|Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club|
Clarion Dieppe weekend 2010 - 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).
The Isle of Wight Ride
4/5 April 2009
We will take the train to Portsmouth Harbour, and then get the 'Fast Cat' ferry to Ryde. (Apparently they can accommodate 30-40 bikes, so there shouldn't be a problem!)
From Ryde we take the coastal path westwards, past the enormous Quarr Abbey, which we might stop and look at. (There is also a poetry noticeboard with a post box for contributions – can anyone think of a rhyme for Clarion?) After crossing the river at Wootton Bridge, we take a bridleway and then join the road into Newport, which is a rather featureless urban sprawl, best avoided, except that we can't. There is an interesting pub, the Bargeman's Rest, where we might have lunch; it has a very nice riverside setting but it is rather pricey.
We join the route of the old Newport-Cowes railway line for a couple of miles, then skirt round the northern edge of Parkhurst Forest, or maybe go through it if we are feeling brave. After another 10 miles on fairly minor roads (with some hills – this is not Pevensey Levels by any means – but we can walk), we reach the outskirts of Yarmouth, and join the old Yarmouth-Freshwater railway line which follows the Yar estuary, a lovely ride where one can see all manner of birds (I saw curlews and an egret on the practice ride) and so to Totland Youth Hostel where we stay the night.
Our return trip the next day is via a different, more southerly route. Much of it is on a B road (B3399/3401), which will allow swift progress and only a few hills, but comes at the cost of rather too many cars – although hopefully there will be less traffic on a Sunday than on the practice ride, which was done mid-week. We can have a look at Carisbrooke Castle if we want, then negotiate the southern suburbs of Newport and back to Wootton.
Here we have a choice. Railway buffs, and anyone wanting to let the train take the strain after 50 miles in the saddle, may wish to go for a ride on the IOW Steam Railway from Wootton to Smallbrook Junction; this costs £9. Havenstreet (the main station on the line) has a café where we can have lunch. Once at Smallbrook Junction, however, we have to use the BR service to return to Ryde, because the station has no road access. These two train journeys will cut about 6 miles off our ride. Perhaps if opinions are divided, the 'train' and 'bike' factions can split up and re-assemble at Ryde for the return ferry and train. (NB We have to do it this way round – getting the train on the way back – as the steam trains do not operate on Saturdays in April).
Costs: Youth hostel £18.95 (breakfast £4.65 extra). Ferry return ticket about £20. We will also need money for two lunches and an evening meal, and enough to buy me lots of drinks.
Jim's [other] Proposals for future rides (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. We should be able to do a nice bit of riverside cycling between Guildford Station and the start of the Downs Link.
We could use the Groupsave facility to reduce the cost of the train tickets. This means that four people travelling together pay half the normal fare each; extra people over and above a multiple of 4 pay the normal rate, so that, if we pool our fares, the return fare will cost us between £8.35 and £11.93 each, depending on numbers. These tickets will be valid for the return leg from Christ's Hospital even though it's on a different line.
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 Groupsave fare to Eridge works out at between £9.60 and £13.71, depending on numbers, 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!)