Our aim.....

Welcome all Ladies to the Biking Belles - Chichester and District Ladies Cycling Club (TM). Formed on August 21, 2010.

Biking Belles: developing the wellbeing, fitness and confidence in ourselves. For women by women.

We meet every weekend and the rides vary in degrees of difficulty and details of the rides are posted well in advance here on the Blog. We always stop halfway for that important cuppa and a slice of cake!

To enjoy our rides you should be fit enough to cycle at least 20 miles. For the timebeing we are referring all Novice / Starter rides to the CDC website. The dates of their rides are noted on this Blog, on the Starter page.

It's been a very exciting first couple of years and we have fulfilled our original aim to introduce more ladies to cycling, improve our fitness and to make new friends.....and to work towards and achieve those once impossible goals.

The BBs have grown and has become an exciting Club to be involved with, in 2012 we formed the Charity Belles fundraising section, raising over £2,000 during our first year. We are proud to have as our patron the Countess of March and Kinrara.

Social Belles meet once a month for a pub supper. An ideal opportunity for anyone interested in joining the BBs to come along and meet us all. It's also a chance for existing BBs to discuss future ideas and plans.

We welcome new members and I hope you enjoy being part of the BB's and that we form a long and happy cycling friendship!

Why not visit our Forum, just register at: www.bikingbelles.co.uk/forum

Happy and safe cycling!

Val Harper
Mobile: 07824 605317


You can now follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/bikingbelleschichester

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve ride

Great to see everyone this morning.....Elise, Claire, Mercy, Sandra, Nikki, Angela, Steph, Tizzie and welcome back Leyla!

We all decorated our bikes in a Christmas theme, Tizzie brought along her wonderful singing teddy.....

A new type of water bottle.....

The Jingle Belles......

With much enthusiasm from Tizzie, it didn't take her long to repair her flat tyre....
Steph's bike with pretty christmas tree on the handle bars....

From here we made our way to our cafe in Bosham where the tide was starting to come in....

A swan having one of our mince pies

On leaving Bosham we were all admiring this lovely apricot coloured cat sitting watching the world go by.......unfortunately Lelya turned around to look at the cat and.....

oops, over she goes......!!

She was fine. We then made our way towards Chidham for a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie at The Old House at Home pub - a place we'll have to visit again on another ride as we see they do cream teas!

Not much cycling today, but it was fun. We all cycled back to the start and said our goodbyes and Happy Christmases. Good to see everyone today.

Happy Christmas and Happy New Year to all Belles!!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Saturday, December 17 - Maratona ride

We met at 9am this morning, another cold yet sunny winter morning. Welcome new Belle - Alison, Elise, Mercy and Steph were also out.

We cycled up New Barn Lane towards the East Dean crossroads, turning right here when it suddenly started to sleet, which was not expected. Just further along this road approximately 6 deer shot across our path, looked like youngsters, rushing over into the woods. We carried on along towards Benges crossroads but unfortunately, Alison had a puncture on her back wheel. Within seconds Alison had the wheel off and busily found the culprit - which looked like a thorn - new tip for everyone....she always carries within her puncture kit a pair of tweezers which were perfect for pulling out the thorn.

We changed from cycling to Petworth, over to Midhurst and back via Cocking due to the wet and cold weather, instead we cycled our 'Heyshott route'. Good testing ride this and we all made it and were even encouraged on the Cocking hill by a 6 year old who was helping his dad clear part of side track on the hill.

Down into Cocking we then made for West Dean cafe, the weather had improved by this time and it was now dry and sunny again.

After mince pies, cake, tea and coffees we decided to go back home via the Centurion Way rather than up Charlton hill this week. We said goodbye to Steph and Alison at the Lavant point as they were going on towards Chichester. Mercy, Elise and myself carried on via Lavant and cut through Goodwood and back to the hotel.

Mileage - 32 miles - hilly and testing.
Speed - I gather Alison hit 34 mph going down Duncton hill!!

Good to see everyone today.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Maratona ride Saturday, December 10

We met at 1pm, which worked out well as there was a frost first thing. No time to take photos today as we were busy cycling up and down hills ...and trying to keep warm!

We started off at the Godowood Hotel, went up New Barn Lane, past Sculpture at Goodwood, straight across towards East Dean and down the hill, turning left at the pond and then on up Charlton Hill. I did this a couple of times, mainly to keep warm. From here we went back down Charlton Hill turning right towards East Dean and cycled up the East Dean hill - we all did this twice. Going down was much colder than going up.

After cycling the hills twice I found it was easier the second time around!  Not many miles in distance but in gradient, it felt quite far.

Next week we are cycling a much longer ride - meeting at 9am.

Elise, Angla, Fiona, Mercy and Sandra were out.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Sunday, December 4

Another good turnout this morning - congratulations to Angela for completing the Kenya womenVcancer charity ride and she successfully completed the Gold section, so very well done to her! We think its the BB's training programme which helped get her there!! And welcome back Fiona whom we haven't seen for a few months. Sandra, Caroline, Steph and Elise were also out today and all wearing our brand new spotty windproof/showerproof jackets which look great and received them in record time.

We met at Goodwood Hotel, cycled through to Lavant, passing the Royal Oak and made our way to Chilgrove cycling via the back lanes and eventually coming out by The Fish House. On up the Chilgrove hill instead of turning left I carried on and took the following left hand turning, a new way and I think a little bit better.

From here we went up the hard short steep hill, it not very long but it always gets you, even one of the farmers along the route said 'bet that's difficult!' - it was. From the top its the best bit, a long smooth downhill run almost all the way to Compton. Our favourite tea shop was open and we all sat down for the usual tea and cakes.

We said goodbye to Sandra and Fiona as they had to get back home, we all carried on towards Funtingdon then to West Stoke then to Lavant, the same way we came and eventually ending back at the hotel around 1pm.

Elise and myself cycled back to Tangmere

The previous night most of the Maratona Belles met at my place for a strategy meeting, the conclusion is that we all have booked our flights - departing Gatwick on Wed, June 27! Lots of very useful tips from Malc last night. We have lots to do in preparation, but we'll do it, I have no doubt!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Maratona Ride, Saturday November 19

Elise and myself caught the 10.25 train from Chichester to Cosham, we bumped into Leyla and her friend at Chi station, she was off cycling to West Wittering and promises to come out riding with us on a Sunday very soon.

At Cosham we met Mercy and we all cycled to the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth, took us about 10 mins. We met up with Caroline and Gill arrived shortly afterwards.

Their outdoor track was most impressive with inclines and a super smooth surface. Take a look at Mercy's tracker....you can see the circles around the track....

We all warmed up by cycling a few times around the track, then Paul started us off initially with some basic handling skills, individually leading what was the main focus and then safe group riding. Out on the track, he set up a few slalom courses to negotiate. From there we looked at a few techniques for safely moving within a group of riders using the course he set up, riding in pairs, remembering to communicate with each other.

Very worthwhile morning and we are planning on going back for another course in mid January. Anyone interested please let me know.

We started at about 12.15 and finished two hours later. Elise, Mercy and myself cycled back home, dropping Mercy off at Chi station. I arrived home at about 4.15pm - a fun day and for once no hills!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Easy Belles ride - Sunday November 13

Tizzie kindly offered to lead this ride for me today.

Setting off from the start point at 10.08 were myself, Sally, Lynn and three new Belles – Leona, Laura and Denise (very nearly ‘L’s Belles!).  Passing the Spinnaker restaurant, we almost got to the sea lock when I had a call from Nikki who had arrived a little late.  After a few calls to and from, and still no sight of Nikki, we had to push on, it was nice and sunny, but the wind had picked up.  We made a quick de-tour to Dell Quay for a little peek before heading back to the Salterns Way.  We had brief moment of concern when Lynn took a tumble just outside the entrance to Fishbourne church but were quickly able to get going again. 

We went past the front of Chichester College where some of the Belles were surprised to see half an airplane parked up!  Our last ‘hurdle’ before stopping for tea and cakes was crossing the very busy road outside the train station, but as the railway gates were down, we got across easily.  On to the ‘tea shop’ and while we were parking our bikes, I spotted a lonesome cyclist sat outside … Nikki!  We enjoyed a good chatter but despite the sunshine, the wind got through our clothes and we decided to move on. 

We waved goodbye to Sally at this point as this was where she had started from, and Nikki who headed off home as she had more or less done the ride in the opposite direction!  The canal path was not as busy as usual, I would imagine it was the cold wind putting people off.  We stopped by the Selsey Tram crossing point to give a (very brief) history lesson and found myself being heckled by a local who told us that was all rubbish and “no one knows anything ‘cos there was no records”!  

Having decided this was not a good time to mention to the other Belles that the Selsey Tram route could be resurrected as a cycle route, we said a cheerful goodbye to our heckler and bumped our way along the (increasingly muddy) towpath.  On reaching the Donnington crossing, we decided that, as the next section of the towpath was a bit worse, it would be a good idea to do the last leg of our journey on the road via Wophams Lane arriving back at the marina about midday having done about 10 miles.  

After a brief discussion, it was agreed that this had been a very Easy Belles ride, and that we would be keen to do about 20 miles next time.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Maratona Ride - Sunday November 13

This was a good ride and we cycled approx 40 miles!

We all met at Goodwood Hotel - Sandra, Elise, Caroline, Malc and Simon and made our way towards Bosham just to warm ourselves up before the hilly sections of the ride.

From Bosham we made our way along the road towards Compton, which was a long slow climb towards Compton and our cafe! A beautiful crisp morning with lovely blue skies, can't believe its the middle of November! We sat outside and had our tea and cakes.

Here are Sandra's new leggings... which I think we're all going to buy for the colder days ahead.

From Compton we cycled on towards Chilgrove climbing some quite difficult hills, we turned left at The Fish House and cycled the back lanes right on towards The Selsey Arms which is on the Midhurst/Chichester road, crossing over the main road and going along the back lane towards West Dean College. Here we said goodbye to Sandra and Angela as they went home along the Centurion Way and Angela leaves next week for her 400k charity ride in Kenya - good luck to her!

From here, me, Elise, Malc and Caroline went on towards Singleton, towards Charlton (missing out that hill this week) on towards East Dean, turning right at the pond and up East Dean hill - I gather this is the sort of incline we're going to experience on the Maratona, which wasn't too difficult at all.

All along the way Malc kindly gave us some tips on fitness, riding as a group etc which is invaluable - thanks Malc!

Glad to see the nice downhill section from the top of East Dean hill back to Goodwood Hotel.

Next week we're having some indoor training in Portsmouth so this should be very useful.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Maratona Ride, Saturday November 5

A funny thing happened...........

It was discussed and agreed at the start of the ride that we all cycle from Goodwood Hotel towards Heyshott / Cocking (without stopping at our usual cafe there), carry on up Cocking Hill turn left at Singleton, cycle up Charlton Hill and then down the Goodwood Hill finishing up at West Dean for a much deserved tea and cake stop. This was agreed.

However, it appears I was the only one who cut through Singleton, cycled up Charlton Hill and on towards West Dean....I thought it was quiet out there! When I  eventually arrived at West Dean all the other Belles were there! I couldn't believe it, they cycled past the turning towards Charlton Hill and just carried on for tea and cakes!

There was a ringleader and I think I know who it was......!

So I must have cycled 50 miles, where as they cycled only 25 miles! That's what I believe.

Here they all are relaxing and enjoying their tea.....

After tea Mercy felt so guilty she suggested she cycled back towards Charlton and up the hill, and I accompanied her...so I cycled the Charlton Hill TWICE!! I'm very proud of this. The other Belles, who'll I name.....Elise, Angela, Sandra and Steph cycled the easy route back home along the Centurion Way...they must have been exhausted!

We used up over 2,000 calories and our average speed was 11mph.

And a footnote from Mercy...

'And for the complete 'I was there' feeling, she is going 'Nooooooooooo' as I take the picture. On the other side of the hill, she very kindly waited for me as I descended at the speed of an elderly lady on a zimmer.'

The next Maratona ride will be even tougher!!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Sunday, October 30

It rained witches and broomsticks!

Steph looking great!

As it was Halloween most of us dressed up as witches and had a fun ride, despite the rain and gloomy skies....

We met in the car park at Goodwood Hotel and were joined by: Claire, Mercy, Elise, Angela, Gill and Steph.

This was the first of our Maratona rides - non stop to Compton for a much needed tea and cake stop. Our route took us via Lavant, Chilgrove back lanes and Marden. After tea we cycled to Bosham and then back to Goodwood - the total distance was 31 miles. 

Mercy and those nails and wig....


Elise and Doreen leaving Tangmere....

Wherever we went we caused a bit of a stir.....Someone in the Compton cafe said to Doreen....'have you escaped from Grailingwell?' she replied... 'actually I work there!' .... and the reply came back as 'sometimes you can't tell the difference between the patients and staff!' ......Hilarious!!

The madwoman....

Leaving the cafe for Bosham.

We cycled 31 miles and used up approx 1600 calories!


Thanks to everyone who came out today, quite a challenging ride. Next week there's another Maratona ride - non stop to West Dean from Goodwood via Heyshot and Cocking!! Email if you fancy this one.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Saturday October 22

An Easy Belles Ride.

Nikki returns after breaking her foot a few months ago, good to have you back!

We met at the start of the Centurion Way and discussed either going towards West Dean or visiting the new cafe in Bosham. The new cafe won.

The route to Bosham is a cyclist friendly one, along cycle routes and quiet country lanes for most of the way. It was a lovely sunny morning, but a little windy. Nikki, Gill, Grace and Elise joined us.

Approaching the sea at Bosham was stunning, as usual. A wonderful sight with many boats and sea birds playing in the wind.

We stopped at the new cafe, but no carrot cake! Needless to say we sampled all the other cakes they had on offer....ginger and pear, lemon drizzle, lemon and blueberry cake...all yummy.

Cycling back we cut through the village and said goodbye to Nikki as she went back home, to Chidham, I think.
We arrived back at the start around 12.30pm. A good easy ride and for once no hills!

Next Sunday is the first of the Maratona routes - long and tough rides these!

Monday, 10 October 2011

MUMs Club - October 5

This was our first Mums Club cycle ride, aimed at Mums left home alone while their children are away at school and are interested in getting back on their bikes. Unfortunately, the weather was rather windy and wet at times so there wasn't a huge turnout for this particular ride...just Lynn and myself.

We met in the car park of Chichester Sainsburys and I showed Lynn the cycle routes into Chichester, avoiding the busy roads - we cycled behind Homebase, through the housing estate and along the Roman Walls coming out next to WSCC - all along cycle routes. From here we made our way to the Centurion Way and cycled the length of this route and ended up in West Dean garden centre for tea and a slice of cake.

Going home we cycled the quiet back lanes of West Dean and cut along the bridleway towards Lavant and then cycled along Fordwater Lane coming out near the University.

We reach the car park at about 12.30pm.

The distance was approx 20 miles. It was good to see Lynn again and hope to see more ladies on our next Mums ride on Wed, Nov 9.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

East Kent Ladies Day

A sea of pink!

We had a really great day's cycling with the lovely ladies from the East Kent Ladies Cycling Club!

When we arranged this ride back in February no one imagined the temperature would be 28 degrees on October 1st!

We met at 10am at the start of the Centurion Way - and there was a total of 13 girls.

The gang....

We cycled almost the length of the CW, cutting through the housing estate in Lavant, then along the Chilgrove road, turning right onto Hylters Lane, up and along the 'bumpy bits' and instead of turning right as we normally do at the bottom of the lane we turned left. 

These back lanes to The Fish House were in the shade, so it was pleasant  and pretty along this route. At The Fish House we stopped to refill our water bottles and have a cool drink.

Back on the Chilrove Road we cycled on towards Marden, again a few hilly sections, finally reaching Compton for much needed tea and cakes.

At the start of the ride

A friendly cyclist who took our group photo....

Along the Centurion Way....


Compton tea shop

From Compton we made our way towards Bosham, along a very pretty route. We thought the girls would like an ice cream along the waterfront in Bosham and to look around the lovely area.

We reached Bosham at about 2.30pm and a few of us said our goodbyes. 

Tizzie and Elise kindly offered to show the girls around Bosham, but I gather there were quite a few pub stops along the way!

It was great to meet the ladies from East Kent and hope very much to see you all again very soon, perhaps in Kent!

We had a lovely day with you all - thank you for coming to Chichester to see us!

The distance to Bosham was 26.5 miles and a fairly hilly route.

This is what Tizzie emailed me ....

Unfortunately we were not able to go into the church at Bosham as there was a wedding taking place.  Having had a little look around the Quay, we then walked along the foreshore path then cycled down to the ferry where we (well, rather a nice looking guy in a dodgy looking boat) took the EKLs across to Itchenor.  We stopped at (another) pub, the Ship, for more fluid and a comfort break, then took the EKLs back along the Salterns Way.  A parting of the ways took place close to the underpass at the A27 – at this point we had done about 34 miles from the start of the Centurion Way.