Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  




Dear fellow members and friends

28 July 2010

While Ian is off to France to watch Contador win the Tour it falls to me to put the finishing touches to this fortnight's circular and launch it into the ether.


We have had a plea for help from fellow cyclist Tim Earl who writes:

I was assaulted on the seafront cycle path just west of the Palace pier on Sat afternoon (10th) about 4pm. Another cyclist was there, and I was pushed into him. I would like to try and locate him, can you help please?

He was tall slimmish, blonde with a wispy beard, and had a small girl on a tagalong bike.

Suzanne writes:
This year's summer social

What do you fancy for a summer social this year, and when do you fancy it? Here are some suggestions - please let me know your thoughts (

Proposed date: either Sunday 29th or Monday 30th August (bank holiday); let me know if either of these dates are not possible for you and if you have a preference.

What to do: here are two ideas - others welcome. We could have a picnic at Devil's Dyke, getting there by bike from the Palace Pier (Roger has volunteered to lead), or by bus or car or any other means you care to use. OR we could have a picnic somewhere on the beach, with the possibility of a swim. Votes for either or both will be counted.

Final details in the next circular.


Ian writes:
Future Rides … for the rest of 2010

The ones marked with a * are ones I already know I can't make – and there may be one or two more. 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
22 August Eastbourne to Hastings along the coast with a picnic at Bexhill – Roger
5 September Lewes circular - Jim
19 September* London ride – Angelika
3 October* Roger – details to be confirmed
17 October  
7 November  
21 November*  
6 December*  
19 December  

Offers to organise/lead rides are, as ever, more than welcome!


Last time we had Mark's account and I've now received a splendid email attachment from Angelika. It's largely photos and unfortunately I haven't been able to copy it - apart from the relatively few words - into this newsletter - though I've tried a few times.. So I'm asking Fred to add it at the end of the webpage version of this newsletter

The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s is back in its usual place at the end.


Best wishes from us all to Leon who writes:

Hi Ian, an update of the situation regarding the tendon to my thumb. The problem does not get any better. Yesterday [Wednesday 14 July] I had a Hydrocortezone injection into the swelling because the thing has worsened dramatically. This injection was very painful in an already sore area, I have also been put onto a waiting list for surgery to sort it out if all else fails. It's likely that I will be out of action for a while.   I think this little problem is due to riding fast over a very stony section of the Downs Link between Bramber and Henfield at the end of May this year. I normally expect to get a sore bum when doing this but a damaged thumb was not even thought of. A note to Clarion riders; if you intend to go rough riding, get a bike with sprung forks. 


Ian writes:
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 8 August
Chichester Harbour (Picnic!) c 22 miles

We missed out on our 'traditional' ride around Chichester Harbour (featuring a short trip on Jeff's favourite ferry at Itchenor ). I've emphasised that it's going to be a picnic ride so as to minimise the chances of anyone turning up without their sandwiches! We did have a few picnics last summer - after Joyce and others had suggested that it would be a good idea - but I don't think we've had one this year (although I've had to miss so many rides that I'm not entirely sure about this).

Of course it's not possible to predict the weather - especially not so far in advance - and while riding in the rain can be tolerable - eating your lunch with water trickling down your neck is not so nice. But in such an unfortunate eventuality we can - as we have done before - make for a pub such as The Bell Inn at Birdham instead (and eat our sandwiches, or whatever, for lunch on Monday!) We can of course decide where to stop for the picnic on the day - but I have in mind Sidlesham Quay by Pagham Harbour (just on from the Crab and Lobster gastro-pub.

We'll take the usual route - along by the canal, then a partial doubling back to take us across the lakes (Ivy, Copse, East Trout) through North Mundham and along mostly quiet roads and well-surfaced tracks, emerging briefly onto the busy Selsey road then soon off it on the much nicer road down to Pagham Harbour. Then we make our way on more quiet roads to West Itchenor and take the little ferry across the Chichester Channel and on to Bosham - where there will be time towards the end of the ride for the usual cuppa (and cakes for the addicts).

Catch the 10.12 from Brighton station or meet at Chichester station at 11.13. There are a variety of trains for returning - e g 16.22, 16.48 ( or with a change at Hove) 17.14.

It is also possible to change to/or catch a quicker train from Hove which arrives in Chichester at 10.57. By all means use this if more convenient. But we'll wait for the 11.13 before starting in any case. Half an hour before seems to be the right time for groupsave possibilities

Ian's mobile number is 07770743287 (and he will switch it on when he gets to Chichester station!)

Sandra writes:
The Last Ride

Sunday 25 July 2010
Hassocks circular

Roger, Suzanne, Corrine, Joyce and myself, Sandra, met at a heaving Brighton Station. We caught the 10.53 train to Hassocks, where Angela, with her newly acquired bike, met us. She was very excited about using it on this ride.
The ride was to be led by Suzanne, (who had initially offered to lead it as Leon has an injury to his hand) but following the cancellation of Roger's trip to San Sebastian, Roger and Suzanne both led the ride. We all sympathised with Roger that his trip had been cancelled, due to a strike by the French air traffic controllers. We followed Roger out of the station with Suzanne taking up the rear, having complete confidence in their revised route for this Hassocks Circular ride.
The ride had been described as 'undulating', but The Weald certainly has its ups and downs. Roger and Suzanne had undertaken the task of doing a 'wreckie' on the proposed route and had subsequently made some minor adjustments - for which, I can promise you, I was extremely grateful!
The route took us through the most beautiful countryside, opulent houses and picture box cottages. Through shaded lanes out into brilliant sunshine, up the inclines, some of which were very sharp, but best of all down the declines, only to find another hill! We were magnificent in our efforts and eventually, not withstanding the ups and downs, we exhaustedly found ourselves at the Pub.
The Royal Oak at Wineham provided us with well deserved cold drinks and subsistence which we all enjoyed along with some interesting banter. The sun then came out with vengeance and Susanne and Joyce had to take cover. Time to apply more sun block and prepare ourselves for the next stage of our ride.
We decided to take the longer route home, which took us through Blackstone and back towards the A23 and the final climbs of the day, which seemed to go on forever. Finally we arrived at Washbooks Farm only to realise that we really did not have time to stop for tea and cake, as we would miss our train back to Brighton. The decision was to carry on and we arrived at Hassocks Station with some time so spare, so a final beer at the Station Pub was the order of the day.
This was a really great ride, with lots of challenges, which we all over came with flying colours. Tired and happy we boarded the train back to Brighton, looking forward to a relaxing evening and our Sunday suppers. Thank you Leon, and Roger and Suzanne for devising such an enjoyable ride.


[If anyone took any photos, would they please add them to the Flickr group]

Roger writes:
Report on the Cycling Forum Meeting on 13 July 2010

A consultant's report about cycling on the Undercliff Path suggests that it could be legalised provided suitable safeguards could be designed for the area around the café near the St Dunstan's steps.

Ian had asked me to raise concerns about the hazard caused by cars crossing the contra-flow cycle lane in Kings Esplanade. Tracy Davidson, the Council's cycling officer, has looked at the junction with Sussex Road; she said that there are give way signs on the cycle path, which is normal practice where a contra-flow crosses a junction, precisely because of this risk. She is trying to get a give way sign on the surface of Sussex Road as well.

There was a lot of discussion about cycle access to and around the new stadium at Falmer. The Forum is hoping to see plans showing the layout of cycle routes in the area. There will be 120 cycle stands at the stadium.

Plans for a system of one-way streets on the north side of Elm Grove seem to have stalled because of negative responses to the consultation. The Forum wanted to get exemption for cyclists should a one-way system be introduced.

There has been pressure for a while for an off road cycle route from Woodingdean to Falmer (for Albion supporters perhaps), but no action, even though there apparently is money for it in the Local Transport Plan budget.

The Council has £20,000 for minor schemes to improve cycle access from the city to the South Downs – things like improved signage, changes to cycle unfriendly gates, minor re-surfacing etc. If you are aware of any locations where a little bit of money could be useful, let me know.

John Clinton asked me to raise the issue of parking in cycle lanes. In some cases (e.g. Dyke Rd) parking is legal; in others (e.g. Lewes Road) it is illegal but not enforced. There was a feeling that cycle lanes plagued with regular parking are less than useless: they create the impression that cycling has been made safer when in fact it has not. There was even talk of suggesting removal of some lanes of this kind. The Forum wants to produce guidance for appraising if proposed cycle lanes would be rendered useless by parking.

This meeting was the Forum's AGM. Tony Green has stepped down after a year in the chair. No one rushed to take his place so there will be a rotating chair (I shall try to avoid it on the ground of suffering from dizziness). The meeting ended on a rather downbeat note because of recent poor attendance and the lack of positive outcomes from the Forum's activities.


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

64. The Philosophy of the Bicycle

Still with the Clarion, 11 May 1895, this - unsigned - piece seems to be by Edward Fay (aka The Bounder). It's quite long and some of the esoteric humour is likely to be lost on us (spelling words normally beginning with C with a K is the sort of thing that tends to lose its impact after 12 years), so I've just picked out some bits that give the flavour of the thing – and left the rest out. Here's how it starts:

Is the Bicycle possessed of a devil? Not that I would speak disrespectfully of the Devil, who has not yet revealed himself to me. But if the Devil is as black as he is painted by the Fathers, then the Bicycle must be an invention of his. There is no other way.

Learned kommentators on the Bicycle have omitted to mention the primary element, aspect, and feature of Bicycle riding. It is a way the learned kommentators have. A krew of inflexible cocksure perishers, who cannot komment for knuts - and plentyof them.

* * * * *

The great essential advantage of riding as bicycle is this, you become another person. Like Bottom, you are translated - and plenty of it

* * * * *

Once you have acquired a seat on an iron steed, you are another person. Your range of vision is entirely altered, and you see "things" from a diametrically different point of view. In a couple of days your individuality is changed. Where formerly you inveighed against the wheel, you now curse the pedestrians.

A very long description then follows of a ride through central London with Whiffly featuring an amazing sequence of misadventures. Next time I will give some extracts from it which give, I think, a really good idea of what riding a bike in London must have been like at that time

Next time "The Philosophy of the Bicycle" concluded

^ top