Thursday, April 13, 2006

2. What no crisps?! The Selsey Lobser disappoints

Ride: April 12th 2006, Chichester.
Present: Adrian; Al; Jon.

The evenings had drawn out sufficiently to attempt an early start on the 'long' Chichester route from central Chichester.

The standard 'Chichester Long Route' is as follows: Out of Chichester to the North following Chalkpit Lane to the trig point on The Trundle. We then leave St Roche's Hill to the north west , descending into West Dean amd cross the main A286. Following the minor road through Whitedown Plantation we turn off the road to the right following a bridle path through Colworth Down and Westdean Woods, bearing left through Venus Wood. We join the South Downs Way near the tumulus at Cocking Down and head west. Rather than peeling right to follow the South Downs Way at Philiswood Down we follow the bridle path south west to the Royal Oak at Hooksway (which seems to have a temperamental landlord who opens and closes on a whim). Suffice it to say on this occasion the Royal Oak was closed as usual and we continued down Philiswood Lane (track) to the "Selsey Lobster", which had no hand-pulled beer (!) and no crisps (!). We then cross the B2141 climbing through The Plantation and Blackbush Copse to Blackbush House, and finally reaching the summit at Bow Hill, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding area: Chichester, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight can all be seen on a clear day/night. We descent, initially to the south West over the Devil's Humps before turning south east across Stoke Down and Stoke Clump to join the minor road linking Funtington and Mid Lavant. However, rather than joining the A 286 at Mid Lavant, we generally turn South and follow a more tortuous route of country lanes which leads us to the Summersdale area of Chichester, then hacking across town back to John's. This is about 21 miles and can only really be accomplished comfortably when we leave Chichester with at least a couple of hours daylight before switching to lights.

Al showed very sluggish form on this occasion, bringing up the rear for most of the ride, and suffered a puncture towards the end of the ride. Adrian showed excellent form on his sheila's bike again demonstrating that there's is no need for the latest gear! The going was reasonably heavy despite a sustained period of dry weather, the steady climb from Blachbush House to Bow Hill was particularly energy sapping!

Jon's famous slow-cooked chilli was the perfect tonic, and with a re-run of Emmanuel on the telly who could want for more?

(Posted by: Al)

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At 11:48 am, May 09, 2006, Blogger TCA 2006 said...

The Selsey Lobster at least sells a warm pint of beer as opposed to a semi frozen fizzy weak excuse of a beer which is all i have come accross in Hamilton to date! B.B


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