2018-03 March

FGCC rides in March 2018
Saturday 3rd March Monarch’s Way ride
CB met with himself at old pond green allowing 5 mins for others. He cycled as quickly as possible to Worthing and bought a ticket. While drinking tea in the cafe JR arrived advising that he had left at 7:30 but come to the station on a more scenic and therefore icy route. John took tea and a breakfast bun. We took the train at 8:25 which arrived a few minutes early and met with Mr Kruger who was repairing his second puncture of the morning. MA was a no show at Angmering and therefore the three of us arrived in Chichester and commenced a pretty ill defined route which was agreed a a following as much of the coast as possible and definitely to avoid the south of the manhood as it comprised only houses and caravan sites.

The path along the canal was slippery and we rode carefully down the bridleway to the road which we then followed circuitously to Chichester yacht club where we refound the canal and some very fine boat houses. From here we headed to the coast and kept finding bits of track that we could use and others that were private and all of which said no cycling. Ignoring a number of signs we made good progress to itchenor where we took and quickly lost the ‘sultans path’. From there we followed the road to the witterings and on to bracklesham bay where JR returned by road to Chichester.

Rk and CB battled on into the easterly on very small lanes to sidlesham quay where we then took the footpath that followed on the coast of Pathan harbour. This was the fun part of the ride. Very wet, pretty hard, very pretty and at one point we had no choice but to cross the sea that was rushing in – only about 6 feet wide but about 9 inches deep and not ridable — so very wet feet. We continued to Pagham and then to Bognor and then Middleton, following the coast most of the way and always into a breeze which was now about force 5 against us. Both were fatigued and hungry and pleased to arrive at Middleton tea rooms for a breakfast. The breakfast was super although they forgot the sausages (there were plenty of other components) we were made replete. On settling the account I mentioned the missing sausages to the owner who was mortified and took only £13 in total from us and offering sausages to take away!

We continued by road direct to Barnham where we boarded the 3:32 train. In all about 32 miles (Roy to confirm) and hardly any climbs but given the wind it felt more like 50. We were back before the rain!

Not Monarch's Way ride 2018
Not Monarch’s Way ride 2018

32 miles 355 ft climbed
TAMITS. Jilted award for solo start in spite of pre-arranged meeting?

Saturday 10th March Training ride
A Shoreham loop was proposed in order to visit the Dane at his Shoreham stall and then go en mass to rescue CB’s bike from the Bike Storewhich had mysteriously closed during the week leaving CB in fear of losing his bike forever.
Cissbury then along towards the top of Stable Lane along a really boggy track. Over to the SDW and down the concrete road, to Bramber to join the Downslink and into a wet Shoreham to find the FD in a quiet market. Seafront to Worthing and to find the Bike Store open, no doubt in anticipation of the FGCC descending upon them. Quickly extracted CB’s bike leaving RT’s old bike locks up to collect later. Headed straight north as JR on a time limit and wanting his brek. Met Mr Mead on the way and ride finished with a brek at Julia’s.
Total 20.7 miles but only 893ft climbed

Friday 16th/ Saturday 17th March Downslink/Northwest Passage ride
JR, CB, RK. KBS (outward leg), RT (outward leg to Rackham Hill). ZA (Return leg from Rudgwick).
The peloton assembled at World HQ with our host plying us with quantities of Malaysian Tea as ever and we managed to leave only 30 minutes after the intended departure time. Muntham, High Barn and onto the SDW, but with a diversion right after Chantry Lane car park for a descent to Kithurst car part. The going on this diversion was extremely boggy and considering that this is a track on the top of the Downs it did not bode well for the ground conditions in the vale below. At the car park the majority of the peloton elected to take the road root down the hill, but the Dane wanted to descend the steep slope of Rackham hill to the road between Storrington and Amberley where it was planned to meet the peloton again. RT decided to go with KBS to ensure that he descended at the correct point. As we rode along the top towards Amberley mount the view also gave an indication of the conditions ahead.

View from Rackham hill

After seeing KBS off RT returned to Findon (total 12 miles and 882 ft).

KBS commented as follows:
“An old lady needed our help as she had punctured just before Pulborough. Luckily only women were present as it took us five minutes to work out how to use the jack properly. However, we did get the old lady up and driving again.

FGCC knights in shining armour in action

For the first time ever, we reached Cranleigh in daylight, where we enjoyed a few pints and chips at another Onslow establishment as we had missed our usual drinking stop at Onslow in Loxwood.
The reason was that we refused to follow the route Mr JR had planned (look at the photo) ”

Where’s the bridge?

KBS returned home Friday evening and ZA joined the peloton on Saturday morning at Rudgwick cheese centre

CB added later:
“Well done for capturing it Kim.

After cheese on toast at Rudgwick on Saturday we decided to leave the Downslink and retrace some of the route in the southwards direction before swinging across to Sullington and Kithurst hill. At the missing bridge crossing (photo above) Zach was disbelieving as things were back to normal on Saturday. Great to have the proof from Friday but shame we didn’t have a picture of you (KBS) making a crossing.

Regards from a very snowy French/ Swiss border town”


Outward leg 33.8 miles and 2,020 ft
Return leg 33.3 miles and 2,083 ft

NW passage-Downslink outward leg
NW passage-Downlink outward leg elevations
NW passage-Downslink return leg
NW passage-Downslink return leg elevations

Saturday 24th 08.00am ride
A 4-peaks ride decided upon due to the continuing extremely soggy conditions. Some way up Nepcote Lane MA realised that he had again forgotten something – his backpack – though on this occasion he had actually brought it in his car. Item collected we set off again. A short debate at Cissbury car park, where KBS wanted to do a “proper” 4 peaks (“..but it’s meant to be a 4 peaks ride”) in spite of the extremely slippery conditions, but was outvoted. Slid along the top to top of Stable Lane and then up to Chanctonbury just after which KBS wanted to go over the top rather than down the SDW, but meeting the SDW by the gas works. Up to the High Barn but cutting across the field to avoid the mire by the barn (excepting the Dane who was following from in front again) then back towards Collarbone Alley where it was observed that the memorial needs maintenance, and on to Long Furlong where we bid goodbye to KBS. On and down a very slippery Church Hill and up to Nepcroft to wash extremely muddy bikes before a brek at Julia’s. A short ride but the soggy conditions made it feel much longer
10.8 miles 1,131 ft

TAMITS: Another item for MA to add to the list, leading to PT to comment that if you look at the list the only item he hasn’t forgotten is himself.
Also FD sticking to standards (or being thoroughly predictable) in ensuring that 4 peaks is 4 peaks even though he didn’t do the last one anyway.

Saturday 31st March 08.00am ride
PT arrived with a new steed, a Specialised Camber, with its single front gear ring and 11 rear rings as well as 27.5inch wheels! In view of continuing soggy conditions the Shoreham loop was selected as the route. Cissbury (PT enjoying a fast ride up) and straight over to the Coombes, along the road towards Lancing College, round the airport and along the seafront (PT and RK soon leaving RT and JR behind)to Worthing. Grand avenue, West Worthing and straight up the A24 to Findon for bike washing at Nepcroft before a brek at Julia’s collecting Philip on the way. Astonishingly some of the b******s talking included the subject of vacuum cleaners – what has the FGCC come to.

Total 18.8 miles and 845ft Strava. 1045ft Satmap