Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  


Dear fellow members and friends

2 December 2007

It didn't seem too bad weatherwise when I set out from home this morning, but sitting in the car at Glynde station I began to realise just how strong the wind was gusting. Although the car park is down in a hollow the car was rocking and bits of nearby trees were falling on it. When the time came to get out I opened the door and the wind took it out of my hand. By then I'd decided that – if anyone else turned up – I would suggest we cancel the ride; rain is uncomfortable but you can cope with it, but strong gusting winds can be positively dangerous. When the train arrived only Jim emerged – and soon agreed with me.

Talking of Jim reminds me that there's a bit on the website where he's seeking feedback on a couple of possible longer rides. You may not have seen it so I'm tacking it onto the end of this circular – where the ride report would be if we had one!

Dates for your diary

Tessa's Christmas Show
Tessa is inviting us all to the Christmas show of her and her colleagues at Biscuit Studio, 12b Wilbury Grove, Hove. It's next weekend on
Sat 8th & Sun 9th December, 11am-6pm
'Mulled wine flowing throughout!' she writes
Clarion Christmas Get-Together
The Date Tuesday 18 December
The Time 12 noon onwards
The Place Function Room at the Master Mariner, inner basin at Brighton Marina

See you there, I hope!



The Next Ride

Sunday 16 December
Berwick Circular
c 14 Miles only

My original idea was to do the Newick ride using the Royal Oak for lunch. But then I realised that this will be not only the last ride of 2007 but also the one nearest to the 'shortest day' when it gets dark pretty early. The Newick ride's only about 21 miles but it involves a track that may be waterlogged if this rain persists and a few hills especially on the way back. I thought about just recycling the Old Coach Road ride we intended to do today – but as Jim says Glynde seems to have a bit of a bad weather jinx on us at the moment so I've decided to leave that until next year and go for a really short and flat one that will maybe tempt everyone out unless the weather is atrocious again (fingers crossed!).

We'll do the usual loop round the Berwick, Ripe, Chalvington area (with some variations) and stop for lunch at the Yew Tree pub which I think we have only visited once before – and not for a long time.

Catch the 10.20 from Brighton station or meet at Berwick station at 10.43. Train back at 2.48 reaching Brighton at 3.12 (next one an hour later).

Jim's Proposals (please let him know what you think)

I have a couple of ideas for future rides based on comments on rides we have done in the past, but would like people's comments before proceeding to plan them, as they involve some longer-than-usual, and correspondingly more expensive, train rides.

1. Downs Link North: Guildford to Christ's Hospital
Firstly, after the Downs Link ride in July, several people expressed an interest in doing the other half of it, namely from Chilworth or Guildford to Christ's Hospital. This section is about the same length as the southern half (about 20 miles) but the train journeys from Brighton would be more complicated. I would suggest going from Brighton to Guildford (this being easier than Chilworth, although Chilworth is nearer to the Downs Link) and coming back from Christ's Hospital. There is actually a direct train to Guildford at 9.40 (journey time 1 hr 17 min) but as it's a Virgin, I'd have to investigate the cycle carriage policy. Alternatively we could get the 10.16 and change at Gatwick (journey time 1 hr 31 min to Chilworth). The return journey from Christ's Hospital would be 1 hr 12 min with a change at Three Bridges.

The National Rail website tells me that the fare from Brighton to Guildford would be £16.60 and from Christ's Hospital to Brighton is £8.40.

2. Forest Way: Eridge to Three Bridges
The other idea, prompted by a ride that took place last year (which I missed) and hopefully reinforced by a more recent venture, concerns the Forest Way, which extends the Worth Way from East Grinstead to Groombridge. Unfortunately, until 'they' get their act together and re-open the Lewes-Uckfield rail link, the only way we can do this is to get the train to Eridge via East Croydon, then cycle from Eridge to Groombridge and all the way along the Forest and Worth Ways (these are both former railway lines, so mostly off-road) to Three Bridges; the outward train journey is 2 hours long, with changes at East Croydon and Oxted. The cheap day return fare to Eridge is £19.20, and this would also cover the 30 minute journey back from Three Bridges to Brighton.

Of course, all of the above depends on there being no engineering works on any of the relevant lines, so maybe it would not be possible anyway … but if it is, … any takers? (I suppose that for a ride to be viable we only need 2 of us – that's me and one other person – but it would be nice to have more!)


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