The Last Ride: 22 September 2013 – Chichester Circular Ride

25 September 2013

It was a somewhat cloudy but warm morning as our little band of four, Roger, Suzanne, Linda and me, set off from Chichester station in a south easterly direction to begin our 20 mile circular ride. I often have difficulty remembering many details of rides that I have done before, but I did remember the lovely track that goes alongside the lake as you leave the city. Autumn is not yet really apparent in the trees but the abundance of blackberries along the track definitely indicates the beginning of the change to the new season.

Chichester 22 Sept 2013 (3) by Linda

As we cycled out of the city towards North Mundham, the large fields of corn had not yet all been harvested and it always amazes me how the corn grows out of the side of the plant and never looks particularly edible. In fact, to be honest I’m not over keen on corn and Suzanne, who told me she loves it with blobs of butter, also told me that the French certainly do not eat it because the vegetable is fed to animals! I did not know that.

Somewhere along the route between North and South Mundham we stopped to look at a rather lovely and large house that had a beautiful Monkey Puzzle Tree in its garden. But there were, disappointingly, no monkeys doing puzzles in it. So why are they called that, then?

Chichester 22 Sept 2013 (5) by Linda

From there we cycled along the canal, where there were even more blackberries, through Runcton (I think, if my memory is correct) and out onto a road back towards the city to get to the pub for lunch. We had to negotiate a seriously challenging roundabout at North Gate, for we were indeed at the northerly point in our circular ride, and got to the Bell Inn, having done about ten miles.

Chichester 22 Sept 2013 (4) by Linda

Being a warm day we sat out in the garden and if Fred had been around to take pictures of our food, he would perhaps have found the composition of his pictures rather uninteresting as Roger, Suzanne and me all had the same thing! Linda, being vegetarian, made a different choice and said that her bread crumbed brie with salad was very nice.

The second part of our ride took us through a very pretty place called Lavant and out onto the Centurion Way, which we have cycled many a time and if my memory serves me ok, as we left the Centurion Way, we emerged onto a road by a housing estate where, through the trees we had the most wonderful view of the cathedral and its spire. This prompted Linda to tell us a story about a church that she visited abroad (and I’m sorry Linda, but can’t remember which country you said it was in) where you could pay to stay in its tower for up to three months with your food brought to you but not come out! Imagine that and having to pay for the experience too!

Chichester 22 Sept 2013 by Linda

After this little stop to view the cathedral we cycled on through Apuldrum (what a lovely name) and Stockbridge before rejoining the canal path back to the city where we stopped for tea at the little cafe where the canal itself comes to an abrupt end. A nice pot of tea and a piece of cake for £1.70 (how come in Brighton it can be more than double that?) with more swapping of stories about what we had been up to over the last few weeks, and then we set off for the short ride back to the station and home.

Chichester 22 Sept 2013 (2) by Linda

Thank you, Roger, for organising this very pleasant and gentle ride and I hope my memory of the ride is not too out of ‘synch’ with my fellow riders. I had a lovely day out and the rest of you were missed and we hope to see you all soon, hope you are all well and are enjoying this lovely September.

Angela xxx

The Next Ride: Sunday 7 April: Centurion Way, Dell Quay, Salterns Way, and Chichester Canal

25 March 2013

Just a short way up Centurion Way, then off down, initially, the B2178 south to Fishbourne , a short stretch of the old main road and down to Dell Quay for lunch at the Crown and Anchor.* Then the Salterns Way cycle route down to the Salterns Marina, over the swing bridge and back via the Chichester Canal with probably time for a tea stop at the open-air café at in the canal basin.

Catch the 10.30 from Brighton Station, 10 34 from Hove or meet at Chichester Station at 11.25. Best trains back seem to be the  15.23, 15 23 or  16 23  

My mobile number is 07770743287   It will be switched on!

* I’ve never tried to “book” at the Crown and Anchor in the past – we’ve always gone there in the spring or summer and usually sat outside in the sunshine where there are masses of tables.  This time – with winter threatening to last until next autumn – I’m going to wait until a few days before and see what the forecast looks like before deciding whether to get in touch.


The Last Ride –Tessa’s Report

18 June 2012

Saturday 16 June – Centurion Way, Dell Quay, Chichester Ship Canal.

Jim, Roger, Sean and Sue boarded the train at Brighton station. By the time Tessa joined them at Hove a lively debate/discussion had taken place around the subject of the Queen, prompted by Jim’s comments in the last report. It was all over by Shoreham when Tessa actually joined them in the carriage, having been ousted from hers by a wheelchair arrival.

1. The Start

We were met by Ian and promptly set off on the Centurion Way after a passer by took our photo. A slight delay while Ian returned to check that his car was locked, but we were happy waiting, relaxing in the windy sunshine. Marguerites were in bloom and they were waving in the wind as we passed the site of the Roman amphitheatre flanked by the metal Centurion sculptures, ‘A distinct lack of signage’ was Jim’s bugbear of today, and he was right- unless you knew it was a Roman amphitheatre there was nothing to tell you.

3. Centurions

Once off the Centurion way, we headed for Fishbourne, weaving over and under the A27. We turned onto Dell Quay Road and into even stronger wind, so the sewage farm we passed was a mere whiff. The Crown and Anchor was a welcome sight. Beside the blackboard signs outside the pub advertising football matches being screened etc was another announcing ‘ Coming soon- Summer’

5. Dell Quay

We had planned to eat outdoors but both food and conversation would have been blown away. Our indoor table was presided over by a very large photograph of the Queen Mother pulling a pint. Jim was persuaded to pose, smiling, with an arm extended towards it, in an embrace.

4. In The Pub

8. Salterns Copse

After lunch we joined the Salterns Way past Apeldram airfield, a wartime landing strip, now a field of wheat. We passed through Chichester Marina and joined the canal footpath where we were at last protected from the wind. We passed canoes, coots and water lilies in the beautiful afternoon light, on a narrow muddy track. When the footpath became a cycle route, the surface improved and the canal scenery gave way to ducks, swans, a rowing boat and a canal cruiser. Somewhere along the path Sue managed to gather a pannierful of elderflower heads, destined to become cordial when she got home.

12. Chichester Canal (1)

Tea was at the delightful Canal Basin tea stop before we left Ian and boarded the train home. Maybe because the ride had been flat and short, there was energy for more conversation, again focussed on the Queen, the Royal Prerogative and Nuclear proliferation. The journey passed quickly!

Thank you Ian for a delightful ride on nearly a summer’s day!


The Next Ride: Saturday 16 June 2012 (NB Note — Saturday!) Bloomsday.

5 June 2012

Centurion Way, Dell Quay, Slaterns Way, and Chichester Canal

Just a short way up Centurion Way, then off down, initially, the B2178 south to Fishbourne, a short stretch of the old main road and down to Dell Quay for lunch at the Crown and Anchor. Then the Slaterns Way cycle route down to the Salterns Marina, over the swing bridge and back via the Chichester Canal with probably time for a tea stop at the open-air café at in the canal basin.

Catch the 10.33 from Brighton Station, or 10 37 from Hove or meet at Chichester Station at 11.24. Best trains back seem to be the 15.25 or 16.00
Meet at 10.15 for a chance of Groupsave.

My mobile number is 07770743287 – It will be switched on!