Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  




Dear fellow members and friends

16 November 2009

I'm getting quite a few emailed circulars returned by the 'Mail Administrator' (s/he seems to keep pretty busy, but what a dispiriting job to have), so it would be a good time to remind people to let me know when they change their email address.

Re: Joyce's report of the Chichester ride on 1 November. Joyce mentioned that on the train, among other vital matters debated was 'the difference between 'defamation' and 'libe'. Some of you will already have seen Mick's response – but others won't have. So, in the interests of ever-greater enlightenment here it is::

Just in case anyone who has read the report is interested in the discussion about defamation and libel and it was not resolved on the train the answer is that there are two kinds of defamation, libel and slander. Both are torts or actionable wrongs. Slander is oral, libel is written. My blue baseball-type cap with the slogan 'Wonderful World' is one of the fruits of a successful libel action against the Sun or the Mirror (I forget which) on behalf of a client.

So there you have it!

Talking of Mick, I was for amazed for a moment when I read in 'The Comic' (aka Cycling Weekly) that Michael Barry had been recruited by the Sky racing team - but it turned out not to be the real Michael Barry!

You should have already received Suzanne's message – but here it is again. Please let her know what you think

Christmas revels suggestions

Indoor bowling at the Marina complex in the morning. Cost approx £5.00
Lunch in a nearby hostelry. 
Either a pre-ordered buffet meal (eg as at Master Mariner in 2007)
or à la carte elsewhere (eg as at Al Frescos in 2008)
Sunday 20 December or let me have your preferred date.


Phone 01273 321794


I'll also be forwarding an invitation from Tessa.

Volunteers Needed…

As I explained last time I'm very pleased that this year there have been more people willing to take on organising rides. Suzanne led yesterday's one and Joyce will be taking on the next one (see below) for details. I hope that the trend will continue and indeed be reinforced next year. I can't make either of the March dates, so volunteers are definitely needed for those. And - apart from the New Year's Day ride - I would if possible like to organise just one ride in January and one in February (not fussy about which dates). So volunteers would be good for any of the dates in the first three months of 2010.

…for Future Rides

No one has argued for changing the initial dates for the 2010 I suggested last time.

The rides for the rest of the year will be on Sundays 13 December. Friday 1 January New Year's Day Brunch Ride to Carats Café. Then Sundays 10, 24 January; 7, 21 February and 7, 21 March. I can't make either of the March dates.

The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s latest episode is as usual, at the end of the circular.


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 29 November
East Grinstead Circular

We will cycle from Three Bridges to East Grinstead (the so-called capital of the High Weald) via the Worth Way. This is an old railway line so it is flat and reasonably well surfaced, possibly checking out Worth Church, one of the oldest in Sussex, along the way. Lunch at East Grinstead at one of the several pubs in the High Street (Dorset Arms?) and perhaps a little look around for those who don't know the town.

Back along the B2110 - not too busy on a Sunday I am reliably told, passing near Kingscote where the Bluebell Railway ends, to Turner's Hill, past Tulleys Farm ( a possible for tea if there is time), and back to the Worth Way to finish at Three Bridges.

Meet:- Brighton Station for 10.40 train (be there by 10.25 for group ticket) or at Three Bridges at 11.10
Distance:- 16 miles
Hills:- None on outward – undulating first part coming back
Off road:- well surfaced cycle route, then road
Catering:- Pub in East Grinstead – likely The Dorset Arms
Getting home
:- trains at 14.56, 15.17, 15.24, 15.56, 16. 17 etc.

Mobile:- 0776 1628836


The Last Ride - Anne's Report

Sunday 1 November
Severe Weather Warning [orWindow?] to Worthing; 5 bicycling belles and Mick.


Wet and windy weather all last week and more forecast for next, with 100mph gusts over the Needles on the Isle of Wight yesterday and a photo of huge waves crashing way over the top of the lighthouse in Newhaven Harbour adorning this morning's Observer - bit of a daunting prospect for Suzanne's Clarion Ride to Worthing today, especially with her warning that there were to be no trains to rescue us should the heavens open up. Rain started around 9am and I first feared for my neighbours who were to run in the 10k race along the seafront timed to start just before we were to meet at the Palace Pier at 10.15. However, I was keen to try, especially as some weather websites at some times, had predicted sunny intervals. It had stopped by 10am and I packed a few changes of clothes and Mick gamely agreed to accompany me.

Joyce on Hove prom and 10k race

We would have made the meet at 10.15 had I not chosen the off-road lane route, ending up at Duke's Mound, which was gated. I asked the race stewards if it was alright to cycle down among the runners and they said yes. At first it was, but there were 2,500 runners and they were running in both directions on the sea-front, from Pier to Marina, to King Alfred and back to pier and although they were avoiding the bike track, their fans and other pedestrians were flocking down and their flocks became denser as we neared the pier. We climbed back up to the A27 road and arrived at the pier 5 minutes late, with no sign of Suzanne, who had said she would be moving off promptly to avoid the runners, only pausing for photos at the ice-cream shop in Hove. Parts of the sea-front bike track are too narrow for cyclists and pedestrians in normal times but today runners had congregated from all over the country for the 10K and so Mick and I switched back to the A27 until we passed the old West Pier, from where we soon caught up with Suzanne and Joyce. At Maracco's Tessa and Wendy were waiting for us and the first of two dog walkers took our group photo while Joyce held their dog.

Group shot at Marocco's cafe

We proceeded westward against a strong west wind, pausing only at Carat's Café for Suzanne to ask if any respite, or toilet break was necessary. None was, so we heeded the sky and clouds and hoped to outrun them to lunch on Worthing Pier. At the locks Suzanne spotted a photo opportunity and I asked a man walking his handsome husky to do the job. He took some trouble and Joyce held the powerful, beautiful beast.

As we approached the outskirts of Shoreham I noticed the classic storm cloud formation which seemed to hover west of the town. They must be having some rain there, I said. As we reached the allotments and crossed the traffic lights it began to gently rain. We put on our waterproofs and huddled against the poor protection of a chain link fence as the rain really pelted down upon us. I tried a brief foray 10 yards ahead to the protection of a tree, which did help, but, in so doing, trod in a huge puddle and soaked my feet and shoes. Things were looking grim, but, lo and behold, it only lasted 10 minutes or so and our waterproofs, were indeed, waterproof.


We sailed through Shoreham, not stopping in the many dear little cafes for warmth and refreshment and, once over the other side of the footbridge, were able to remove the wet waterproofs and continue westward, only stopping at the public conveniences, conveniently placed to the west of the town's beach sea-front path.

We enjoyed the birds in Widewater Lagoon behind Lancing. There were cormorants and a group [bevy, gaggle] of cygnets. We arrived at the pier at 12.45, so we'd taken nearly 2 hours to do the twelve miles. The fastest runners in the 10K took 29 [man] and 33 mins [woman], which was pretty good for such a blustery day.

The sun now blazed down on the glazed windows of the art deco restaurant on Worthing pier. It seemed hot enough to sit outside, but not many were doing so and we decided not to, though the sea and beach looked inviting enough for a paddle and the sky was brilliant blue. Our coats, my socks and shoes and various other garments were arrayed in the sunshine and soon dried. Food was super; Joyce and I had a very tasty mushroom and sage soup each, Suzanne had a baked potato oozing with tuna and salad and the other three had Sunday roasts, all accompanied with organic lemonades or similar ilk.

At 2pm we made our several ways back to the bikes, just as the blue sky turned grey and rain started to patter. Fortunately, this didn't last and we set out towards the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters which gleamed ahead of us, especially after I'd cleaned my glasses, which had become misted over in the storm und drang of the wild weather heading west. Now we thought we'd have payback after the struggle westwards. The flags on the pier as we ate had said due West, but now we certainly still had to pedal and put that down to the changing of the tide. As we flew easily East through the lagoon we enjoyed seeing the cormorants stretching their wings. Were they drying off their feathers, as we had done in the restaurant, or merely enjoying stretching their limbs, as we were on our bikes? To the right of us, on the sea, eight kite surfers raced and a couple of wind surfers plied the white waves.

[In the Argus it was reported that two kite surfers had actually jumped over Worthing pier - do not try this at home!- Fred]

We headed inland at Shoreham and went for tea at the airport, enjoying the planes, the cakes and chocolate bars, complete range of herbal teas and shopping opportunity of small, but perfectly formed toy-shop. The talk at our table, underneath the WW2 bomber picture, turned, uncharacteristically to our beloved first cars; Citroen Deesse, Morris Countrymen, minis and minors; enticed by Wendy's love of the internal combustion engine.

Back on the [little] road again, we crossed the Shoreham Tollbridge, Mick spotting a lapwing on the airfield and me seeing an egret on the Adur. Suzanne chose an inland route home and subtly chose the roads above the marked National Cycle Route. This was much more scenic, with more trees and higher class housing. One would have thought that a national cycle route would have the best of scenery, but we'd been told before by parents of friends who worked for Sustrans, that local authorities kept the best bits private.

We went back to the sea at Wish Road, by which time Tessa and Wendy wended their way more slowly, as Wendy was new to Clarion and had a Dutch bike with no gears. We seem to have missed the starlings flocking over the old West Pier but several people were photographing the sunset, though we were facing the opposite way, which was the Christmas fairy lights of our city and its Palace Pier.

We said goodbye and grateful thanks to Suzanne at the Metropole, for bravely leading a breezy, bracing ride on an inauspicious day. Joyce left for her choir and we had the only 3 hills of the day as we toiled back up Duke's Mound, Sussex Square, Manor Road and our lane home by quarter to five.


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

47. More from Swiftsure on the Ashbourne Meet

We're still with Swiftsure's "Cycling Notes" in the Clarion, 20 April 1895

On behalf of the Birmingham Club, the "O' Groomie O" gave a most interesting report of what their club has done since its formation, by the distribution of literature, and various other methods of scouting. And I must say that if every Clarion Club now formed were to do as much as this next season the cause of "Socialism" would be advanced in the country villages in a manner which is greatly needed

* * *

Before I leave the subject of the Ashbourne "meet" I should just like to say that the thanks of nearly everyone who went – and I believe they numbered nearly 200 – are due to Captain Atkinson of the Birmingham C.C.C for the indefatigable manner in which he looked after the visitors.

We all know that a Socialist who only does his duty requires and asks for no thanks, but all the same a true word of appreciation makes a man feel that his efforts are not thrown away.

There were several Sheffield cyclists at the "meet" and they expressed a wish for a "Clarion" C,C to be formed in Sheffield. Mr Jas. Ashurst, 29 Baker Street, Attercliffe, has offered to act as organiser in the first instance. Will all who are interested in the formation of such a club for Sheffield please communicate with him

Next time – The rest of the Clarion staff and the Meet

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