On the road from Tuppenny Barn to Poachers Roost

24th July 2013 by


After deciding to wake up at 5.30am in order to get the most out of the cool morning, the first cycling group managed to set of at 7am (aided by our organisation of packing the trailers the night before). However due to some faff and also some mechanical problems it was almost an hour later that me, Lyndsay, Joy and Jessie managed to get ourselves properly going. NB, since Thomas had been feeling pretty unwell for a few days, him and Amy had stayed behind and were going to meet us by train later for lunch, so we were cycling in two groups

After taking over an hour to cycle little more than 6 miles, we arrived in Chichester. After our kerfuffle to get started we were pretty surprised to bump into the others whilst looking for a bike shop, and it turned out that Tristan had a hole in his tyre which meant that they had waited for the bike shop to open in order to get a new one. So by 9am, our total number of mechanical problems was at around 4: Tristan’s tyre, my clicky bottom bracket, Lyndsay’s gears and Lyndsay’s saddle! After many of us becoming acquainted with Chichester bike shop where things were tightened and tweaked we finally managed to get in the road again!

The next stretch of the journey – in complete opposite to the first – was speedy and free of errors and in no time we had reached Littlehampton station where we met Thomas and Amy off the train. Thomas said later that one of his highlights of the day was seeing us all waiting there am that it looked like we were glowing, which put smiles on all our faces at the evening circle! So in high-vis AND glowing style, we rode off to meet the others on the beach where it seemed like all the drama had been kicking off –
on the opposite side of the river, some grass had set alight and of course, to keep things  more interesting, there were loads of parked cars in the area, one of which was also on fire! There had been people running into the madness to rescue their cars from the burning scene, though for those unaware of the inferno, they were not quite so lucky. Imagine coming back from a gorgeous day on the beach to find your car a burnt out wreck – yet another reason to promote the bicycle!

Here my day separated from the majority of the team who went swimming, whilst Tristan and I went to find a bike shop to take another look at my bottom bracket which still seems to be playing up. The lovely Glyn of Blazing Saddles in Rustington took in my bike and took pity on me for having to walk to the campsite and very kindly lent me his ‘pub bike’. With one pannier in the front basket and one on my back, we set off. The pub bike and arrangement of my things caused much hilarity on our ride to Poachers Roost as the bike was so crankety and crotchety and I just felt so silly riding it. Handlebars in the air, granny basket up in front and head held high! Thankfully, the pub bike didn’t fall apart and we made it in one piece.

Poachers Roost was absolutely beautiful, loads of woodland which provided plenty of shade from the heat, a blissful rest from many of our others which had been in full sun. There was also what can only be described as a ‘winter wonderland’, where loads of fluffy seeds like dandelion had gathered on the ground in such vast quantities that they looked like snow! Another highlight of the campsite was that there was a fire pit and that evening, Rowan and Thomas treated us to a fabulous meal of chargrilled vegetables – the leeks were absolutely magical, definitely trying that one at home – and potato scones (one of my favourites). Mmm. With the addition of ale and ciders thanks to Jessie and Amy’s trip to the shop, and a wee sing-song, it was the perfect end to a long day.

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