The Next Ride: 9 September 2012: Angmering circular with a beach picnic

28 August 2012

Why Angmering? Because on 9 September that’s where trains will be turning into buses. But of course a circular ride can start anywhere.

So much for philosophy, what about the ride? We will set off north from Angmering station through Angmering village and up to the thundering monster which is the A27; we will need to do a mile or so on this abomination, but separated from the traffic.

Then we turn into peaceful wooded lanes, only to discover that other cyclists’ favourite: hills. Well, let’s call it a climb, rewarded at the top with a fine view of Arundel Castle and a downhill run into Arundel town.

Decision time. We could stop for a coffee by the river, or not: it might be a good idea since our picnic lunch will not be until 14 miles into the ride. There is also a handy Co-op shop where picnic supplies can be purchased if needed.

Our second, and final, hill will confront us as we leave Arundel; it’s steep and short. Then another downhill run to Ford where we could stop briefly to view the small and charming church of St Andrew. At this point we will also be very close to the point where our old friend the Chichester Canal used to enter the river Arun. Few signs of it remain except the name of the building next to the church, “Lock Cottage”.

One more burst of pedalling will take us past Ford Open Prison, through Climping, and down to the beach where we will stop for lunch and a swim for those so inclined.

The final stage of the ride takes us over the footbridge into Littlehampton, where we can stop to read the heritage sign recording how, for many years, this was the main western route into the town. We head east along the seafront; look out for the oddly shaped East Beach Café. Then through Rustington, East Preston and back to Angmering station.

Meet: Angmering station (north side) at 10:26.
Getting there: Catch the 9:50 from Brighton (9:54 from Hove). There is a car park on the north side of the line; £1 per day on Sundays.
Distance: About 20 miles.
Hills: A climb from the A27 to the high point on Blakehurst Lane and a short sharp hill on Torton Hill Road as we leave Arundel.
Off road: All on surfaced roads, except a mile or two on unsurfaced tracks.
Catering: Possible stop at Arundel for coffee and/or to buy picnic supplies. Lunch on the beach near Climping.
Getting home: Trains to Brighton leave Angmering at XX:48 (direct) and XX:22 (change at Hove).

My mobile: 0789 985 1172.



The Next Ride: Sunday 6 May 2012 – Ford circular (about 26 miles ) – CANCELLED

26 April 2012

It’s never good to have to cancel a ride – especially at short notice. It’s not something anyone leading a ride would do without a very good reason – as in this case. But Leon can explain better than I can at second-hand. Certainly, there is no need for him to apologise.


Clarion ride cancellation.
It is with regret that I can’t lead the ride planned for Sunday 6th May 2012.

I hope when I explain why I can’t ride the lead that you will understand and forgive me.
I have for many years, since 1970 / 71 had a fear of entering the roads on any Bank Holiday.
This is the result of being a Special Constable with the Crawley Constabulary at that time. I was in attendance on many Bank Holiday road traffic accidents on the A23 in and around Crawley. It is a time that haunts me to such an extent that it prevents me from driving and cycling on Bank Holidays.
The May Day Bank holiday this year was only drawn to my attention this-morning (04 May) when I listened to the radio and I was struck with horror that I was to lead a ride on Sunday 06 May, Bank Holiday Sunday. My apologies go to you all who were planning to attend but especially to Joyce and Ian for letting you down at such short notice.


For those riders using the train from Brighton, be at Brighton by 09:30 for possible GroupSave. Our train departs for Ford at 09:50. It’s a 42-minute journey, arriving at Ford by 11:02.

From Ford the ride will take us south to Ford lane where we enter a series of ‘B’ roads and the occasional short section of ‘A’ roads (unavoidable).

Our halfway point will be Bognor Regis where we will have lunch. The final decision on the lunch stop has yet to be determined but I have a plan in mind that we may go to Tuptim Siam at 6–7 The Esplanade, PO21 1NY. Tel: 01243 862525. They do many vegetarian dishes at £6.95. It looks good.

The return journey will take us out towards Chichester then veering off to Oving and Barnham before reaching Ford on a bare minimum of overrun.

Return trains from Ford:
Depart 15:42, arrive Brighton 16:26
16:44, 17:27
17:42, 18:26
Other trains, change at Barnham arrive platform 2, depart platform 3.
Or cut the ride short and catch a return train at Barnham station.

 mobile 07713 429822

Non-ride report: 5 February 2012 – Worthing to LA*† (or “Snow? What snow?”)

7 February 2012

Roger had very sensibly cancelled his planned ride the previous evening, because of the weather forecast. However I was due to visit my daughter in Worthing anyway, and when she phoned in the morning to say there was no snow there, I sent a message to the Google group to see if anyone wanted to do an impromptu ride. John Clinton responded, and so we met up at the Coast Café on Worthing seafront at 1.15, and after a brief snack we set off along the coast in a westerly direction. So as not to steal Roger’s thunder (and anticipating that his ride will now be re-scheduled to a snow-free day) we decided to simply cycle along the coast as far as Littlehampton – or Ford in my case since there were, conveniently, no trains running from the aforementioned station.

We made a lively pace – John is, as all who know him will appreciate, one of those versatile cyclists who can both dawdle along at Clarion pace and race along with the “professionals”. The 14.8 miles to Ford were covered at a very respectable average speed of 11.4 mph, the quickest ride I’ve ever done; I’m usually one of the “dawdlers”, but I found I could keep up with John, and, on a day when the weather was not exactly tropical, the speed helped to warm us up. Thankfully, in addition to the absence of snow, there seemed to be very little wind.

John very kindly accommodated my few requests for a photo-stop, and the results can be seen on Flickr. On the way we talked of many things, and he explained to me what an Audax is. (I don’t think I will ever see one from the inside!)


We turned inland at Ferring, and passed through East Preston, West Preston (which is where Angmering Station is – the real Angmering having featured in several Clarion rides), and Rustington before regaining the seafront behind the East Beach Café at Littlehampton (I had never seen the back of it before!).

East Beach Cafe

On through “LA”* and then over the bridge to Climping (as it says on the map) or Clymping (as the road sign would have it) and here we parted company at the A259 roundabout, John returning the way he had come (and I hasten to add that he had cycled all the way from Brighton).


On the approach to Ford Station I suddenly saw what had happened to all the snow we were promised. It was on the Downs!

Snow-covered Downs

Many thanks to John for his companionship and patience.


[More photos on Flickr]

* Railway abbreviation for Littlehampton (say it with a Cockney accent).
† Actually Ford, but LA looks better.