|Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club|
Dear fellow members and friends
8 March 2009
All members should have received their membership cards in the post. Anyone who hasn't please let me know; I know I made one mistake in addressing the envelopes so it's possible that that wasn't the only one.
Farmers' market ride –any more takers?
I had precisely two replies to my plea for responses to my suggestion for a Saturday ride on either 9 May or 13 June taking in the Shoreham Farmers' market and the medieval churches. [Leon tells me that the London Naked Bike Ride is on 13 June and the Brighton one on the Sunday and argues for 9 May – but one could also argue for 13 June if many people intend to participate in the NBR the following day.] Anyway, it looks like a non-starter with only 3 of us interested. If there are any more people interested please email and say so – and also tell me which date you would prefer. As ever I'm on firstname.lastname@example.org. Full details in the last circular.
Downs Link Challenge Saturday 16 May
Helen has emailed me suggesting we might be interested in getting up a Clarion team for this event (perhaps instead of our regular ride on the Sunday) It's organised by Shoreham College Parents' Association in order to raise money for the Chestnut Tree House, the only children's hospice in Sussex. There are 5, 10, 20 or 30 mile versions leaving from near Bramber Castle and it costs £8 per entrant. Have a look at the website at www.downslinkchallenge.co.uk.
It's worth considering – especially if there's no Old Tollbridge Ride this year. I did a charity ride on the Downs Link some years ago – which was not a happy experience since it's the sort of terrain that suits neither me nor my bike. But I wouldn't want that to put anyone off – particularly those with ATBs. So it would be good – if people like the idea – to have a volunteer to organise it. (Helen?) In the meantime let me (or Helen – she's at email@example.com - know if you're interested.
2009 rides for the rest of the first half of the year will be on Sundays 5 April ( for people not taking part in the IoW weekend on 4/5 April ), 19 April; 3, 17, 31 May; 14, 28 June. (I definitely can't make this last one – so a volunteer for that Sunday would be especially welcome.)
But all offers gratefully received for any of these dates. Make sure to let me know at least 3 weeks before – and to let me have full details at least 2 weeks before the date of the ride.
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 22 March 2009
We've used the lower reaches of the Way quite a few times but – unless my memory is deceiving me – have only 'done' the whole of it on two occasions in November 2004 and October 2005. Both times we stopped for lunch beyond the end of the Way at the excellent (and splendidly named) The Fox Goes Free at Charlton.* The problem is getting back which involves going up over the scarp face of the Downs. It's not Ditchling Beacon by any means, but it is a long slow climb – and the second time we tried a different route which was no easier and indeed may have been a shade harder. The compensation is that once you get to the top it's a virtual free wheel all the way back to Chichester. This time I thought we'd decide on the day – and go 'over the top' if we feel like it or just return back the way we've come down the Way.
Meet: Meet at Chichester Station at 11.20
* When working out dates before Christmas I hadn't taken into account that 22
So here's what we'll do. I'll forward the menus they've sent me (bit pricey but it is a very nice pub and in that part of West Sussex everywhere is likely to be similar. I certainly hope it will be better value for money that some of us experienced at the Half Moon – at least Dick Turpin had enough sense of shame to wear a mask! See Suzanne's report below for more on the pub).
So, I'll forward the menus as soon as I've got this off to everyone. Then on the Wednesday before the ride I'll circulate them again with a reminder and ask you – if you think you're going to come to email me by 2pm on Saturday with your preference. I'll then give the pub our provisional order and adjust the final version to confirm to them when we meet at Chichester. If I know what everyone wants that should be simple - X not come = cancel one lasagne, or whatever. If you know definitely you're not going to be coming, please just delete the messages.
The Last Ride - Suzanne's Report
Sunday 8 March 2009
Was it a record?* Seventeen eager cyclists on Hassocks Station platform: Alan, Alice, Angela, Anne, Fred, Ian, Jeff, Jim, Lawrence, Leon, Luke, Nick, Richard, Steve, Sue, Suzanne and Tessa. Hassocks Station not being the busiest on the network, no 'external' photographer could be found, so Leon photographed the group – then Fred photographed the group and off we set.
[More photos as ever on Flickr]
We explored the mysteries of the byways of Hassocks and then followed a B road to the outskirts of Burgess Hill (a hilly area confusingly known as the Low Weald). A tricky right turn took us though the fringes of the town, a sharp left onto the B2112 took us over part of Ditchling Common Country Park and an area that must have been known as 'Convent Corner' before the ecclesiastical establishments of St Mary's House and St George's Retreat were partially turned into rather exclusive apartments.
But did we notice? Did we care? No, we were flying along enjoying the sun, the breeze in our helmets and the swish of rubber against tarmac. That was when someone decided to put hills into the equation. Past Wivel's Field (yes, Mr Wifel really did have his field here circa 765) and its eponymous Green. The Hundred Acre Lane brought us to Streat. Hard to pinpoint at which exact point the interspecies moustache competition took place – but in that epic clash of the hirsute upper lip, Leon v. horse, I have on good authority that Leon won 'whiskers down'.
They must have misunderstood. They must have thought the message was: 'I am bringing 16 midgets with me and two can easily share one stool and eat off a surface of some 5 square inches.' The one table that had been reserved for us might just have accommodated 12 at a pinch. It was a Harvey's pub, however, so it was not all bad. Beverages were in hand, food was ordered and the wait was waited – 1 hour and 10 minutes in the case of two hapless souls. The good news is that Nick got a good photo of the tomato and chilli soup to add to his collection of soup photographs.
The ride back to Hassocks was not to be too long. Pity it had started to rain. And the wind to blow. However, Clarionettes are anything but wimps. We saddled up and set off along the scenic Underhill Lane, through picturesque Westmeston. The run down into Keymer was most welcome. The three generations of L, L and L peeled off toward home in Hassocks, Angela and Ian made their way back to their motor vehicles, Nick wended his solitary way onto the north-bound platform of Hassocks Station as the rest feasted on fudge, ginger and toffees on the southbound one (sorry, Nick, you could only watch).
A great day out (many thanks, Ian) with neither the tool kit, the puncture repair outfit, nor the First Aid kit needed.
* A second record was Suzanne producing this brilliant report so speedily. Ian
The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s
29. The Bradford Clarion CC emerging from 'winter's blight'
From Swiftsure's 'Cycling Notes' on 2 February 1895
Next time. Plans for a Rochdale Clarion CC