Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  




Dear fellow members and friends

23 August 2010

If you possibly can, do come to the picnic at Devil's Dyke on the 'Late Summer Holiday' as my diary calls it. (Still think of it as 'August Bank holiday' - that's old age for you!

To Remind You - Suzanne's Message :

Monday 30 August 2010
The Clarion Summer Social

Get ready for a British, summer afternoon in the country! This year's social will be a picnic at Devil's Dyke - wonderful views - wonderful food - wonderful company - wonderful!

We'll meet on the grass near (but not too near) the car park from 12 noon. Bring food and drink to share, a waterproof to sit on and games to play (Frisbee? Draughts? Hoola Hoop? Croquet? Backgammon? etc). The pub will be open for those who fancy a pint.

How to get there?

Walk - but it's a long way so you'll have to set out early!

Cycle - meet at the Pier at 11am or at the south east entrance to Hove Recreation Ground (junction of Shirley Drive and Old Shoreham Road) at 11:20am for a leisurely ride up onto the Downs, led by Roger (mobile 0789 985 1172).

Bus - the number 77 open top service takes half an hour from the pier and leaves as follows:

Brighton Pier (stop N) 11:35, 12:10 or 12:50am
Churchill Square (stop H) 11:42, 12:17 or 12:57am
Brighton Station (stop E) 11:47, 12:22 or 1:02pm
Seven Dials 11:50, 12:25 or 1:05pm
Dyke Road, Woodruff Ave. 11:56, 12:31 or 1:11pm

Buses back leave at 1:30 pm and every 35 minutes until 6:10 (and then the last two are 7:35 pm and 8:35 pm).

Car - there's a car park behind the pub so you can hide your car out of sight if you want.

See you there - and don't forget the sun cream!

Contact me with any queries beforehand on 01273 321794 and on the day only on 0776 516 0904.


Another Reminder - Brian Hutton's Argus Column

I haven't mentioned Brian - our one current member who was in the old Brighton Clarion in the '50s - for some time. Look out for his cycling column, covering the local racing scene, every Thursday in the Argus. [This week: 'Dennins does it again in Rovers time-trial' p 50]

Future Rides … for the rest of 2010

The ones marked with a * are ones I already know I can't make - and there may. It is not possible to check train availability more than 12 weeks in advance, so later rides will be provisional for this reason.

Sunday Led by
5 September Lewes circular - Jim
19 September* London ride – Angelika
3 October* Roger – West of Chichester Circular
17 October  
7 November  
21 November*  
6 December*  
19 December 'Traditional' end of year Berwick circular - Ian (subject to train availability)

Offers to organise/lead rides are, as ever, more than welcome! Especially for 21 November and 6 December (a long way off still, I know!) And if anyone would like to make a offer for 17 October please let me know by 5 September - otherwise I'll put one of my own in so that we will maintain the 'early warning' we've established this year

West Sussex Local Transport Plan consultation

But Brighton and Hove isn't (aren't?) in West Sussex. Yes, I know. But apart from having at least 5 members who do live there we are next door and we do venture into that county, fairly frequently on rides. So here's a message from Becky Reynolds of Bricycles. She writes:

If you work, live or ride in West Sussex, you might like to take part in
this consultation. There is a survey monkey link below so you can give your
views. It makes sense to look at the documents on the WSCC website,
including the plans for particular towns (Horsham, Worthing etc) before

Best wishes,

Becky Reynolds

West Sussex County Council are currently consulting on the Provisional West
Sussex Transport Plan 2011-2026

You can complete the consultation questionnaire here

The consultation formally closes on Thursday 23 September 2010.


The Next Ride

Please be clear that while all are welcome to join us we each take part in rides at our own risk.

Sunday 5 September - Lewes Circular Ride:
Lewes - South Malling - Ringmer - Isfield - Barcombe - Hamsey - Cooksbridge - Lewes

This is a re-run of a ride we did in February 2009. At that time we were unable to do many of the 'off-road' parts, as it was rather wet and muddy underfoot, so we replaced them with 'dry' alternatives. This time - weather permitting - we will be able to include them. (Those who hanker after wet things will, however, have an unusual opportunity at lunchtime; see below.)

That means that, after a repeat (on request, for anyone who didn't hear it last time) of my short history of Lewes Station, we will see more of the Lewes Railway Land Nature Reserve, and also travel along the old Uckfield railway line as far as the Ouse, where the bridge has been removed and a fence (and a few metres of water) block our way. Retracing our steps, we will pass through South Malling, then to Ringmer, as before, hopefully marvelling at the new cycle way being constructed alongside the B2192, before reprising the delights of Norlington Lane and Harveys Lane. We will hopefully be able to cut out the 'Piltdown Loop' of last time by cycling across a field and following Blunts Lane down to Anchor Lane, and then a cyclable (if now somewhat overgrown) section of the old railway line will take us to the former Barcombe Mills Station.

Instead of going into Barcombe (or Barcombe Cross as it says on my map) we then take a detour suggested by Jenny, passing by Barcombe Church to have a look at an archaeological dig there which has revealed the remains of a Roman villa.

We take the same lane as last time to get back to Hamsey, then the second of Jenny's contributions - we are invited to a tea stop (with cake) at her house in Cooksbridge, from where we (minus Jenny, obviously) can cycle back along the footpath of the A275 and then the bridleway down into Landport and Lewes Station.

We can have lunch, as before, at the Laughing Fish at Isfield, or press on to the Anchor and have it there. One possibility that this latter option then opens up is that any of us who fancy it can hire a boat there, and spend an hour on the Ouse with a paddle and a picnic, while the landlubbers have a pub lunch. (Boat hire costs £6 per person. Please contact me in advance if you are interested in this:

Length: 21 miles.
Hills: Just the odd undulation, honest.
Traffic: Quiet lanes; the A275 and B2192 have footpaths we can cycle on.
Off-road: The off-road sections include a field and a grassy lane; the old railway line sections are cyclable but not Sustrans standard. The nature reserve has good paths. The final descent into Landport can be either on the footpath beside the A275, or the familiar bridleway, which goes through a pleasant woody strip, but is a bit steep in places.
Duration: 5-6 hours.

Catch the 10.09 (Seaford) train from Brighton or meet at Lewes Station (in the car park by the platform 1 exit) at 10.25. Londoners can get the 8.47 direct from Victoria or the 9.06 and go via Brighton. (Get off at Lewes. That's L.E.W.E.S, not Luton or Lewisham but LEWES). Return trains to Brighton at 15:44, 16:00, 16:22; to London at 16:22.

My phone number: 07742-963239

Jim (with some help from Jenny).

The Last Ride - Tessa's Report

Sunday 22 August
Eastbourne to Hastings

[More photos on Flickr]

Joyce, Tessa, Mick and Anne were not put off by threatening skies and light drizzle. They rode to Brighton Station to meet Roger and Suzanne where we boarded the Ashford train to alight at Eastbourne.


Mick took the photo with his phone, the impressive station façade as a backdrop, and we set off down to the seafront. We joined the traffic heading east on the coast road and turned on to the coastal path at Fishermans Green, a mile or so from the centre of Eastbourne. We whizzed along, pushed by a gentle south westerly wind past Martello towers, fishing boats, abandoned playgrounds, amusements and cafes, the weather not looking great. At Sovereign Harbour we walked through the busy purpose-built café area which reminded me of Dubai, minus the sunshine, and wound our way inland through the residential area, which Suzanne pointed out was well designed and built, and standing up to the elements.

An inland main road led us to Normans Bay where another coastal path was fringed with fishing boats, large wooden boat garages and camping/ caravan sites. The day was getting darker and mistier. I felt sorry for camping families on their summer holidays. We crossed the railway at Normans Bay Station and onto a small road through the Pevensey Levels. It started to rain. We stopped under the railway bridge at Cooden Beach to don waterproof trousers for the last couple of miles to Bexhill, our lunch stop.


It was supposed to be a picnic on the beach. Instead we dripped our way to the beautiful De La Warr Pavilion and into their café. Having draped wet clothes over every available chair back we all ordered carrot and fennel soup and surreptitiously ate our sandwiches while we waited for it to arrive. For Roger and Suzanne, it was a long wait. The kitchen ran out of soup and had to make more. It was delicious and those of us lucky enough to get the early servings, sloped off to dry our wet clothes under the toilet hand-driers. Memories anyone?


We gave ourselves 20 minutes to look at the 2 exhibitions in the building :
Tomoko Takahashi's installations of everyday detritus, and on the roof Anthony Gormley's 60 cast iron life-size body forms made from 12 different casts of his own body. I particularly enjoyed the way rain had formed little pools in the crevices of the sculptures.

The rain had stopped and we continued riding through Bexhill, a really attractive seaside town. Once on the cycle track we came to a hill! Roger hadn't told us about that! We cycled up it fast though as we found it coincided with a stench of backed up drains!

At a bend in the cycle track we veered off onto an off-road track of sand and pebbles, at times compacted and easy to ride, at others harder to negotiate. It led us to the tarmacked cycle lane in St Leonards and then into Hastings. Three of us decided to have a quick swim and were pleased to discover that pebbles quickly gave way to sand, once in the water, making our entry into the waves easier on the feet.


Whilst drying off we noticed black shapes out to sea. Were they dolphins or seals frolicking? No, they turned out just to be prosaic rocks.

There was no time for tea before going back to Brighton. We cast a last glance at the sea as the sun came out briefly and then headed back on the train westward into mist and drizzle.

It had turned out to be a ride more varied in activities than usual, and very enjoyable. Thank you Roger.


The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s

66. An editorial response… and another Clarion CC is formed.

This appeared in the Clarion on 18 May 1895, in the regular feature "The Clarion Post Bag Conducted by the Editor" in which, among several other things, Blatchford responded to the Bounder's "Philosophy of the Bicycle" Blatchford wrote:

THE Bounder is a great man but….

But he does not in the least understand the philosophy of the bicycle.

The philosophy of the bicycle hath hitherto been comprehended of none. In proof whereof I "put in" the following postcard sent on to me by the Candid One from leafy Warwickshire:-

I am on a tandem cycling tour with a chap who does all the work, whilst I sit behind and sleep. This is the end of every man's desire. He is a gent. The tandem is a beauty. The roads are perfect. The weather is glorious and the beauty of the country sublime. I am never coming back any more. Good-bye


If that communication does not breathe the very devinist spirit of cycling philosophy let striplings take me by the beard and call me a Tory.

The editor of the Scout is the real "Poor Man's Plato"

Which reminds me we want scouting corps in the following towns.

[A list of 30 towns – including Brighton – follows}

In the same issue Swiftsure's "Cycling Notes" included the following:

The secretary of the Hyde Clarion C.C requests me to say that there club has now been formed, and twelve members enrolled. Tomorrow (Saturday) they run to Woodhead, and on Sunday to Marple , where they intend holding a meeting. The hon.sec. is R Chadwick, 28 Grafton Street, Hyde, and all Clarionettes in the district are invited to attend.

Next time - Swiftsture returns to the treatment of pedestrians (very topical)

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