2019-04 April

Findon Gentlemen’s Cycling Club rides in March 2019

Saturday 6th April 08.00am training ride
PT writes:
A day of mixed fortune for the Peloton of RT, ZA, JR, TK and PT.

PT arrived at Pond Green early, and set about removing three thorns and repairing the consequent punctures. Joined by the esteemed peloton, a brief inspection of RT’s rear mech revealed that half the jockey wheel frame was missing, snapped off during a particularly energetic BDN ride in the company of the Flying Brit. Sage nods and sucking of teeth preceeded a conclusion that “it’ll be alright” and thus the peleton set off for a route best described as the Four Hills.

At the first uphill section, behind Rogers Farm for the ascent of Church Hill, the remaining parts of RT’s rear mech met the spokes of the rear wheel, and total failure ensued.

RT derailleur failure

Having discoveed that carbon fibre is nothing more than extruded soot stuck together with recycled milk bottles, a resigned RT headed homeward, no doubt to be consoled by Carole finding him plenty to keep him busy.

The now depleted peleton soldiered bravely on, which no doubt brought to JR’s mind the character-building effects of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme. JR was kind enough to share the memory of his own participation in His Royal Highness’ initiative, as it was almost exactly fifty years ago that a youthful JR and a small cohort of contemporaries were deposited by bus, driven by one John Bradley, at Myrtle Grove for a hike over the Downs.

The experience clearly had an indelible effect on the lad, as the route was still deeply etched on his memory. Unanimously the peloton decided that the FGCC must honour this event, and pay a belated homage to John Bradley, by retracing the route of JR’s “Long Walk to Adulthood”.

Cresting Church Hill, we descended to cross Long Furlong and passed by Tolmare Farm, taking the Monarch’s Way to Myrtle Grove.

Four hills or JR’s DofE ride

Noth over Blackpatch, then south to circle round and north to climb over Harrow Hill to Lee Farm. Finally north to Chantry Hill, and a last post by PT back to Muntham. Collarbone Alley, then alongside the A24 to brek at Rogers Farm.
A short ride, but not short of climbs. 12.5 miles and 1502 feet.
The bit from mile 4 to mile 6 is really scenic.

Further content (edited) from Mr Roche:
Many thanks indeed for recording this ride so accurately and for the beautiful prose that accompanied it.

If you are copying HRH Prince Phillip into this correspondence (so that he too can record that this important ride was made jointly in his honour and that of John Bradley), it may be worth appending a short explantation to help him decode the colloquialisms.

As an example, if you add a caption to the photo that explains that ‘there wasn’t one in there anywhere’ it may bring back to royal memory his own recent near clash with disaster, where he also selected the wrong gear when joining a busy main road near Sandringham.

The peloton of Saturday was well served by Mr. Tim Kersley, FGCC, who kindly updated us all on the recent activities of Mr. John Bradley, who was also my RE teacher and mentor at school (and a fat lot of good that did).

TAMIT: RT – there wasn’t one in there anywhere!

Saturday 13th April 08.00am training ride
A short circuit round Langmead, as Gentlemen were under the cosh time wise (well, one Gentleman was). The peloton (ZA, TK, JR, MA and PT) assembled at Pond Green, and PT was able to convey Mrs RT, heavily encumbered by loaves to feed the hordes gathered for Rhys and Heather’s wedding the day before, up to Nepcroft by car.

Mr Roche threatened to record the events of the ride, which saw a welcome return of MA to the saddle after a few weeks of alternative activities. An explosive blasteet slowed PT’s descent into Buddington Bottom, but no other mishaps befell the Peloton. It was, however, a diastrous and catastrophic day for Tim because two spots of mud adhered to his Whyte bike.

Luckily Mrs Tim looked in on the peloton (minus ZA) during a brek at Julias, but Tim was clearly too much of a Gentleman to remind Mrs Tim, whilst in company, that a bikewash was needed.

7.8 miles and 781 feet climbed

Cissbury, Langmead & Buddington Bottom circuit

Saturday 20th April 08.00am training ride
The seeds for this ride were sown last week, by a blasteet suffered by PT. The tyre was reinflated at that time to a pressure somewhat lower than the hardness normally enjoyed (Ooer, Matron!), and the ride completed.

Arriving at Pond Green this Saturday, an enthusiastic application of the track pump revealed the hitherto unrealised extent of the damage, when a significant portion of the inner tube attempted to escape through a slit in the tyre, thus:

PT’s herniated tyre

Without means to make an effective, or even a temporary, repair, PT and RT diverted themselves by shortening RT’s chain to keep it from dragging on the ground. We were then treated to the spectacle of Mr Kersley, honing his PMming skills by leading a mixed peleton of four on the outward leg of a rival ride.

PT decided to take leave from the by then assembled official peleton of RT JR and MA, and to repair by car to Lyons Farm and enlist the aid of the doughty folk at Halfords. They eventually opened at 09:00, and obliged with a couple of new tyres (always good to have a spare).

Despondently leaving the premises after this attack on the wallet, PT’s spirits were at once lifted by the sight of the peloton. Not satisfied by the earlier sight of a herniated tyre, these sadists had raced across the downs hoping for further opportunities to ridicule and chaff.

New tyre successfully fitted, PT joined the peleton at mile 4 for the return leg to Findon via Lytchpole hill. The peleton covered about 8.7 miles and climbed about 1400 feet according to the map reconstruction. (Strava record 8.8miles & 945 ft)

Lyons Farm (Halfords) & Lytchpole Farm ride

Taking advantage of the official peloton’s dalliance at a brek at Julia’s, Mr K popped in bearing a planter of daffodils to crave pardon for his treachery. He explained that it was an ill-considered and ultimately futile attempt to cure an infestation of house guests, and had the participation, sanction and approbation of Mrs Tim, who no doubt acted as e-pacemaker for most of the ride. All forgiven, final arrangements for the Ridgeway ride were made.