21 March 2018

Dear All

Well, once again we have been defeated by the weather. I’m sure that Angela and Wendy did the right thing in cancelling today’s ride and I hope they will be able to offer it again at a later date.

The weather is most peculiar at the moment. Sue and I arrived in Vienna just at the beginning of last week when there was still little lumps of frozen snow and grit all over the pavement but a couple of days later we were sitting outside a café enjoying the sunshine. I do seem to remember – I think from Simone de Beauvoir’s novel The Mandarins which I read many decades ago – that as the Second World War ended early in May 1945 it was snowing in Paris. So freak late winter weather is not unprecedented, it seems.

Let’s hope that it will keep away on 15 and 29 April. It’s possible that I or Roger have already had offers for one or both of these dates. If so, please forgive me for losing track and let me know again. If not – anyone wish to take either date on?

Julian tells me his recovery looks like taking a long while. We wish him the best possible. He can be reached via

2018 AGM
Just to remind you that the 2018 AGM will be on this Wednesday at 31 Bristol Gate, Brighton starting at 8 p.m.

Here, once again are Mick’s directions for getting there. He adds that parking restrictions stop at 8 pm

“Bristol Gate is the road that leads up to A&E. If you carry on past A&E, bear right and we are the last house on the north side of the road. So any bus going to the RSCH will work. As for parking this is usually very difficult to impossible, although at that time of night may be OK but perhaps best to park in Manor Road and walk up the twitten between Manor Road which runs westwards on the south side of the Manor Road Gym, past the scout hut and we are the first house on the right. One car can park in our driveway. Bikes can go in the garage.”

Sad News
I have just learned of the death of Denis Pye author of Fellowship is Life. The National Clarion Cycling Club 1895-1995 which, in less than 100 pages, gives a lively and well-illustrated account of the first century of the Clarion CC.



The Next Ride: Sunday 18th March 2018 – Ford to Littlehampton

7 March 2018

Train from Brighton 10.00, Hove 10.04
We get off at Ford at 10.42

Return is from Littlehampton at
16.15 (to Hove) 16.40 (to Brighton via Ford) 17.15, 17.40

This ride is a lovely meander through Binsted and Tortington woods and then down through the plain of the river Arun taking in one of the few areas of unbuilt land by the sea.

However, much of this beautiful area is threatened by a proposed by-pass through Binsted and Tortington Woods. There are 2 proposals, both equally destructive.

Emma Tristram from SCATE (South Coast Alliance for Transport and the Environment)

will be able to tell us a little more when she meets us at Binsted village at about 11.15

for more information about road building:

This ride takes in some off road areas but only for short sections and is well worth persevering – we go through the woods, currently covered in blackthorn blossom with primroses and some snowdrops and we go pass the Madonna pond. At the beginning of the ride we go past, and may have time to enter, the medieval church of St Mary Magdalen, right in the middle of a farmyard
Binsted church is also dates back to the 11th century.

There is also some off road on an otherwise wide track that takes us down to the sea.

We are having lunch at the Black Horse Pub which does a Sunday lunch menu but vegetarian by request.

Wendy ( is going to contact the pub with vegan/vegetarian option numbers on Friday. Could you please contact Wendy to let her know? Even if you are not vegan/veggie, if you are not a fan of roast dinners then I suggest this option.

Best Angela

The Last Ride: Report

7 March 2018

No report on the 4th March: the ride was cancelled because of bad weather.

News and AGM

7 March 2018

Dear All

Ian is away so I am looking after this newsletter.

It’s never an easy decision to cancel a ride, but I’m sure it was sensible of Sikka and Tessa to do so last Sunday. Let’s hope they are able to re-instate it soon.

Our next ride will be led by Angela D and Wendy. Let’s hope the current spring-like weather is still around on the 18th.

Roger (

Messages from Ian:
Any offers for the April rides – especially the April Fool Day one?

Julian is now home and continuing his recuperation. He can be reached via

2018 AGM
As previously announced, the 2018 AGM will be on Wednesday 21 March at 31 Bristol Gate, Brighton starting at 8 p.m. I’ll send out the agenda (let me know if there’s anything you want to include) and the rest of the necessary papers when I return from holiday a week before the meeting.

Here’s Mick’s directions for getting there again. He adds that parking restrictions stop at 8 pm:

“Bristol Gate is the road that leads up to A&E. If you carry on past A&E, bear right and we are the last house on the north side of the road. So any bus going to the RSCH will work. As for parking this is usually very difficult to impossible, although at that time of night may be OK but perhaps best to park in Manor Road and walk up the twitten between Manor Road which runs westwards on the south side of the Manor Road Gym past the scout hut and we are the first house on the right. One car can park in our driveway. Bikes can go in the garage.”

Easter Meet
Ian Clarke has sent us a correction to the earlier messages already circulated:

My mistake, the venue of the National Clarion Annual Conference is not at the main hotel, but at Hadleigh Park:

10 am Conference (AGM) at Hadleigh Park  Essex, SS7 2PP

Please ensure your delegates are informed of this important bit of information.

News about Cycling UK campaigns – see also letter to Joyce below

Dear Ian,
Cycling UK has a long history of campaigning for cycling – not just in cities and towns, but also off-road and on road in the countryside. Following this tradition, we’ve written up our vision of what cycling beyond the Green Belt could be like in future, and we’re hoping you’ll help us bring it to life (see Headlines).

Obviously, we don’t want to see our options shrinking anywhere so, if you haven’t already, please add your voice to the thousands protesting against an outright cycling ban on a stretch of the A63 near Hull (Headlines/Act now).

Also, as we’re determined to get the best out of the rail scheme HS2, we have just petitioned against the Parliamentary Bill for Phase 2a (as we did for Phase 1). We need the infrastructure to be ‘cycle-proofed’ and construction work to keep cyclists safe (Other stories).

Amongst all the multitude of other news this month, we’re particularly pleased to report that the Department for Transport has funded our Big Bike Revival for another year – keep watch on our website for more! (Headlines).

Cherry Allan, Campaign News Editor


Message from Joyce who has received the following letter

Dear Joyce,
Ever since our foundation in 1878, we have fought tooth and nail to acquire and maintain the right for cyclists to use the highway. Now in our 140th year, we’re still fighting.

This time it’s Highways England who are seeking an order banning cyclists from a road, the A63 near Hull. The reason: cyclists can’t keep up with the motor traffic!

Cycling UK needs your help to put an end to this ill thought out proposal.

Let’s not kid ourselves, the A63 is not a road most of us would choose to ride on for pleasure, but that’s not the point. It might be the A63 this time, but if cyclists are banned from this road because they’re too slow, where will it end? It could be a road near you next!

At Cycling UK, we’re worried this will be the thin end of the wedge – that’s why we need your support. We have already submitted a detailed response to Highways England’s proposals, but we need them to realise just how many other people oppose their plans.

Highways England are not accepting objections sent by email, so we’ve made it really easy for anyone to object.  All you need to do is head to our website, fill in the required details, click “next” and you’ll be taken to a template submission which also allows you to add your own views. We will then print off your objection and deliver it along with our final response to Highways England on the consultation deadline of 12 March – by bike of course!

Over 4,000 people have already sent us their objections, but we need as many as we can get to make it clear to Highways England, and anyone else who thinks about banning cycling, that cyclists Say No to No Cycling.

Take action now!
Many thanks for your support.
Yours sincerely,
Paul Tuohy, Chief Executive Cycling UK

The Next Ride: Sunday 4th March 2018 – Polegate Circular via Herstmonceux

20 February 2018

[Please note: in the event of a strong North wind, the ride may be reversed, riding first up the sheltered Cuckoo Trail and back across the exposed Pevensey Levels]

Terrain: This ride is flat for most of the route with a few manageable hills just before and after lunch. Length of ride – we guess it is about 16 miles or so.

Route: From Polegate station we cycle through the carpark, and out for a short ride along the cycle track on the pavement of the B2247 to the pedestrian crossing after Levetts Lane. Up this lane to the bridge over the bypass and along quiet roads to Rickney. Then north across the Pevensey Levels to the village of Herstmonceux where we will join the footpath by the main road for a few yards to cross over to Lime Cross Nursery. There we will have an early lunch.

After lunch we return to the footpath briefly then join the busy A271 for a short distance through Herstmonceux village, and turn right signposted Cowbeech. Passing Stunts Green we reach the top of Cowbeech Hill at Beech Cross (a long but gradual climb). We turn left at this point onto a slightly busier but wide road, which we follow down to a T-junction, taking in a couple of minor upward slopes on the way. Here we turn off to the right along a quiet road for a mile or two, slip over the verge on the left into a disused road and over another busy road into Station Road. Another 100 yards or so and just before a bridge we diverge off the tarmac down a track to turn left onto the Cuckoo Trail. This will take us south to the delights of tea at the Loom tea rooms.

After tea, just a mile to the end of the Cuckoo Trail and into Polegate to catch a train home.

Train from Brighton leaving at 10.12, arriving Polegate at 10.40. Return trains from Polegate to Brighton at 34 minutes past the hour (or 7 mins past the hour and a change in Lewes with 4 mins to change platforms)

Please let us know if you are coming and want to have lunch so we can book appropriate numbers. The cafe has asked that we give them good warning if we are booking for a group. You can email me, Sikka, at or text Tessa on: 07787402229.

Tessa & Sikka

The Last Ride: Sunday 18th February 2018 – Hassocks to Lewes

20 February 2018

Group photo

L-R Tessa, Sikka, Wilma, David, Richard, Peter, Wendy, Angela

On a crisp February morning, at the somewhat luxuriously late hour of 11am, eight cyclists stepped off the Bedford train at Hassocks and met with a ninth who had arrived by other, undisclosed, means. And so the Nine Riders set off on their grim pursuit of the One Ring, the Ring that … oh, hang on, that’s the wrong story! Angela D, David, Jim, Peter, Richard, Sikka, Tessa, Wendy and Wilma came just to enjoy a nice ride, beautiful scenery, stimulating conversation, and some well-earned refreshments at the end of the ride.

After dodging cars between Hassocks and Ditchling, Spatham Lane brought a welcome quiet and the chance to ride two abreast and natter. Then off-road on the farm track to Hayleigh Farm and beyond. The view across to the South Downs from this track is utterly breathtaking. We looked in vain for landmarks, but saw none except a curiously shaped wood on the scarp slope that takes the form of a giant letter V. Sikka explained that it is thought to stand either for Queen Victoria, or possibly for Victory. Unfortunately a photo was difficult to obtain because of the sun behind it, so I contented myself with a south-westerly view of a bare tree against the backdrop of the Downs.

The Downs from Streat

Later we encountered a certain amount of mud. A certain amount is OK, but more than that can be unpleasant. It was for this reason that we eschewed the northbound track from Hayleigh Farm in favour of the easterly route to Streat Church; the former track was pronounced too “mushy” by our valiant leader – and thus another word enters the Clarion lexicon.


                                                 Mushy mud

At the end of Streat Lane we turned east and made for the Plough at Plumpton, which we were supposed to speed past, but, Clarionettes being Clarionettes, we ended up having an impromptu coffee stop here. The Plough has featured on many rides, standing as it does at the confluence of five roads. (Interestingly, we learn from the internet that the present pub was built by the RAF in 1942, the original having been demolished to make way for Chailey airfield, half a mile away.)

We saw many other cyclists during the ride – some of the speedy Lycra set, and others going at a more leisurely pace. Most seemed in quite good humour, but one of the former group definitely wasn’t. As he approached us at speed in Chiltington Lane, he snarled “Get off the f___ing road!” OK, we were, perhaps, rather spread out laterally across the lane, but we would have let him pass anyway without such rudeness. His remark was for me a chilling echo of that uttered by a cyclist in London who, seconds later, hit and killed a pedestrian two years ago. I wondered how many cyclists there are out there who, untrained in road use, believe that they have some kind of monopoly of the road.

Warning us or warning others?

On to Cooksbridge, then a little detour along Hamsey Lane to avoid a section of the A275, crossing briefly into the Eastern Hemisphere at the Greenwich Meridian on the way.

Meridian sign

Rejoining said road at Offham, we were able to ride along the pavement until we got to the turn-off into Offham Road, where it was safe to re-enter the carriageway. On the way, Peter, Wendy and I stopped to look at the old Offham Chalk Pit which used to send lime down tunnels under the road to barges waiting on the river Ouse.

And so at last to lunch, at the John Harvey Tavern in Lewes. The food was excellent, and we agreed that there was something to be said for having the lunch at the end of the ride rather than in the middle, when the thought of getting up and cycling another 10 miles can be rather daunting on a full stomach.

Conversations over lunch and on the ride covered such topics as future rides, the Easter Meet (Wendy and I may go for the “social rides” … anyone else up for that?) and possible future weekend rides. We have not done one of these since 2014; there was a suggestion of a return to Kent, or another re-run of the New Forest, or even another trip to France. But my favourite option would be a repeat of 2012’s Bath-Bristol weekend, augmented this time by the Two Tunnels Route, which opened a year after that last trip. What does everyone else think?

We raced to the station, with Tessa, Peter and me just catching the 16.22 train, and the others no doubt not far behind. Thanks to our joint leaders, Tessa and Sikka, for another most enjoyable Clarion ride.



20 February 2018

Dear All

Ian is away so I am looking after this newsletter and the next.

Jim was planning to lead the next ride (from Hastings) on 4 March but now finds that he can’t do it. Many thanks to Tessa and Sikka who have stepped into the breach with a different ride (see below).

Roger (

Two messages from Ian:

Sue and I went to see Julian at Sussex County at the beginning of last week and I’m pleased to report he is making some progress – albeit slowly – in getting back some use in his left side and is finding the physio helpful. He asked us to pass on thanks to all who have sent him best wishes. He’s still in the Donald Hall Ward in the Barry Building but best to check his location by email ( before going.

2018 AGM
I have consulted Anne and Mick who are hosting the AGM this year and we have finally settled on Wednesday 21 March. So this is to give formal notice that the AGM of the Brighton and Hove Clarion Cycling Club will take place at 31 Bristol Gate, Brighton starting at 8 p.m.

I have consulted Mick about how to get there and this is what he says, “Bristol Gate is the road that leads up to A&E. If you carry on past A&E, bear right and we are the last house on the north side of the road. So any bus going to the RSCH will work. As for parking this is usually very difficult to impossible, although at that time of night may be OK but perhaps best to park in Manor Road and walk up the twitten between Manor Road which runs westwards on the south side of the Manor Road Gym past the scout hut and we are the first house on the right. One car can park in our driveway. Bikes can go in the garage.”

I will of course repeat all this nearer the time and send out the agenda etc a week or two before the meeting. Let me know if there is anything you would like to include.


And a message from Tessa:
I am looking for a second-hand Frog 55 bicycle with 20” wheels for my granddaughter. Does anyone know which bike shops in Brighton stock a good supply of children’s bikes?

If so, please email me
Thank you