The last ride: Sunday 22 February 2015 – Shoreham to Partridge Green and back

25 February 2015


The day started with lovely sunshine as Mick, Ann, Delia, Julian and I met at Shoreham station. It seemed that all of us were aware that the weather forecast for mid-afternoon was not good at all, with both rain and very high winds coming in.  With that in mind, we set off very promptly and agreed not to stop too often in order, hopefully, to make it back before three-ish and avoid a soaking.

Iconic photo of the South Downs National Park

So, off we went through Shoreham, crossed the A27 and proceeded up Coombes Rd towards Annington. I think that some of us had a little bit of difficulty with the ‘not stopping’ agreement and in fact did not abide too strictly by it. How can you not want to stop and stare at a field blanketed with snow drops? And, looking across the fields and river to the right of Coombes Rd, looms the old cement works which I personally think should be blown up, but Ann pointed out that there are a number of houses nearby, so it’s probably not a good idea.

Iconic photo of the South Downs National Park

We were then cycling towards Botolphs and Steyning and despite some road noise from the by-pass, the bird song was delightful. Having Julian with us meant that some of the bird song was identified as rooks, a green woodpecker and a great tit, which Julian said sounded like a tyre being pumped up!


As usual on our rides you see some amazing cottages and houses. Just before Ashurst, Mick and Delia had stopped by a place called Wappingthorne Manor so that the rest of us could catch up. One expects a manor to be a fairly wapping great big house, so we thought it was very aptly named! We also passed Wappingthorne Farm and we noticed that there were not just large silos pointing towards the sky, but two castle-like towers which look very old, possibly from Norman times, and seem very out of place.


From here we were not too far from Partridge Green and our lunch time destination at Stan’s Bike Shed. The Shed is absolutely lovely. It isn’t very big, perhaps accommodating 20 people or so around tables with an outside seating area for when the weather is warmer. Between us, we had an assortment of soup and ciabattas and all agreed that the quality of the food was extremely good. The Shed also serves really lovely coffee and has a great choice of different teas. There were quite a number of cyclists having lunch alongside us and we got chatting to a couple from Horsham who had cycled along part of the Downslink. Their clothing looked a lot muddier than ours and they told us that the route was quite challenging, so we decided that we would not take the Downslink route back as planned, but just go back the way we had come.

Stan's Bike Shack, Partridge Green

So off we went, and by now the weather was changing and we were cycling into the wind. Mick and Delia cycled ahead and as we got closer to Shoreham, Julian suggested that he, Ann and I veer off to the Downslink and take pot luck that it would not be too muddy and be able to get off the road for a bit. It turned out that it was it was fine and more sheltered from the wind. The river, which runs alongside the trail, was incredibly choppy and it was now spitting with rain, so we ploughed on but did take time to stop to look at the wonderful wooden sculpture of the heron.


As we approached Shoreham the rain began to get heavier and we were all very relieved that we did not have much further to go. Ann and Julian said they would like to go for tea somewhere in the town and to meet up with Mick and Delia. Unfortunately, I needed to get back home so I said my goodbyes and left them to link up with the others.


Thank you so much to Ann and Mick for planning the ride as it was a very lovely day out, and good luck to Mick on his future night-ride from London to Brighton, or is it Brighton to London – sadly I don’t think I will ever have the stamina for a ride like that!


[More photos on Flickr]

The next ride: Shoreham, Partridge Green & Wiston

11 February 2015

We propose the 10.00 train from Brighton to Shoreham. It arrives at 10.15. 

We take the Coombes Road to Steyning, rather than the Downslink, then the B2135 up to Stan’s Bike Shack at Partridge Green, where there will be hot soup & delicious sandwiches, super hot choc & coffees, cakes but no ale.

Return via Wiston & [hopefully ] Mouse Lane. It is the latter Lane we investigated today but were told by the estate office at Wiston House that we cannot cycle that way. After lunch I investigated the Downslink & it looked idyllic to me , so we will recce that on Sunday when Mick swaps his road bike for the Ridgeback. For the ride I would hope to lead the willing down the Downslink & Mick would lead the roadsters back via Spithandle Lane.

Opportunity for tea stop at Wiston [bit soon after lunch according to Mick], Shoreham Airport or Steyning. Mick prefers Shoreham Airport for tea & the meeting up of the 2 groups, if there are 2 groups. Downslink off-roaders could continue down to Shoreham if desired & possible weatherwise.
Trains back: from Shoreham more frequent 16.03, 16.20, 16.38, 16,49, 17.07.

Terrain;  all roads though off-road option, maybe short section on fairly busy A238, though I hope to avoid that. Stan [Steve?] says Partridge Green section of Downslink is best bit. We’ll check it out. Somewhat undulating, but nothing steep.

Distance 11 miles before lunch, then maybe 13 after lunch.


The Next Ride: Sunday 20 April 2014  (Easter Sunday) – Hassocks to Lewes

8 April 2014

We will catch the 10.44 train to Hassocks (buy return tickets to Hassocks) arriving just before 11am.

As it is Easter Sunday we have planned an early lunch at Wivelsfield to avoid the crowds. Menus will be handed out on the train and lunch orders phoned through to the pub before we set off from Hassocks.

We head off through Keymer  to Ditchling then turn left on Spatham Lane.

After a few yards we turn right onto an offroad track (weather permitting). A good easy surface for most of the way, there is a short section that some may choose to walk.

Arriving at Streat we turn left and head towards Wivelsfield on a small road that gently undulates.

The Cock Inn is our lunch stop where we plan to arrive between 12-12.30.

After lunch we set off for Lewes avoiding Plumpton Green, arriving at Cooksbridge where we take a small road to Hamsey then Offham. Arriving there we cycle the pavement of the busy A275 (the law having clarified that where it is dangerous to use the road, its ok to cycle on the pavement) before turning left into Lewes for tea.

Trains to Brighton: 06, 19, 44 past the hour.

Lunch details
On our practice ride we asked the pub to email me the menu so that we could all preorder (it being a busy day).

We will distribute  printouts of it on the train to Hassocks on the day,but would encourage people to make a decision beforehand. We will be phoning through our orders from the station carpark.

Please  phone Tessa on 01273 777574  if you are definitely planning to come on the ride so the pub can be alerted about numbers, beforehand.

Tessa & Sikka


We welcome people who want to try one or two of our rides before joining. If you would like to join the Clarion club, click here to download a membership form.

The Next Ride: Sunday 9 March 2014 – Cuckoo Trail and Pevensey Levels

25 February 2014

Only c 16/17 miles and mainly pretty flat.

From Polegate we’ll take the Cuckoo Trail through Hailsham leaving it at Hellingly near the Cuckoo’s Rest. From there we’ll head eastward to Magham Down and the outskirts of Herstmonceux for about two and a half miles.  Half of this will be on the fairly busy A271 and gently uphill – but that’s the lot for traffic and (apart from the Trail bridge over the by-pass) the nearest thing to a hill on the route.

We’ll stop for lunch at the Catkins (sic) Tea Rooms.  I’ve checked  this out – it does a roast or a range of snacks and sandwiches including vegetarian ones on Sundays and can also supply free range eggs to anyone running short of them.  It’s in the Cooper’s Croft Garden Centre, adjacent to a “high quality” cattery (hence presumably the tea-room’s name) and near the famous “Truggery” shop which afficionados of ancient Sussex crafts might like to go and have a look at after lunch.

Then it’s down Cricketing Lane and across the Levels to Rickney and then along the usually quiet  Glynleigh Road eventually rejoining the Cuckoo Trail just north of the Old Loom where we can make the usual tea-stop before returning to Polegate.

Catch the 10.20 from Brighton station or
Meet: at 10.49 at Polegate station
Trains back at 42 minutes past the hour (non-stop). There are others involving a change:

My mobile number is 07770743287 


We welcome people who want to try one or two of our rides before joining. If you would like to join the Clarion club, click here to download a membership form.

The Next Ride: Sunday 23 February 2014 – Hove to Steyning and back

11 February 2014

Just a little potter out to Steyning and back via the Shoreham Toll Bridge and the Coombes road, since no one else has volunteered to lead a ride on this date. It’s a re-run of my previous ride while some of the club were in Norfolk last year.

Meet outside Marocco’s at 11 am. Ride past Carat’s, over the lock gates and along to Shoreham on the back streets. Over the toll bridge and up the Coombes road to Steyning – it’s about 10 miles, and the pace can be as leisurely as people wish it to be.

In Steyning there are cafes and pubs galore, so I’m sure we’ll find somewhere to have lunch. Last time we struck lucky with the White Horse, so we might try there again. Then we can potter back the way we came, with a tea stop at Shoreham Airport café if anyone fancies it. Bail-out point at Shoreham station if needed, otherwise we’ll just retrace our route to the start.

Meet: 11 am outside Marocco’s on the seafront in Hove. I will be there anyway (unless the weather is absolutely atrocious when as usual the ride will be cancelled by email the day before), so just turn up. We’ll wait, oh, until 11.05 for latecomers! The route is so well known that I’m sure we’ll be easy to catch.

Total distance: 20 miles, mostly flat with a couple of little undulations that we’ve all done many times before.

Trains: Not needed for most people, but they are of course available at various stations as always.

Contact: Jenny, 07527 119736


We welcome people who want to try one or two of our rides before joining. If you would like to join the Clarion club, click here to download a membership form.

The Next Ride: Sunday 26 January 2014 – Burgess Hill to Wivelsfield

14 January 2014

We’ve been trying to recreate the ride Ian led 7 years ago on 19th Jan 2007 when the sun shone & we enjoyed the lovely lanes of the Sussex Weald. After a 25 mile trip from Hassocks on Thursday we’ve shortened it to  20 miles from Burgess Hill, returning from Wivelsfield station & lunching at The Witch Inn, Lindfield, where we had super meal today. We’d like to catch the 9.54 train to Burgess Hill as Witch Inn has party of 28 at 1pm & we need to arrive before them – though buy return to Wivelsfield. Following Ian’s advice that most of the ride should be before lunch, it took us 2 hours today to reach there & an hour or so back along Slugwash Lane afterwards. Need to depart promptly from Burgess Hill station even so & start the lanes that lead to Borde Hill Estate via Cuckfield. Lanes are undulating but paved & mainly traffic-free & a few bits of main roads to cross or to ride.

Catch the 9.54 train from Brighton station or meet at Burgess Hill station at 10.10 

Return trains from Wivelsfield 05, and  35mins past the hour.

Terrain – no off-road but short undulations on good lanes.

Lunch – The Witch Inn, Lindfield.

Mick’s mobile   07803730401 

Anne and Mick

We welcome people who want to try one or two of our rides before joining. If you would like to join the Clarion club, click here to download a membership form.

The last ride: Sunday 12 January 2014 – Hassocks to Shoreham

14 January 2014


Despite a cold overcast day a magnificent 12 assembled at Hassocks Station. There was our leader John, Joyce, Leon, Roger, Suzanne, Linda, Richard, Angela, Jenny, Anne, Mick and a welcome return of Rob. We set off through Hurstpierpoint and Albourne to Partridge Green where the Green Man provided lunch. Most of us enjoyed our meal though our pockets let out a small ouch.


As usual the conversation was varied and interesting ranging at my end of the table from language learning to the 38 Degree meeting to Clarionette plans for upcoming exciting holidays with Linda off to Morocco, where for one day she has to forsake the bike in favour of a camel to cross the desert. Meanwhile  Anne and Mick looked forward to cycling in Cuba with Fred and Amanda and even her rarely sighted husband Rob.


After lunch Rob left to cycle back to Lewes while Joyce and Leon got off to a quick start allegedly to curtail their ride at Henfield. As it happened Joyce was able to keep going all the way to Shoreham. The rest of us set off at a good pace, trying to keep the cold and a bit of drizzle at bay. It has to be said that the car drivers seemed bigger faster and more aggressive than ever.


We arrived back at the airport but tea and cakes were declined as it was apparent that by the time they were consumed it would be dark. So all made their way to Shoreham Station save Jenny, John and Mick who decided to cycle back to Brighton.
Thanks John, for leading the ride. Thanks also to our very own lanterne rouge, Suzanne.


The Next Ride: Sunday 12 January 2014 – Hassocks to Shoreham via Ashurst

5 January 2014

18 to 20 Miles

From Hassocks station through Albourne, Partridge Green to Ashhurst. Lunch at the Fountain Inn. Return via Steyning and Coombs to Shoreham with the possibility of a tea stop at Shoreham airport.

Train back from Shoreham (or make it a longer ride by cycling home from there)

Catch the 11.05 at Brighton station or meet at Hassocks station at 11.15
Train for return from Shoreham to Brightron at 17.07
My mobile no. is 07814-257495.


We welcome people who want to try one or two of our rides before joining. If you would like to join the Clarion club, click here to download a membership form.