Tuesday 15 March 2016

A Brompton day out in Brighton

Brighton has long been a draw for many of us Brompton types. It has been a destination for one of the night rides to he coast and also a more gentle bimble around its finer parts. Saturday was definitely the latter and with my ticket booked a few weeks in advance I was very much looking forward to it.

After cycling about five miles early on Saturday morning I arrived at Victoria in good time. Many of the participants were getting on at Clapham Junction rather than Victoria. As I waited to see which platform my train would depart from, a lady walked past, smiles and said, "very colourful.'
I actually felt like saying back to her, "you should see some of my friends!"

With the information boards displaying the platform number, I headed off and boarded the train, the carriage of which I had pretty much to myself. When the train reached Clapham I could see a few fellow Bromptonians but they were way down the platform. Later David - our ride leader - telephoned to see if I was on the train and he later joined me for a while.

As we neared Brighton the weather outside looked misty and then foggy. The forecast had foretold that sun would soon burn this all off and this was certainly true. The weather was glorious for this time of year.

After a quick ride briefing we were soon heading out into a particularly fine Saturday morning. David has somehow managed to plan favourable weather conditions.

David giving a ride briefing

A pub with a view
As we set off towards the sea front, for a moment my mind played a trick on me and I had to shake off the notion that I had cycled through the night from Hyde Park Corner, ascended the dreaded Ditching Beacon and that I wasn't in any way tired.

We're off

As we stopped near the pier the sun was doing an excellent job of burning off the last of the haze and encouraging people to get out and enjoy the weather.

Passing the 'Madeira Cafe' again brought back more memories of night rides from London.

Our first port of call was the Undercliff. This is 5km of path from the foot of the cliffs from Black Rock, Brighton to Saltdean. There are times when the waves crash into the seawall and over the paths itself but luckily not today.

Who you looking
Passing the Marina lots of fairly few flats and apartments lined the way. Waterside accommodation wherever it is seems to be universally popular.

That boat it mine!

Every so often we would stop, admire the view and those of us with cameras took a few pictures. It was so bright at times that I wish I had packed some ND filters!

With the sun being so bright I was able to capture the ever dapper Tony gazing out to see. I must confess that this was not intentional but I do like the end result.

There was one section of sand and gravel that I refused to cross. It reminded me too much of that part of the cycle path along the Thames near the O2. I watched from a safe distance until they had all had enough and came

Reaching the end of the Undercliff we headed back the other way. Of course this was the perfect opportunity for more photos.

Chris does need to cheer up on these rides

After climbing a mini-hill successfully we headed down to a pub overlooking the sea. In fact the lovely people inside decided to open up the balcony area which we wasted little time occupying. Well, it was such a lovely day.

With our luncheon over and done we headed back towards Brighton central, still taking photos - in my case of anything that moved or didn't move!

Along Brighton seafront a large post had been built since the last time we were there. It is apparently going to be an observation platform. The views afforded from such a height will surely be lovely, but I am not sure about the actual structure. I wonder whether the locals like it or not?

A bandstand proved to be too good an opportunity to miss, so everyone headed up for more photos. Various poses were thrust forward.

Chris bravely went round the other side to take a photo form a different perspective.

The beech huts induced much excitement as you could pick a door colour to match that of your Brompton.

It all getting too much for Chris

As we headed further out towards Shoreham the less touristy things became and the industrial took centre stage.

Eventually we reached Shoreham-by-sea with its art deco airport. This really is a stunner of building and I cannot be certain but think it might have featured in an episode of the popular television programme, 'Poirot.'

Once inside we made our way to the seating area outside which allowed good views of the various aircraft parked, landing and taking off.

Some of us ordered some refreshment and unfortunately David had to repair a puncture - the only mechanical for the entire day.

Looking at some of the smaller light aircraft I could not help but think to myself that you wouldn't get me in one of those and this view was strengthened the more I watched!

The art deco elements extended inside the airport building and I made a mental note to return one day with Mrs Orange as she would love it.

My Garmin seemed a little funny after Shoreham and froze for a good few miles. I managed to get it going again but it lost quite a few miles. I think we cycled over 32 miles but as you can see my ride date has a gap of several miles.

Our last stop for photos was in Hove Park (at least I think that is what it was called). After that we pressed on towards Brighton railway station.

Once at the station all but Anne, David, David's son and myself headed straight for the train back to London. We headed to a familiar haunt in the form of a coffee shop. Refreshed we headed out for a mini-ride to kill a little time.

Outside one of Brighton's many pubs David spied a wall with lots of artwork on it. The two policeman looked liked the work of the famous Banksy. I am not sure whether it was the original however as I recall it being hacked of the wall and sold at auction. I could be wrong though.

Getting back to the station we boarded the 17:28 train to Victoria but we all got off at Clapham Junction where we went our separate ways.

This was a great little ride and I really enjoyed it. As always many thanks to David for another brilliant adventure and for everyone else how came. Until next time...

Map and ride data

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed visiting Brighton when I had a girlfiend there. Shoreham airport was indeed used in Poireau, would love to go there myself. Brighton City Airlines offered flights to Paris from there, but that soon went under.


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