer £15 by BACS to our account at the Co-Operative Bank, sort code 08-92-99, account no. 65377325, with your name as the reference, OR send a cheque for £15, payable to Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club, to:

Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club
92a Springfield Road
Brighton BN1 6DE

Julian Arkell,

Treasurer


The Last Ride: Palace Pier to Berwick 8th December 2019

13 December 2019

Chris’s Report

Sunday 8 December 2019 The Palace Pier to Berwick

Four keen riders, Anne, Doris, Prudence and Angela assembled at the Palace Pier at the appointed time. The fifth rider was late and I was grateful that the others waited 10 minutes for me. To atone for my sin, I “volunteered” to write the report. My excuse was that, knowing I had a slow puncture in the rear tyre I decided to add a little more air. As I was putting the pump away a loud bang indicated that my “slow” puncture had become “fast” necessitating an inner tube change!!

We set off in good spirits along Madeira Drive. Anne, wisely, switched us to the clifftop cycle path at the Marina, the tide was in and there was a strong onshore wind. Once on the clifftop and with the wind behind us we made rapid progress to our coffee stop at the Gateway Café. Over coffee we discussed the complications of restoring traditional habitats and specifically what does “traditional” mean should the South Downs be restored to Forests???

20191208_123456

After coffee we followed the NCN Route 2 to Newhaven much enjoying the down hill section to the river and arrived at The Ark for a welcome but briefish and enjoyable lunch. At this time of year, we were all aware of fading light and that it can get a bit chilly in the afternoon. Over lunch Angela kindly shared her maps with me as I was proposing to complete the ride to Berwick on my own.

Again, with the wind behind us Seaford seafront was soon reached, as we cycled along we could see Tide Mills in the distance. On a warmer spring or summer’s day a diversion to the old village and a coastal ride into Seaford would be appealing.

Halfway along the seafront Anne, Doris and Angela turned inland and headed for the Railway Station. Prudence made a last minute decision to join me on the final leg to Berwick. As we turned off the seafront to follow the NCN route 2 we were sheltered from the wind and the sun made an attempt to shine.

20191208_141514

Approached Cuckmere Haven be decided not to follow the route across the fields but to use a short length of the A259. Fortunately, the road was not very busy and the light was still good.

Back on the country lanes we followed the cycle route to Berwick reassuringly spotting the landmarks, landmarks Angela had referred to over lunch. We arrived at Berwick and having just missed a train, retired to the Pub for a well-earned coffee before catching the next train.

My thanks to Anne for leading the ride and Angela for her help with the navigation. As I will be away for the New Year I will not be able to join you on the 2nd so can I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy New Year.

 

Chris


Clarion Latest 10th December 2019

13 December 2019

Dear All

In spite of Chris sending me the ride report for last Sunday with admirable alacrity, because we haven’t any more rides until next year – apart from Angela’s ‘informal’ one which I remind you of below – I had planned to leave it for a while before sending out this newsletter.

But I’ve changed my mind. With dire predictions of the election from polls and bookmakers it struck me that if I left it until next weekend I would be in grave danger of spreading gloom and despondency in a very unseasonable way.

So, while there is still some hope of a better outcome, can I wish everyone all the best and -if you go in for it – ‘Merry Christmas!’

Next year’s rides

Anyone want to take on either of the other January rides 12 or 26? I’ve had no offers to date.

New Year Ride

For many years we always had our short New Year ride to Carats café on New Year’s Day. But eventually the place got more and more popular and full to the rafters so we switched to 2nd

January

Last year some people decided to make it a ‘real’ ride by going on afterwards – to Worthing and beyond, if I remember rightly, Should you fancy doing something similar this time that’s of course absolutely fine

I do intend to take part – but if I can’t make it (I’ve regressed a bit legwise recently) please go ahead without me. Whatever happens I will be at the café

I’ll send out a reminder about 2nd January between Christmas and New Year and should the weather forecast be absolutely awful we can move the ride to 3rd January

Sunday 22 December. Angela D’s. Informal. ride (there won’t be a report)

Meet at Hove Park Café at 10am for 1030 departure up to the Dyke, then down and along the Undercliff path to Rottingdean. Lunch stop in a café en route

2020 Subs

According to the last message I saw from Jim 23 people have already renewed for next year. If you haven’t yet – but want to – please read carefully the message from Julian that follows immediately below.

Ian

 

Next Year’s Subs Message from Julian

Your Clarion subs for 2020 will be due on 1 January. The fee will be £15, as Brighton & Hove section agreed at its last AGM to a local sub of £3 to supplement the national fee of £12. It is some time since we had a local sub, but it is necessary to levy one every few years as our bank balance dwindles. (The £12 all goes straight to the national Clarion).

The £3 will contribute towards various costs such as website fees, together with providing a buffer in the event of an increase in national Clarion fees (last year we lost a substantial portion of our reserves following an unanticipated national fee rise). The subscription does NOT buy members any “services” other than third party insurance, which is covered by the national portion of the sub. All our rides and other events are organised by members, on a voluntary basis.

Membership details are held in an on-line database called “Membership Mojo”, to which you should have been given a unique login that does not require a password, and you can use this to update your details.  Membership Mojo has the facility to renew directly by making a payment to Paypal, but we have disabled this because we cannot access our Paypal account. Instead, you need to EITHER transfer £15 by BACS to our account at the Co-Operative Bank, sort code 08-92-99, account no. 65377325, with your name as the reference, OR send a cheque for £15, payable to Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club, to thhe address in the newsletter.

Julian Arkell,

Treasurer


The Next Ride: 8 December 2019: Eastward Ho! Rottingdean. Saltdean and Newhaven

30 November 2019

Having looked back in the archives for a December Ride I was struck by the inclement weather & consequent falls on ice, soakings by rain & coatings in mud, punctuated by punctures & thus thought a less adventurous ride may be safer.

I had been searching for The Old Coach Road Ride  but Mick refused it on grounds that wet,slippery chalk road was inappropriate uninviting in wintery weather, so fell back on my old favourite-the NCN2 Eastward.

This ride has everything!–the Downs, the sea, good pubs  good bike paths , few hills, nature reserve, woods  & most importantly -railway stations to return home easily if disaster or weather strikes.

SO;-

Meet at Palace Pier at 10.15am.   If weather  is awful we can have a festive drink together in Brighton then go Xmas shopping or canvassing for General Election.

Proceed along cliff-top bike track to Rottingdean (thus avoiding any risk of punctures on the way out). Along the Undercliff to Saltdean Art Deco Cafe. Stop if needed.

Up on top again to Peacehaven.

We can have lunch at The Ark pub which serves- fish from local boats & /or tapas plus usual fayre.    OR If weather & spirits are good may be able to make it on to Seaford , via NCN2 & the Nature Reserve- to The Yatch Club, which is open for lunch on Sundays & I have asked for their menu, which will be sent to me on Tuesday.

Any tired riders can return from Newhaven station, or Seaford & keener, sprightlier riders can proceed on to Berwick Station for a train home, or cycle back .

Distance;  22 miles if you go all the way to Berwick on NCN2.  

Duration;    As much as you can manage

Start,         10.15am Palace Pier

Terrain,        NCN 2  Quiet roads & well marked Sustrans Trail .

Undulations  A few but mostly flat

.Trains           From Newhaven at 05, 36 past the hour     From Seaford at 59 and 29 past the hour Berwick 14 and 55 past the hour

Anne


The Last Ride: Westbourne and the Ems Valley – 24 November 2019

30 November 2019

This was another ride from the archive. Moving the start to Emsworth from Warblington was definitely a good idea: we very soon got off main roads and into quiet lanes with lovely autumn colours, and marvelled at the number of old flint houses in the valley. We also saw two 12th century flint churches, but did not go inside, preferring to save our churchgoing for the 11th century St Hubert’s at Idsworth, with its wall paintings.

Ride 19.11.24: St Peters Church at Lordington

Wells are not as frequent a feature of our rides as churches, but there were two on this ride – as well as the promised thatched one at East Marden, Angela C pointed out a smaller well near our lunch stop at Compton. I wondered whether a preponderance of wells could be connected to the dryness of the river bed in some way – it’s a pity neither of our retired water engineers could make it for this ride, as they’d no doubt have had a ready answer to that question.

Ride 19.11.24: the river Ems at Westbourne

Angela D pointed out that the geography of the area would have made settlements such as Stoughton and East Marden easily defensible. It also helps, along with the narrowness of the lanes (some of which have grass growing in the middle) to make it a natural “backwater” for motor traffic, and hence very popular with bikes and other less common forms of transport. On the recce ride I had overtaken a little pony trap at Westbourne, but there were few horses in evidence on the ride itself, and thankfully, no tractors. Also no motorbikes, which had plagued an earlier recce.

The sky was overcast, and quite gloomy by the time we reached Idsworth, so St Hubert’s was put on hold for another occasion, and we pressed on. Wilma and Angela C opted to return home from Rowlands Castle station, while Angela D and I took Woodberry Lane where, half way to Westbourne, Angela noticed a newish-looking cycle path leading off through the woods, and signposted to Emsworth, so we decided to try it out. Despite a paucity of signposts further on, by astute use of the compass we eventually found ourselves back at Emsworth station with just under 20 miles on the clock.

The unexpected cycle path

Angela and I agreed that further adaptation of this ride would be possible, perhaps linking it up with one of our favourite cycle paths, the Centurion Way, which now seems to be called the New Lipchis Way. Perhaps whoever takes it on next could have a think about that.

Jim.


Clarion Latest: 26 November 2019

30 November 2019

Dear All

No-one on Jim’s ride on Sunday was able to take on writing the ride report but I persuaded Jim to do one himself as you’ll see at the end of this newsletter. We’ve included ride reports in our newsletters right from the start. As I recall it was Joyce’s suggestion back in 2004 and an excellent one since it is really good to have a record of what we do. Over the years we’ve had all sorts of reports – long ones, short ones, learned ones, funny ones – there is no requirement for any particular approach – all are very welcome and long may they continue. I sometimes get emails from people saying how much they enjoy reading them even if they haven’t taken part. One fan of our ride reports is that veteran of Bury Clarion, Peter Roscoe, extracts from whose messages of appreciation I have included in this newsletter from time to time.

Julian

Sue and I went to see Julian this afternoon. He’s coping remarkably well but with much of his left side paralysed and a frozen shoulder, progress is slow though his physio treatment is helping.

Next Year’s Ride Dates

In the last newsletter I gave proposed dates for next year’s rides and asked for anyone who spotted any problems to let me know. Jim pointed out that 19 April is the date of the 2020 Brighton Marathon and therefore another date best avoided. I don’t think we need to decide now what to do about this- probably moving it to either the previous week or the one following – but we will clearly need to keep an eye on this nearer the time

You will see that I’ve included the January dates in the ‘Future Rides’ grid below. I know it’s difficult to think about next year this side of Christmas but if anyone wishes to take on either 12th or 26th January please let me know,

But please check train availability for these dates.

Informal Sunday ride on Sunday 22 December. Message from Angela D

Meet at Hove Park Café at 10am for 1030 departure up to the Dyke, then down and along the Undercliff path to Rottingdean. Lunch stop in a café en route

  I’ll include this again in the next newsletter after the 8 December ride

National Clarion Survey

As I mentioned last week do please take part in the survey. It is genuinely aimed at finding out the direction – or directions – members want to see us go in. It finishes at the end of this month.

Ian