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.