Sat 2 May 2009 7.30am Saturday ride
PT arrived at the square, to find he had correctly loaded equipment into LSV2 with the exception of two left gloves instead of a pair. CB hailed from Pomegranate Cottage to seek an opinion on a rather noisy rear brake, the subject of recent unsupervised maintenance in which the insertion of an implement to separate the brake pads had resulted in terminal deformation of the return spring. Fortunately, a spare spring was procured from the toolkit in LSV2 and the repair made good, for PT RT and CB to depart at 07:50 for Arundel via Muntham, the tank, and a puncture stop at Wepham Down. On the descent by the gallops we were instructed to ride through the sheep, rather than near the field edge, so as not to upset horses on the gallop. Reached Arundel at 09:10 for an excellent brek (with bacons ordered as such).
Departing the brek CB commented that this was the first time that he was going to depart Arundel without having to repair a puncture, to which PT commented that perhaps CB should adopt the motto “Semper punturus”.
The group then set off to Warninglid and Angmering park – admiring the bluebells:
Passing Michelgrove, we met a lady on a horse, closely scrutinising the edge of the track. Enquiry established that she was seeking a lost phone. PT opened his saddlebag to call the fugitive phone, and as the search progressed toward Myrtle Grove the phone was found by CB and returned to its owner. All then proceeded to Myrtle Grove with PT trailing the peleton, and down the first dip toward Tolmare with CB trailing PT. At this point, the ejection of a spare tube from PTs bag alerted CB to a possible disaster. Checking the bag, which had been unfastened since the earlier phone incident at Michelgrove, it was ascertained that PTs wallet and several other valuable items were missing. CB and PT immediately returned to Michelgrove, leaving a confused RT heading towards Tolmare. After some searching, all items were retrieved with the exception of the wallet. Just as PT was contemplating the wrath which could reasonably be expected to be unleashed on imparting the afflicting intelligence to Mrs T, the day was entirely saved by the appearance of one Mr Kaylor striding along the track in our direction, enquiring whether any of us was Paul Topley. Honorary membership would be a wholly inadequate gesture to recognise the character, resourcefulness and uprightness of said Mr Kaylor who, having come upon the wallet, had telephoned not only the local plod but also the FGCC contact number (to obtain which he must have googled FGCC from the membership cards in the wallet) and had left a message at Nepcroft. He then noticed the unusual behavior of PT and CB (bikers walking along looking intently into the grass verges) and added 2 and 2 to get 4. PT and the wallet were thus reunited, Mr Kaylor sincerely thanked, and all returned to Findon apace via Tolmare and the Furlong. The sucessful outcome of the morning meant that PT was able to recount the tale to Mrs T without permanent injury. An eventful 20.2 miles, in sunshine.
Sat 9 May 2009 7.30am Saturday ride
CB RT and PT assembled, CB with bike bristling with new bits. Over Cissbury to cross Steyning road and climb over Lancing Clump, drop down by the College and cross the footbridge into Shoreham. 50 minutes from Findon. Brek at Truffles, then north on Downslink past wooden sculptures to the bridge, cross over the river and take South Downs Way home. Last Post foiled by wind from southwest (probably helped on the outward leg to Shoreham). KB-S arrived late, and followed us in true continental fashion. He telephoned from Arundel, as we brekked at Shoreham. Turns out he arrived exactly one week late for the ride. Text sent to suggest that he met us on our return via SDW but for some reason no response was received to this challenge (though it could that he is still lost in Angmering Park Estate). JR on dog-walking detail as we arrived back in the square. 17.6 miles round, arriving back in Findon at about 10:30.
Sat 16th May 7.30 am Saturday ride
The morning looked grey, so grey that PT, MA and RT had decided to put their overshoes on, even we were in the middle of May. Only KBS turned up without. MA was riding on a very light Specialized Test bike as his own bike was still at the bike shop. After MA has changed an inner tube (that he had fitted the same morning) we took off.
MAs new inner tube didnt last long. After 15 minutes of riding it was flat again and we stopped for a puncture repair. Next stop was at the Tank that seemed to have fallen apart. So we thought initially. However, the extra piece of rusty iron didnt come from the tank, but could be handy for our next tank brek.
Leaving the tank, M La Bas had had enough of being M la Bas and took off before the normal saying and was promptly reprimanded when the others eventually caught up. Having issued the reprimand, PT almost repeated the same mistake, but realised and immediately came to a halt resulting in KBS crashing into him.
With the help of PTs satnav we found a new and exiting way into and through APE to reach ZAs vicarage. Only once did we go slightly wrong as PT – as a man -couldnt multitask and forgot to look at his satnav while he opened one of the gates for us.
At ZAs vicarage, we were greeted by EN and later served a delicious cooked breakfast by ZA. While we enjoyed our breakfast, the air pressure of PTs front wheel slowly disappeared, hence he decided to leave the bike and return on four wheels to Findon.
After the breakfast ZA sneaked out of the house, leaving the dirty plates behind him, and lead us along a perfect route up to High Salvington and Church Lane where RT and MA left for Findon. KBS continued home and saw ZA disappearing along Monarchs Way.
Fantastic ride and what a great breakfast
Sat 30th May Saturday 7.30am ride.
“Only John and I made it as far as a breakfast on Saturday (having been joined by Francis and Kim for a super ride). We declared ourselves quorate and we resolved to move the date of the Tank Breakfast to 13th June (sorry Zach) as it seemed to work for most”
Further to Mr. Budd’s lucid explanation of the events on Saturday, I fear that protocol and a good upbringing prevent him from revealing the true goings-on. We at The Cranford Chronicles know no such diplomacy and will not allow mere protocol and diplomacy to stand in the way of the facts – especially when it enables us to trash rival foreign press representatives:
All riders arrived in good time for a departure at the expiry of the 10 minute rule – All that is except John Pope who (as Zach correctly divined) was overcome by the influence of a combination of distant American ancestry and a probable brush with Dave Mackerel! To summarise: He failed to show up, but unlike his predecessors he did first send word by telegram.
Riders: Initially English was the second language of the ride as only those born on distant shores materialised. However, just in time Mr. Chris Budd of England arrived to balance the numbers and (as will be seen in a moment), to inject some sanity into the proceedings! Hence FL, KBS, CB and JR set off.
A route was planned and agreed by all present – Cissbury Car Park, Chanctonbury, Langmead Memorial, Due East to the foot of the downs via the concrete path, then along the foothills of Cissbury (past the dew pond) to ascend Cissbury via the back (Southern side), ride around the Worthing side of Cissbury to descend to Findon valley via the Warren Road (bound) Bridleway, turning right to descend past MA’s memorial into the Valley for Brek at the Ancestral Home.
All went well as far north as the junction of the (Last Post) Bridleway to Chanctonbury with the SDW. At this point one KBS had the bright idea of introducing Danish rebellion into the proceedings and suggested an “alternative” illegal, suicidal, off-piste, downhill descent. Pre-planned rebellion broke out amongst the ranks (CB and I has suspected that a coup was being planned). The combination of the need to get to brek, the desire to minimise the subsequent number of uphills, and the nursing of a hang-over on myself (inflicted by fellow FGCC member Mr. Charlton), oh and the need to preserve life and limb, meant that mass revolution was all that would save us from a down-hill descent from (or rather into) hell vis-a-vis the reverse of the uphill path (whose parents failed to marry) as taken by those returning from Lewes last week.
For the first time on British soil the Danes were defeated and kind capitulation to our wishes was made by KBS who promptly showed us all up by leading the charge on Cissbury. Arriving there KBS peeled off to return home and see his Mother off back to Denmark – perhaps she could have explained how he went so far off the beaten track! The remaining three stalwarts circumnavigated Cissbury by the lower southerly path; the remaining continental representative (FL) then returned directly to Findon, leaving the British contingent to travel on to and represent the FGCC at the Linga Longa. Bacons were consumed by an approving Mr. Budd, but as the keepers of the Ancestral kitchen had over-buttered the toast a direct return to Findon was dropped in favour of a more challenging calorie burning route via the gallops, Mill Lane, Honeysuckle Lane, Long Furlong and home.