Cycling for Pleasure Group Information
The cycling group meets twice a month on the second and fourth Thursday, all year round (unless the weather intervenes). The rides we do are varied: many start in or near Chichester and enjoy the beauty of the coastal plain, while for more variety we sometimes take a train and explore a wider area (when Southern Rail is reliable!). Occasionally we plan a 2 day event – in the New Forest or the Isle of Wight for instance.
We prefer to avoid main roads and cycle on quieter lanes, dedicated cycle paths and well maintained bridle ways. Rides are typically 12 to 16 miles, starting at 10:00 until lunch-time, and punctuated by at least one refreshment break; and we normally end at a pub giving an opportunity to finish off with lunch for those who want to stay.
The group currently has vacancies so if you are looking for an enjoyable way to keep fit tempered by some pleasant social interaction this is the group for you.
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|Thursday 14th September 2017||Babs||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|Thursday 28th September 2017||Ray||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|Thursday 12th October 2017||Babs||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|Thursday 26th October 2017||Ray||TBA||TBA||TBA|
NEW FOREST CYCLE RIDE
With long ago memories of well known groups of five, long hot summer days and lashings of ginger beer, the Chichester U3A cyclists made their way to Brockenhurst in the New Forest for two days of fun; some by train and some by car. This adventurous gang consisted of Ray, Roger, Dave, Rod and Barbara all way past the age where taking their pensions seemed the right thing to do.
Even before the cycling started train travellers Roger and Dave arrived late at Brockenhurst Station but told us the story of the blind man that they met on the train who wanted to go to Portsmouth but they took him on to Southampton; not a very altruistic act but maybe I didn’t hear it quite right.
The weather for the first day was particularly warm and sunny and our first stop was at the Master Builder hostelry at Bucklers Hard for some well deserved lunch. The hotel and village lie on a very beautiful part of the Beaulieu River which we spent some time exploring before pedalling on to Beaulieu; another very pretty village. Fortunately this had a good ice cream shop so we all bought a cone to cool down before cycling the last few miles back to Brockenhurst. We all felt a little tired but also good about the 21 miles we had covered without any major problems.
Dinner at Alberos, in the centre of Brokenhurst, was a really enjoyable event with lots of good chat, pizzas, beer and wine. We all learnt that Serena Williams was slightly less titanic than we believed being only 5 foot 9 inches tall; the less sophisticated learnt that black paste in bowls can sometimes be called tapenade and Barbara learnt all sorts of things about Cliff Richard that she really didn’t want to know.
We stayed at various guest houses around the town and we all agreed that we were treated well and given a good breakfast before we embarked on the travails of the second day.
On the second day the cyclists were joined by another U3A member, Rachael, who had travelled down the previous night. The first part of the journey took us through some heavily forested areas with some very big trees; a really wondrous sight. We continued through the forest until we reached a large house in the middle of the forest which had part of it turned into a cafe selling cakes and cream teas; the cafe had been opened just for us by the lady who owned it and we felt rather privileged. Despite being only a short time from breakfast most of the party weakened and had a cake and one of the cyclists felt strong enough for a full cream tea.
We all then cycled on to Burley for lunch and parked our bikes; everybody still had their cakes from earlier cramming their stomachs and we all agreed that we would forego lunch and continue back to Brockenhurst. However, when we came to unlock our bikes Barbara discovered that her padlock key was back at the guest house and we then made friends with the local cycle shop who found some chain cutters and Barbara was released for the final leg. Most of the last part of the ride was on a cycle path along an old railway line; quite easy going and we clocked up a total of 17 miles for the second day.
At the end of the epic adventure we all agreed that it had been a really good time and we were keen that something similar could be arranged before summer finished; someone even suggested la belle France avec beaucoup de bière de gingembre.
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