Easter Tandem Rally 2011

Thursday, 21st April - Monday, 25th April 2011

Arundel Youth Hostel
West Sussex
BN18 9QY

Flag of Brittany
Arundel Youth Hostel
Members enjoying the evening
sun outside the hostel

The camping field

in the sun on Thursday

Storytellers at Arundel Castle
selling 'Holy Relics'
between stories

Around eighty members attended the 2011 Easter Rally at the Warningcamp Youth Hostel near Arundel some 40 miles West of Ringmer on the edge of the new South Downs National Park.

Most people stayed in the hostel with the campers spread around various sites including the hostel grounds, Crossbush and Ford. With Easter being as late as possible the rally enjoyed days of sunny cycling weather.

For those able to arrive early on Thursday there was the option of either a 16 mile ride via Littlehampton or a 25 mile ride via Bognor Regis.

Good Friday saw us setting out to explore the North and South Downs. A short stretch of downland track slowed many down with some opting to walk and enjoy the scenery in another day of glorious sunshine. We stopped for a long coffee break at the Roman Villa in Bignor with lunch being taken by the river at Greatham Bridge, site of a Civil War skirmish.

We awoke on Easter Saturday to another sunny day and spent an interesting ten minutes getting a group across the busy A27 on our way to Worthing. At the Sea Lane cafe our small party split up. Some electing to stop and join the enormous queue for coffee and ice cream with others carrying on towards Worthing and the pier. It was so hot that a few decided to shorten the short ride and return to Crossbush campsite for a welcome rest before joining everyone else at the hostel for the A.G.M. That evening all the children received a small Easter egg.

Easter Sunday's destination was Chichester, The harbour in the pretty and historic village of Bosham and Slindon Forest. Janet and Tony having suffered mechanical and physical problems decided to explore the town of Arundel and visit the Castle's Normans and Crusaders event with storytellers and armourers. In the evening both hostel residents and those staying off site joined together for an evening meal prepared by the hostel staff.

On Monday having decided to stay on after the rally we took the train to Amberley Working Museum and had a great time looking at exhibits from times gone by. Many of the items on display are still in daily use in our household! There is a cycle exhibition which includes a Raleigh Double Gents Tandem. Pia, Tilman,Enno and Konrad had planned to meet us for a 'traditional english pub evening but report that unfortunately we didn't arrive in time at Arundel to come to see you at Crossbush! The blame is as always to be given to our children: They took to long to complete a Yangtze size dam constructions at the seaside. And there was this terrible headwind along the cost. But we had exceptionally nice weather and it continued right away - basically untill today...

Other comments from Pia and Tilman who brought their quad tandem by train from Bad Kreuznach in the Rhineland-Palatinate of Germany:
A gentleman who normally doesn't talk to people who only own two bikes (he had 24, as he said) but the quad tandem counted for five...
The truth about the GENTLE UNDULATIONS of the South Downs...
Pia's famous short cut from North Stoke to South Stoke - but the twins were already there.
How to keep children awake whilst playing Uno with Nick and Wi...
We are already planning when to come and participate again because we liked it so much!!!

For those who wanted a break from cycling there were lots of excellent attractions nearby including Arundel Castle, the Wetland and Wildfowl Trust and Amberley Working Museum and many others not much further afield.

Photographs from the Rally may be seen here.

Map showing location of Arundel Youth Hostel


Page compiled from material supplied by Ian Hewitt