Chichester U3A Cycling for Pleasure

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Cycling for Pleasure Group Information

In normal times 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.

During Coronavirus we are now cycling in groups of 6. If there are more than 6 the groups are separated by time to follow the rules. In line with Government requirements we have a published Covid-19 risk assessment (click here to view it) and we keep a register of attendees for track and trace purposes.

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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Cycling Routes

If you can’t make one of our official rides, here are some links to a few local routes for you to follow on your own or in family groups. They all start in or around Chichester, and there are some alternative route for a bit of variety.

Routes based around West Dean and the Centurion Way:

Tesco via the Centurion Way to West Dean – 5.6 miles

West Dean via East Ashling to Bosham – 7.94 miles

Lavant via Funtington to Bosham – 7.55 miles

Lavant via Chichester Walls to Fishbourne – 7.1 miles

Routes through Woodmancote:

Tesco via Woodmancote to Bosham- 10.5 miles

Woodmancote to The Deck, Emsworth – 2.94 miles

The Deck, Emsworth to Bosham – 4.5 miles

Routes via Sidlesham (Pagham Bird Sanctuary):

Chichester Station to Pagham Bird Sanctuary- 7.75 miles

Tesco to Chichester Marina – 3.3 miles

Chichester Marina to Pagham Bird Sanctuary – 5 miles

Routes through Itchenor:

Chichester Station to Pagham Bird Sanctuary- 7.75 miles

Tesco to EastHead via Birdham – 10 miles

Fishbourne via Itchenor (ferry *) and home via Birdham – 12.24 miles

* The Bosham-Itchenor ferry runs weekdays from May to September (check web-site)

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Forthcoming Rides

Hooray, the corona-virus rules have changed and we can now go out for rides in groups of up to 6 people. If there are more than 6 the groups are separated by time to follow the rules. In line with Government requirements we have a published Covid-19 risk assessment (click here to view it) and we keep a register of attendees for track and trace purposes.

Getting started with Online Cycling Apps.

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Recent Rides

Chichester -Route 88 – Sidlesham – Chichester Marina Ride, 8th April 2021

Hoorah! Back to the “rule-of-6” regulations means the Cycling for Pleasure group can get going again (after a couple of “treasure hunt” rides when group members were invited to ride a route individually or in pairs, finding answers to a few quiz questions along the way, followed by a Zoom round up of the event).

And we had a record turn out – 14 riders – split into separate groups to comply with distancing restrictions. There was a longer route going as far as the Pagham Bird Reserve, and a shorter version cutting off the southern corner.

The weather had been predicted to be cool and cloudy – but what do they know? It turned out to be warmer than expected with some very welcome sunshine much of the time. It was really good to be able to have real conversations with real people (socially distanced, of course) rather than the constraints of a Zoom meeting.

The Boat House Cafe at the Chichester Marina is serving take-aways at present, and it’s a picturesque place to take a break in the sunshine as the photos show:

View of the Harbour
The Boat House Take-away

I’m very pleased to report that everyone enjoyed the ride and we’re all looking forward to the summer program.

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Emsworth – StauntonPark – Rowlands Castle Ride, 22nd October 2020

Just one group of six riders for our ride this week. The ride started with a minor irritation for those arriving by car – the railway bridge in Emsworth was closed for repairs so the route to the car park meeting point included an unexpected diversion. Still, the sun was shining.

The route from Emsworth through Havant and Leigh Park, though apparently urban, used surprisingly few busy roads and featured a large number of schools and green park areas, finishing up at the site of Staunton House, recently preserved with the outline of the original walls of the building and its rooms, sitting above a commanding view of Staunton Park and its feature lake.

Staunton Panorama

Staunton House may be a ghost now but its Coach House still exists, converted to a cafe which provided us with a welcome refreshment stop.

Our ride then continued through Staunton Park and into Havant Thicket before branching off into Rowlands Castle – again avoiding major roads. From there we followed the Woodberry Lane until we picked up the West Sussex Border Path and returned to Emsworth by way of South Leigh Forest and Holly Bank Woods.

Back in Emsworth we enjoyed an al fresco lunch at the Kings Arms to round off an enjoyable day’s cycling.

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Salterns Way and the Itchenor/Bosham Ferry, 11th October 2020

Itchenor Ferry Awaits

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Emsworth – Stansted – Racton Monument, 24th September 2020

The Monarch’s Way

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Brockenhurst – Bucklers Hard – Beaulieu, 10th September 2020

New Forest Route

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Langstone Harbour Loop, 27th August 2020

Hayling Ferry during covid 19

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Chichester Canal Basin – South Mundham – Pagham – The Walnut Tree, 13th August 2020

Alongside Pagham Harbour
Elvis Has Left the Building

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Meon Valley Railway Path, 23rd July 2020

The Shoe, Exton

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Emsworth – Thorney Island – Prinsted – Bosham, 9th July 2020

The Deck on the Go, Emsworth Yacht Harbour
Thorney Gateway Path

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To contact the Cycling for Pleasure Group please use this form.

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