2010.05 May

Saturday 1st May 7.30am ride
DS writes:
ZA, N, FL, DS & MA set off for a ride to the west of Findon with Zach leading the way as route master. Simply put, a stunning ride in clear sunny conditions that spoiled us rotten in terms of vistas and local fauna. We left Findon and travelled up Long Furlong before heading off road at Tolmare for a blast over the old coach road. It was then a swift tarmac blast down to Long Furlong corner and then the bridleway took us to the top of Patching Mount. Our first descent into the Angmering Park estate was rooty and challenging but made entirely worthwhile by the stunning woodland views that held canopies of dappled sunlight and breathtaking electric blue carpets of bluebells as far as the eye could see. Wonderful.

We then climbed out of the wooded terrain and out onto the Downs. Fantastic view followed fantastic view and as we approached Lee Farm, we saw the first of five hares that we saw during the ride. A lovely sight and every corner seemed to turn up a new delight with buzzards, partridge, wheatears, yellowhammers and skylarks being complemented with hares in every field!

We rolled up to the SDW and then had a lovely descent into Findon via the maize field in Long Furlong. A very memorable ride in generally unfamiliar territory. Well done to Zach for leading us all on such a terrific route.

Total 13.8 miles

Saturday 8th May 7.30am ride.
DS, MA, PT, KBS & RT.
JR had previously advised that his family were going to “drag him down to the pub” the night before, and did not make the ride!
RT arrived on the Cannondale and was not able to mark the tarmac by Pond Green – caliper brakes not up to the stopping power of disc brakes – and gratefully accepted the offer of PT’s spare bike that had been brought along at the request of JR.
Set off up via Muntham to the SDW. At Chantry Lane car park a “nice little” diversion was suggested by KBS, a short distance down Chantry Lane and then left round the side of the hill, over a cliff edge to join a “mountain goat path of death” as DS described it, then a steep climb back up to the top, to parallel and then join the SDW again.
Down the path towards Burpham but a sharp left, slightly overshot by PT, to head towards the gallops, a fork to the left into the Angmering Park estate to follow a KBS route – i.e. I have no idea where we went but I am sure it was round in several circles. Bluebells presenting a glorious display – perhaps the perfect timing to see and smell them

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- and we left the woods just above Patching, to return via Tolmare.

After the ride PT placed the Satmap on the car and he and RT both commented that he ought not to forget it and drive off with it on the roof…..so of course that’s what he did!

Total distance 14miles? Can someone please advise.

DS writes – I think it was just over 17 miles. The only other note is that this ride was a slightly more extreme reverse loop from the previous Saturday but then with Kim leading, what else would we expect!? It is always an interesting ride when Kim is planning the route and this ride was no different. Loads of very fast single track blasts which were great fun. Well done to Kim for taking us on a superb ride.

Lastly, we were lucky not to get wet as it chucked it down for most of the day upon our return… Onwards now, to tonight’s EPM de France and then across La Manche on Wednesday……

Saturday 22nd May 2010.
RT, PT, KBS, FL, DS, GD and a new rider Martin. It was the Summer Revels at St John the Baptist church and most needed to be back to help out on the event or to take children. We therefore decided on a short route, we headed off up Stable Lane only to find a car in a hedge! It took a few minutes to take it all in and we then rode past Gallops Farm and up towards Chanctonbury past the farm and avoiding the lower valley.
Where we joined the SDW DS suggested, to the delight of KBS, a diversion through the Lions Trail. We agreed and met up safe and sound at the end, from there we turned left and made our way back past Llama lane and through the woods to rejoin the SDW by the gas pumping station.
From there we went down to the A24 where RT and PT parted company with the peleton for more urgent matters. The remaining gentlemen rode up to the barn and back to Findon through the ploughed field. An hour and a half with stops but a great training route. 10 miles approximately.

Saturday 29th May 2010
MA, KBS, FL, DS and GD left Findon via Nepcote this morning at 7.40am bound for Truffles in Henfield and a brek liaison with PT who made his way there from Turvey House. At the top of the Monarch’s Way DS suffered the most amazing puncture when he somehow picked up a massive wood screw together with a washer into his back tyre.

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Still, no problem, five minutes later we were on our way again towards the Lion Trail for a second week in a row. GD bit the dust at one point but with only minor scratches incurred he soldiered on. The rest flew down without incident and onward through Steyning to Henfield via the Downslink. KBS said his goodbyes at the start of the old railway line and FL when we arrived in Henfield.

PT was waiting patiently in ‘Truffles’ supping tea on our arrival having single handedly made the pilgrimage from HH. We caught up with his news following last night’s boozy EPM and then replenished our empty stomachs on a ‘Full Henfield’ brek, scrambled eggs with smoked Salmon and the obligatory toast and marmalade, oh! and lashings of Tea.
The weather took a turn for the worse in Henfield and a light drizzly spray descended upon us, it was in our face for the return journey but did not dampen our spirit.

With only MA, DS and GD left from the original quintet we parted company with PT and returned to Findon through Steyning. Just before the Adur on the Downslink we noticed scores of house martins flying around one tree and a small spinney, the activity was very curious and quite spectacular.

DS had ‘right of entry’ to Coombes Farm, and GD and DS took their leave of MA and exercised the Coombes option, heading back across the downs on this normally unaccessible route. It brought us out onto the path from Lancing College and we returned into the village through Nepcote. The light rain on dusty chalk made the going very slippery on the bridleway behind Cissbury and with clogged tyres it was even more hazardous. Good fun though, 27 miles in total and another great morning’s cycling.

After leaving Messrs George and David at the western junction of the SDW and Downslink, and after an interlude observing a flock of martins on a feeding frenzy, MA proceeded down the Downslink, through the airport and just after going under the low railway tunnel, came a cropper on the checker plate on the little bridge over the stream. Shiny metal with a light covering of water does not a sticky surface make…

The Florence Nightingale Syndrome is alive and well as while MA was gathering himself for the remainder of the journey home, staunching the claret etc., he received tender ministrations from three ladies…

Meanwhile, PT struck east from Henfield for an appointment with a ruthless chiropractiste in Burgess Hill, followed by an off-road approach to HH from the south. PT covered 23.4 miles, rained on only for the last bit from Sayer’s common to BH and HH.

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