Please scroll down to read both reports for last weekend
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now for the final 1.5 miles to Puttenham and arduous eco barn existence.
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.
Across the Wey then a loop through Farnham Heath nature reserve and back to an excellent lunch stop at the Barley Mow in Tilford.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 I.email@example.com
and to Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
This is a circular ride from Polegate Station which will see us take the Cuckoo Trail further than before as far as Sandy Cross (Heathfield) . We have done much of the route before as parts of other rides but this is more dedicated and longer (30 miles) but not a hard ride.. Please check the distance and options are OK for you from the description below. It will be a late return into the evening, see train times.
This ride divides into three sections
5 miles to Hailsham
Having crossed the Polegate bypass we will turn west and then North giving us a couple of miles or so through the dappled shade of Abbots wood then across the A22 and into Hailsham for coffee and a snack at Bebbles Langos maybe around 11:45 (this was unexpectedly closed on the last trip).
10 miles to Tottingworth Farm Cafe at Broad Oak
We will follow the Cuckoo Trail gently uphill to Sandy Cross about 300ft climb over about 7 miles, then head north east for three miles to our second stop at Tottingworth Farm Cafe at Broad Oak maybe around 2:30pm (the highest point on our route 550 ft). This involves the only steep climb of 250ft through Old Heathfield over about a mile and a half.
Anyone wanting a shorter ride would have to turn back on this section somewhere between Hailsham and Heathfield (Horam would give an 18 mile trip, Heathfield 22 miles), and just stay on the Cuckoo Trail back to Polegate
A final 15 miles back to Polegate Station
Via Rushlake Green, Cowbeech, Stunts Green, Gingers Green and some of the Pevensey Levels. We do miss out about two miles of the less scenic part of the cuckoo trail south of Hailsham. There is the opportunity of a further rest break at the Merrie Harriers at Cowbeech after 5 miles if anyone would like, but too late to get lunch.
Downhill all the way from Broad Oak so should be no problem.
There are several pubs in Polegate for those needing refreshment before getting the train home
Length: 30 miles all on road or Cuckoo Trail, except for about 2 miles through Abbotts wood.
Duration: 7-8 hours including stops. The ride has two cafe stops neither of which is booked for a specific time you could treat either as a lunch stop or bring a sandwich, so essentially no timing once we start
Meet: at Brighton station to catch the 10:08 train to Polegate (Buy a return ticket to Polegate)
Start: We will start the ride at 10:45 at Polegate station for anyone arriving by car.
Return: from Polegate at 15 mins (change at Lewes) and 47 mins past each hour
Any queries email me at email@example.com
Choose between The late spring break or Shoreham to Littlehampton Circular
Clarion Late Spring Break 12-14th May
Places Still Available Six going so far.
Staying at Puttenham eco Barn
Sunday 12th May
Some gentle cycling in the beautiful Surrey countryside, first from Shalford a gentle ride up the river Wey and then up onto the downs via the North Downs Way and our cultural excursion to Watts Chapel and Gallery, then on to our residence at Puttenham eco Barn (5pm arrival), only just over six miles in total.
Ride Leaders Train Route
10:27 Train from Brighton changing at Gatwick and Redhill to Shalford arriving 12:15
Buy an off peak return ticket to Shalford if you want option to return by train another day.
Monday 13th May
An anticlockwise circular ride from Puttenham along minor roads and bridleways with morning tea at the Old Kiln Cafe in Forest Bourne Wood and then Lunch at the Mill at Elstead, then ride back to Puttenham.
The terrain can best be described as continuously undulating with about 1000ft of climb over the ride. The ride is currently about 20 miles but we can adapt that as we go to fill the day (til 5pm). More arduous options are available.
Tuesday 14th May
Puttenham to Shoreham via the Downslink (40 Miles).
Leaving at 9am we will retrace our route back to Shalford and onto the Downslink the Total Route is 40 miles with one major hill at Rudgewick to overcome. The route has may cafe opportunities.
Early Morning tea at Bramley (7Mls)
Late Morning Tea at Cranleigh (12mls)
Lunch at Rudgwick (16 mls)
Christ’s Hospital. Half Way. Snowflakes get train home from here via Three Bridges!
Early afternoon tea at Southwater (23 mls)
Afternoon tea at Stan’s (28mls)
Late Afternoon tea at steyning (34 Mls)
Collapse late late afternoon tea Shoreham (39 mls)
If you want to do the whole route we aim to get back by around 5pm split 5 ½ hours for cycling and 2 ½ hours for stops. So you need be comfortable with an average of about 7+ miles per hour over 40 miles of off road. Decision time is half way at Christ’s Hospital station.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are coming
Wendy and Graham
Sunday 12 May 2019
Shoreham to Littlehampton Circular
For those Clarionistas that are unable to get away for the long weekend at Puttenham, there will be an option of a ride from Shoreham station to Littlehampton, with the return leg along the same route back to Shoreham. This is a very gentle ride along the coast, although it is 30 miles and close to our usual maximum distance. The last time we rode this route in September 2016, some of the “lucky thirteen” decided to return from Littlehampton by train, but please remember that this ride is planned as a circular route, so we will need to keep to the schedule so we can have lunch in Littlehampton and get back to Shoreham in good time. The route generally follows the NCR2 and keeps as close as possible to the beach and promenades, being mainly off-road on cycle paths or quiet estate roads, with no “undulations”.
After crossing the Adur Ferry Bridge we pass Widewater Lagoon and head off westwards to Worthing and Goring for 9 miles, with a coffee stop at The Bluebird Café on Ferring Rife. This café is always very busy, particularly on a Sunday, so if you don’t want to wait 15 minutes for your order, it might be best to bring your own energy bar and a flask From here we can go through opening gates into Kingston Gorse Estate, and then straight on (with many left and right turns) for 6 miles through the quiet roads of Angmering and Rustington onto the promenade into Littlehampton and the harbour. The previous lunch stop at the Harbour Lights Riverside Café has recently gone into administration, but we have found an alternative riverside restaurant at The Arun View Inn close to the swing bridge for lunch at 1.15pm. https://thearunview.co.uk/ This inn offers a wide choice menu, including superb roast lunches, a vegan menu, an excellent range of beers and a riverside patio (if the sun shines). This inn is always full, so we will need your reservation before Sunday if you plan to eat here. (text to 0783-726-3722). On the return to Shoreham (15 miles) we can take tea and cakes halfway at Sea Lane Café or other options.
Catch the 10.00h train from Brighton to Shoreham-By-Sea arriving at 10.15h and aim to get on the road by 10.30h.
Possible return trains from Littlehampton to Hove leave at 14 minutes past the hour; change at Hove for Brighton. Alternatively a long journey to Brighton at 31 minutes past the hour with a half hour change at Ford.
David and Chris
Angmering, East Preston to Arundel
8.6 miles, 75 minutes, average speed 6.8 mph, 480ft ascent
Arundel to Littlehampton
miles, 43 minutes, average speed 7.8 mph, 123 ft ascent
Angela, Marilyn, Prudence, Sikka, Tessa, Wendy (S) and Wendy (T), Chris and Graham caught the 10.00h train from Brighton to Angmering station where David was waiting to join them.
From the station we cycled North to the top of the Downs and westwards along the Monarch’s Way through Angmering Park Estate, stopping to take photographs of the last of the bluebells and a Memorial Post to the last of John Upperton in Wepham Park.
The post is a memorial to Jack Upperton, an 18th century resident of nearby Wepham who was executed in Horsham in 1771. Jack was believed to have been a poor, landless labourer the victim of recent local enclosures. With an unknown accomplice, he waylaid the local postman carrying mail between Steyning and Arundel. The robbery only netted the two highwaymen a pound, but Jack had the misfortune to be recognised by the postman and also be noticed by locals that his spending powers had suddenly increased. He was apprehended and taken to the assizes in East Grinstead in 1771 where he was found guilty and sentenced to hang and then be gibbeted (a nasty end for meddling with The King’s mail!). Upperton was executed in Horsham that same year then taken to a place near the scene of his crime, where his chained and tarred body was placed in its gibbet as an example to others. The body took two years to decompose, though the post remained in place until the last rotten piece disintegrated in the late 19th century. All that then remained was a hole in the ground, which also disappeared in the 1920s, after it was filled in when a horse caught its ankle in it.
Upperton’s memory was brought back to life by Lawrence Graburn, a local farmer who also wrote pieces for a local newspaper in his spare time, who erected a memorial in 1951 where he believed the spot of the old gibbet once stood and remained in situ until it disappeared sometime in the 1970s. The current post dates from the early 1980s and was erected by some of Upperton’s descendants who still live locally; a salutary tale to deter all future highwaymen in Sussex.
After an excellent break for lunch at Belinda’s Tea Rooms in Arundel, we headed South through Tortington and Ford, passing the HMP Ford, famous for celebrity prisoners and wild partying. We continued southwards past Climping Cricket Ground, circumlocating the roundabout on the A259 by foot to avoid the busy road, turning eastwards along Crookthorne Lane and Ferry Road, and crossed the retractable bridge over the River Arun, arriving at the historic town of Littlehampton, famous for Blue Peter’s lifeboat and the birthplace of Anita Roddick, a town recently described by The Guardian as “a surreal mishmash”.
A human settlement at Littlehampton can be traced back to prehistoric and Roman times, while it appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Hantone, a small “hamlet” (not to be confused with the tragedy), and believed to have been given to the Abbey of St Martin de Seez in Normandy, who owned the small village until around 1400. Perhaps realising their mistake, the area then passed back to the ownership of successive Earls of Arundel and Dukes of Norfolk, whose successors still reside in Arundel today.
This is one of my favourite destinations for a leisurely cycle ride along the coast from Shoreham, with the opportunity for an excellent lunch stop at the Arun View Inn on the river, https://thearunview.co.uk/ , close to the retractable bridge, which also happens to be the destination for the next ride on 12 May, for those clarionistas not able to go on the long weekend holiday at Puttenham.
Our ride leaders, Sikka and Tessa got us back to Littlehampton station with perfect timing to catch the 15.14h hourly train to Hove with just a few minutes in hand. Thanks to you both for a very enjoyable ride and excellent organisation.