The Last Ride: Sunday 14 December 2014 – Hassocks to Bolney

17 December 2014

Six members (John Clinton ride leader, Joyce, Julian, Rob, David and Leon) grouped at Hassocks railway station. After taking the usual group photos we set off at 10.30am in high spirits toward Hurstpierpoint turning north into College Lane and then onto Danworth lane where we encountered some broken ice covering parts of the lane in low areas, unfortunately Julian slipped and fell, injuring his left knee. After a short rest he mounted up and continued riding. The night before temperatures dropped to about -6C in mid-Sussex so we should have expected some slippery lanes.

No further instances occurred and we rode on to cross the A272 at Bolney. The gentle slopes of mid-Sussex blended with the mid-Sussex ridge where Joyce started to dismount and walk some short sections. Just a short run up to the Bolney Stage PH for lunch was a few minutes away for our six cool riders. While parking our bikes Rob produced some white plastic saddle covers for each of us but, here we come into our own with special tomfoolery and the covers were swiftly adorning our heads (see photo).

Lunch at the Bolney Stage

We were greeted, seated and presented with the menu even though the dining areas were quite well occupied.  Our meals  soon arrived and enjoyed with plenty of pleasant conversation and laughs. We all enjoyed our meals and about an hour and a half later we returned to our bikes for the return journey. Lights went on, and off we went, mostly downhill returning on the same route as far as Goddards Green where Leon  offered an alternative via the Burgess Hill Green Crescent that brought us out onto the London road cycle route between Burgess Hill and Hassocks where it started raining.

We split-up at this point because John was to ride back to Brighton, Rob went east to Ditchling where he left his car and four headed back to Hassocks station to complete the circle.

Our thanks to John for planning and leading this ride.

 Leon


The Next Ride: Sunday 14th December – Hassocks to Bolney and back

2 December 2014

c 17 Miles only

From Hassocks Station we will loop around Hurspierpoint College turning north into Danworth Lane crossing the Cuckfield Road and the A2300. We follow Job’s Lane over the A23 along Hickstead Lane until it joins Twineham Lane. Right into Bolney Chapel Road takes us towards the junction with the A272.

The direct route to Bolney crosses the A272 into Foxhole Lane on rising ground. This is the shorter route. The more interesting way is left into Bob Lane before the A272 junction, right into Wineham Lane and then over the A272 into Sponketts Lane looping around to the east before travelling south to Bolney. There are some steepish hill along this route but it is an interesting way to go.

Distance: c 17 miles Hassocks and return. Add c 9 miles to Brighton.

Hills: Mainly flat along country lanes. Some hills on loop to Bolney using Bob Lane and Spongetts Lane arriving Bolney from the north. If you don’t like the sound of the hills a shorter direct route avoiding Bob Lane and using Foxhole Lane to destination is available. Some of the lanes are pretty mucky, so good tyres and mudguards should be used.

Off road: None

Traffic: Quiet roads. Not much traffic at all apart from some junctions with main roads.

Lunch: The cafe in the Bolney Vineyard estate or the Bolney Stage pub. The cafe does light lunches including sandwiches with ham, cheese, salad, soups and bowls of olives. Served with thick chunky bread. Wines of course. More substantial food at the Bolney Stage pub. Take your pick. Possible tea stop at Washbrooks Farm in Hurstpierpoint.

Trains: Catch the 10.14 from Brighton Station or meet at Hassocks Station at 10.23.
From London catch the 09:06 from Victoria arriving at 10:23.

Alternatives are: 10:44 from Brighton arriving 10:53 and 09:32 London Victoria arriving at 10:36.

Return to Brighton 16:41, 17:07 and 17:36 from Hassocks. To Victoria 16:53, 17:14, 17:23 and 17:53.

No engineering work expected. My mobile number is 07814 257495.

Happy cycling!

John Clinton


The Last Ride: Sunday 18 August – Balcombe to Hassocks

23 August 2013

One life, don't frack it.

Anne and I took the early train with Linda who had already cycled from Lancing to Brighton, on arrival we found that Marilyn was also on the train. We had hoped to make a quick visit to the anti-fracking camp before the ride. An acquaintance, who we met at the station by chance had a map. Unfortunately I was looking at it upside down. With Linda in tow I cycled 2 miles north up a rather steep hill. Meanwhile Anne had followed Marilyn to the tea shop and was directed to the camp, so we at least have some photos and a brief token presence. We all arrived back at the station in time to meet the 11.17 train, along with Corinne and her sister Lyn, Sikka/Sue and Julia. Our leader John meanwhile had cycled up from Brighton. The police kindly obliged for the group photo.

balcombe to Hassocks,Clarion 004

We set off with John in the lead. On the principle of devil take the hindmost, Anne consigned me, on pain of unspecified matrimonial sanctions, to be the sweeper up and thereafter chivvied me whenever my front wheel crept past anyone else’s back wheel.

The ride had a certain improvisational feel to it but as John remarked one lane looked much like another. They were, however, very pretty lanes with fine views, albeit bought at the expense of a few substantial undulations. We passed via Staplefield and part of the NCN 20 and hence past Warninglid.

We arrived at the Bolney Stage, originally a famous stop on the Brighton/London road, for a long lunch break. The food was of a high quality and enjoyed by all. The conversation ranged widely and naturally included the fracking issue and energy policy in general.

balcombe to Hassocks,Clarion 006

After lunch we made our way to Hurstpierpoint, although the route taken did not completely coincide with the maps available. Faced with the choice of an early train home from Hassocks or Washbrook Farm for tea and cake, everyone but John, Anne and myself opted to go straight back. We three enjoyed tea, a slice of tiffin for me. and more leisurely and highly enjoyable conversation at the end of which we decided to forsake the train and rode back to Brighton together down the NCN 20.

balcombe to Hassocks,Clarion 005

Thank you John for a very enjoyable ride and congenial company.

Mick