Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  




Dear fellow members and friends

24 August 2009

First an important message from Suzanne.

Summer picnic - Preston Park Velodrome
Monday 31 August 2009 (Bank Holiday Monday)

Meet on grass spectator-seating area of Velodrome. Bring food and drink to share. Toilets, cover, café and pubs nearby. Grassy area for fun and games (courtesy of the Resources Centre). The velodrome track itself will probably be available so bring your bike if you want to have a go.
Time:  From 12 noon – aim to eat about 1pm.
Parking:  The area around the north end of Preston Park is outside the parking zones and is free.
Phone: (01273) 321794 or mobile on the day:  0789 985 1172
Note:  The 'Velodrome' is at the north end of Preston Park in Brighton.  The area is not in the permit-parking zone.  The nearest parking points are:
at the north end of Preston Park Avenue
at the south end of Harrington Villas or Bavant Road
in the part of Preston Drove which runs along the northern boundary of the Velodrome.


Jenny Millington sends me this message:

Hello Ian, thought I'd send you a post-op bulletin!
I had my shoulder surgery in Nottingham on 22nd July. It went very well but was more complicated than expected, and as a result I am having to wear a sling for six to eight weeks instead of only three as I was told originally. This is very tiresome as you can imagine, but now four weeks have passed I'm beginning to 'cheat' a bit. Goodness knows when I'll get back to cycling again - I miss the Clarion rides! I hope everyone enjoys what's left of the summer; I'm reading the ride reports and looking forward to joining you all again soon.
Best wishes,

Future Rides

The rides for the rest of the year will be on Sundays 20 September (Roger), 4 (Roger), 18 October, 1, 15, 29 November, 13 December.

As always I'd welcome offers to organise/lead on any of the dates above that have so far not been 'claimed'. We've had a wonderful response over the summer - I hope it's not going to fade away as the colder weather approaches! In the absence of other volunteers I should be OK for the rest but I definitely can't make 15 November so a volunteer for that one would be particularly welcome. Make sure to let me know at least 3 weeks before - and to let he have full details at least 2 weeks before the date of the ride.

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


After her ride report you'll find a piece from Joyce about a possible Dieppe 'expedition' next year. Please let her know what you think.

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 6 September
Cuckoo Trail and Pevensey Levels

Originally I was planning to offer our traditional Chichester Harbour ride featuring a picnic at Pagham Harbour and Jeff's favourite - the Itchenor Ferry. When Roger came up with yesterday's route I thought it might be too similar in terms of starting point etc but I needn't have worried since they digging up the rails over part of the route to Chichester that day. So the ferry will have to wait until next year anyway.

Instead I've gone for another 'traditional' one. We've spent a lot of time in West Sussex recently so heading off in the other direction should be a welcome change. We first did this in October 2004 but when I put it on the agenda last November my wretched back wheel disintegrated soon after we started. Suzanne took over splendidly but that didn't stop me being disappointed about not doing one I had been looking forward to. So fingers crossed this time!

Up the Trail as far as Horam then off to Vines Cross to the Brewer's Arms returning by quiet roads through Vines Cross, Cowbeach, Stunts Green (wheelies at your own risk), Ginger Green, across the Levels to Rickney, then back to Cuckoo Trail and eventually Polegate.

Distance: about 20 miles.
Hills: the ex-railway Trail climbs almost imperceptibly. Only little inclines where the bridge that used to cross the road is no longer there. There are a few minor 'ups' coming back until we get to the Pevensey Levels – whose name speaks for itself!
Off road: Well surfaced Cuckoo trail
Traffic: Shouldn't be a problem – quiet roads and the Trail.
Lunch and Tea: Brewers' Arms for lunch. Possible tea stop (depending on train times and our own progress) at the Old Loom

Catch the 10.20 from Brighton station or meet at 10.49 at Polegate station.
(Be at Brighton Station by 9.50 for Groupsave.) Trains back at 2 minutes past the hour with a change at Lewes and 42 minutes direct.
Ian's mobile number is 07770743287.

The Last Ride - Joyce's Report

Sunday 23 August
The Intrepid 5 (actually 8) Go adventuring ...

[More photos on Flickr]

On what turned out to be a beautiful summer's day Alice, Ann, Jeff, Joyce, Mick, Roger and Suzanne met on Brighton station, in time for a quick dash for Joyce to get something to eat (forgot it was a picnic), to be then joined at Chichester by Angelika.


We then set out for a ride which must have included every possible permutation of riding experience (except hills – thanks Roger!). The set-off was the usual Clarion leisurely (not to say slow) start, with some needing the toilet, then the photo and, before we had gone many yards, Joyce being tempted by the site of tomatoes, jams etc., for sale in a front garden – her excuse was that she needed vitamins with her lunch – not so for Mick who joined her for the jam...


But after that we were on our way through Chichester by a totally unknown route (to me anyway) to the extension of route 88 – this one much more of a track – past the beautiful lake (which I was told was once a quarry), through farmland, all the while on different surfaces. Through widening and narrowing tracks, farm roads, the beautiful Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve, a short dash on the B 2154 and all under a cloudless blue sky with regular stops for the sun cream. Then what seemed a long randonne through what Roger calls the 'suburbs' of Selsey until finally spread before us was, with the tide in, the calm glittering sea. What bliss :- the prospect of a swim in that glorious sea and lunch afterwards. And bliss indeed it was – Alice, Mick, Anne, Angelika and Joyce, wriggling into swimming gear, hobbling over the pebbles, avoiding the large patches of seaweed to finally dive into surprisingly warm water (the top anyway) for a wonderful swim, whilst Suzanne, Roger and Jeff took their ease on the beach. Seriously hungry by this time, we then settled down for our picnic.

mick waves to Joyce and Alice to enter shining sea

Loath as we were to leave, it had to be done so eventually we gathered ourselves for the lap home. This gave us the opportunity to see different aspects of life in Britain. Quite soon along the beach road we encountered an enormous mobile holiday homes settlement and a bit further along the route we intended to take was blocked by a 'Beach Party' - Here there was music, jollity and throngs of people. So a detour, then to our surprise Roger indicates we have to turn into a field and cross a very large ditch 'You're not serious was the cry' ...

over the ditch and up.up,up

But team work prevailed (well I have to be honest the blokes did most of the hauling up of bikes, although Suzanne did a spectacular charge across). Then we were cycling through some of the best that Sussex has to offer: – meadows, a field of clover (no not thistles as I first thought), quiet shady lanes. Through more 'housing' – this time lovely old thatched cottages, well cared-for gardens, large elegant houses (who lives in these places I always wonder...). Finally on to the familiar and well-beloved canal route back to Chichester, with Mick and Ann opting to take the quicker road route because of an appointment in Brighton. The rest of us ambled along happily and rounded the day off with tea and the rest of Suzanne's fruit bread and Jeff's currant loaf at the canal head just before the station.

 clover field and distant church

Can't thank you for the weather Roger which was splendid, but thanks for a very full and enjoyable ride.


Clarion Dieppe weekend - a message from Joyce

We have talked about a trip to Dieppe for some time, this year we had the wonderful Isle of Wight weekend, so perhaps 2010 should be the Dieppe Clarion weekend.  I would envisage it to be around end April (Easter is very early next year  2 - 5 April) , or perhaps beginning May. I know that is a very long time away, but maybe it is worth starting to think.   

If we are to go outside the Bank holiday I would envisage getting the boat Friday morning for some, and perhaps for others the evening boat (re work etc.). Saturday would be market in the morning, then a bike ride , along the new 'Avenue Verte'. Sunday au choix , to be decided - there is a wonderful sea-water pool in Dieppe which deserves a visit. Leaving on the early afternoon or early evening boat on Sunday. There is of course the May Bank Holiday, Monday 3 May which would allow for a return on the Monday and perhaps going out on the Saturday (but that would mean missing the market which is part of the fun unless we went on the Friday).
There is a Youth Hostel but it is quite a way outside Dieppe up a long hill and it is quite nice to hang about in Dieppe on a Saturday evening , but that is open to decision. I know a small hotel right in the centre of Dieppe which is quite cheap and since one pays by the room it is quite possible for those who wish to to share (as of course one would be doing in the youth hostel ). I could book the hotel but people would have to get their own tickets on the ferry. No problem about taking bikes (at least not the last time I went).
I am going to Dieppe in September and will make some enquiries about cost etc.  but can those who might be interested let me know, especially about preferred dates etc.


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

41. Who's for Ashbourne this weekend?'

More from Swiftsure on 13 April 1895

'Whose for Ashbourne this weekend?' is the expression heard everywhere Clarion cyclists congregate, And also amongst many who are not cyclists. I hear of many who intend to be in at the fun. In fact the first meet of Clarion cyclists and their friends promises to become historic.

For the benefit of all who are travelling from the Lancashire district, I am requested to state the times of departure and places of meeting in Manchester and Macclesfield on Good Friday, Saturday and Easter Sunday.

The meeting place in Manchester will be the Infirmary flags, Portland Street corner.

Times of departure
Good Friday 9 30 am prompt
Ssturday 2 30 pm prompt
Easter Sunday 7 00 am prompt

Anyone who doesn't wish to cycle the whole way may take the train from London Road Station to Macclesfield.

There is a convenient train leaving on Good Friday at 11 15 am and arriving at 12 30.

On Saturday a train leaves at 3 20 and arrives in Macclesfield at 4 pm.

On Sunday a train leves at 8 00 am and arrives at 8 52.

The meeting place in Macclesfield is the Town Hall and the times are

Good Friday 12 30 pm
Saturday 4 30 pm
Easter Sunday 9 30 am

The distance from Macclesfield to Ashbourne by road is twenty-eight miles.

I don't think there need be any fear of lack of accommodation in Ashbourne; but if there should be I understand that there are several good stopping places two or three miles out.

If anyone wishes to select another place to stay at over the weekend, I would suggest Matlock. There are plenty of weekend trips from all parts, and it is within easy cycling distance of Ashbourne.

Next time: Reports from Clarion in Nottingham, Manchester and Blackburn.

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