2020-12 December

FGCC rides in December 2020

Saturday 5th December 08.00am ride


PT reports: Five (AM, PT, RT, TK & ZA) assembled at the customary hour of 08:00, glad to be once again a single peleton.
Taking the fresh south-easterly breeze as a guide, a trip to Shoreham with return along the sea front was mooted and agreed.  The outward leg was via Cissbury, on to and across the Steyning road, then to Botolphs.  As we passed Nepcote Green, PT took advantage of the presence of the Team Chaplain to confess the cause of the puncture debacle on the last en peleton BDN ride on 3 November (PT dealt with a puncture by installing a second and pre-punctured innertube, and used up many cylinders of gas to climb back over Cissbury).  PT further delayed the peleton by taking ages to capture a photo from above Botolphs:
After the church, at which discerning churchwardens seek the services of the Team Chaplain from time to time, we headed north along the road to the footbridge over the Adur then south along the Downslink and ropewalk into Shoreham.
Excellent breakfast butties were obtained at Teddy’s, and consumed under the eyes of watchful gulls in the churchyard, while sheltering from the cold wind.  In their innocence, the proprietors of Teddy’s risked disaster by allowing Andy to use their loo, unaware of the disruption to Southern Region that had been caused by a similar visit to Three Bridges station facilities.
Crossing over the footbridge we reached the coast and were obligingly blown along to Grand Avenue.
AM suggested that the route should include Stone Lane, and took steps to part the traffic to ease our passage.  Ungrateful and inelegant comparisons with the style of road use characterisic of “white van man” were voiced.
Up Mill Lane to the gallops and Roger’s Farm, and so to Findon.
Addendum from RT.
At Tarring a halt was necessary to inspect Team Chaplain’s wobbly rear leading to the conclusion that he hadn’t tightened the quick release when last installing the wheel, a quick come-down after his joy at hearing about the Team Mechanic’s puncture double debacle. AM returning across the road to observe the goings-on was hooted at by a car turning into the road, leading him to stop in the middle to rant at said driver, who had to circumnavigate. This and his further demonstrations of his commanding of the traffic led to suggestion that there would no doubt be a comparative reference to Moses parting of the seas as an entry in the so-called Sid James bible.

TAMITS: PT – TM repairing a blasteet by installing a punctured inner tube, and later missing the hole with a repair patch.

ZA – His joy at PT’s double puncture debacle being deflated by forgetting to tighten his quick release on his rear wheel

AM – “Moses” Mead parting the traffic white van man style.

Saturday 12th December 08.00am ride

PT, AM, TK, JR off road and ZA on road

ZA reports:

Following brief encounter with this morning’s Peloton + RT at OPG, route taken as follows:

A 24 to Ashington; B2133 Billingshurst Rd to jn with B2139 Coolham Rd – turned L.

Turned R into unclassified lane towards West Chiltington (opposite Picketty Cottages)

Turned L down Sinnocks, becoming Southlands Lane … Smock Alley, bearing L Threal’s Lane

Intended taking Bridleway linking Threal’s Lane to Greenhurst Lane, but it is temporarily closed for repairs, so returned to jn to take

Roundabout Lane, Greenhurst Lane to B 2139; thence Merrywood Lane, Rock Road

and then George’s Lane S to Warren Hill NT car park to meet Margaret, No.2 Son Mark et fam for walk at Sleepy Hollow

Bike in car for return to Cherry Cottage (via Parkfield Farm, to put winter covering on caravan)

and PT reports:

A Peleton of four (AM, JR, PT and TK) assembled at OPG with proper bikes, to be joined briefly by the TV on a shiny road bike and by the Club War Artist on foot.  Both these latter presented apologies and regrets at not being part of the “official” peleton, as family commitments intervened.  In a worrying development, the CWA was observed returning from the newsagent’s and hastily concealing a copy of the Daily Nazi under his coat and sheepishly asserting that it was for his father-in-law.  A board of enquiry will have to be convened to establish the truth.
The traditional departure protocol was observed, and the peleton set off towards Cissbury while the TV exited stage left, north up the A24.  The CWA returned home, manfully steeling himself for the aural assaults of daytime television at 140Db.
At Cissbury car park the peleton headed north to join the SDW at Chanctonbury.  This track is v wet and muddy, so the usually even muddier cut off at the corner was eschewed.  Regrouping at Langmead, we took the bostal down into Steyning for a restorative pastry from Truffles, taken in collonaded splendour in the shelter opposite.  While PT was attending to the re-donning of hat and gloves, AM and TK set off for the Downslink.  PT and JR set off some while later, resulting in the customary “split peleton”, which was resolved, after a phone call, by a reunion at the bridge over the Adur.  Splashing down the much-bepuddled Downslink, we followed the Ropewalk into the centre of Shoreham and rode across the new bridge.  It then became apparent that the wind had a significant westerley component which resisted our passage along the sea front to Grand Avenue.  Still, it was uplifting (although simultaneously irritating) to see the smiles on the faces of wind-assisted riders heading east.
Over the railway at West Worthing, then up to Tarring where we emulated slightly chilly boulevardiers to celebrate the arrival of “Nugget”, the latest official grandchild of the Roche dynasty, with tea/coffee and buns.  Discussion as to whether Nugget is a Dauphin or an Infanta proved inconclusive, due to the ignorance of the peleton on matters of the Royal Court.  Sundry other gems were added to the firmament of dicta in the vox testiculorum, before the peleton percolated north to the Becket then up Mill Lane and home across the gallops.  A splendid dry day, despite being overcast.  Officially 22.3 miles and 1112 feet climbed, according to Plotaroute, as below:

Our dear TV, meanwhile, performed a 13.6 mile and 827 feet circumambulation of Ashington and West Chiltington by road, which brought him to the NT car park at Warren Hill, where his doting family had assembled for a country walk.  His route is reported thus:

Of the CWA we have heard nothing more, and hope that he survives both the visual insult of having to look at the Daily Nazi and the attack on his hearing, to emerge unbowed on Tuesday for the BDN ride.

Saturday 17th December 08.00am ride.


The peleton assembled in the Square at the appointed hour, with ZA again hampered by the rigorous work ethic of No. 1 son, who has been so diligently engaged in gainful employment as not to have had time to mend the CCTV’s off-road steed. Thus our esteemed Club Chaplain and Team Vicar bestrode his shiny yet thinly-shod road bike, and had to form a peletone for the first part of the ride.  The remainder (AM, JR, PT, RK and TK) set off up Church Hill and through Clapham Woods to descend the bridleway via Holt Farm to the A27, encountering much mud en route.  Here we were reunited with the CCTV, and penetrated south into Durrington after a brief demonstration of the telephone ejection system built in to ZA’s jacket.  The phone had endured its ejection and subsequent recovery without outward signs of trauma.

Emerging halfway along the Ilex Way at mile 6, JR conducted us to its eastern end, the while encouraging us to admire the art deco architecture of some of the houses, and then led us in a U-turn so that we might enjoy the entire length of the Ilex Way westward.  Percolating through the bungalows of Ferring we reached the coast at the Bluebird cafe, where AM and TK demolished heroic breakfasts while the rest genteelly nibbled dainty sandwiches and sipped tea.  The cafe provided an outdoor seating area sheltered from the brisk southerley wind off the sea but allowing benefit to be had from the bright sunshine.
Following the refreshment stop, a road route was selected so that ZA would not again have to form a peletone, and the riders were assisted along the coast and north through Goring to eventually fetch up at the Becket.  The second refreshment stop, which was a daring innovation last weekend when tea was taken at a shaded table at Duke’s Coffee shop to celebrate the arrival of the next generation of the Roche dynasty, has now become an established tradition.  In order again to have the benefit of the sunshine, the venue (at mile 13) was moved across the road to the south-facing garden of The Old Bake House, where the peleton disported themselves at their ease.  Mr Kersley recorded the scene:
Further fortified, the peleton headed up to Mill Lane and The Gallops and eventually to Findon.
No doubt those present can recall gems from the copious vox testicolorum which enlivened our discourse, and are encouraged to pass on bons mots for inclusion in the blog.
As for stats, plotaroute reckons 15.5 miles and 728 feet, so not an overtaxing morning!

Saturday 25th December Boxing day ride.

Covid regulations strike again so generally solos rides, though pairs permitted.

AM reports:

A mixture of trails and tarmac. To the SDW via Muntham. To Kithurst and then left down the long downhill to Burpham. Into Arundel and out the other side. Investigated following the river down to LA. Footpath only, crowded with

walkers and dogs so took the road down to Ford, Clymping and then along to West Beach
cafe, (closed). Back to the footbridge and along to East Beach cafe where refreshment was taken. Cappucino and a granola bar. Wind assisted back through Rustington, EP to Ferring. Ilex way to Goring, down to Sea Lane Cafe and eastwards to the Half Brick in the rain. Up to the A27 through E.Worthing to the A24. Up Findon Valley to Tescos for the paper
and home. Cateye claims 34.5 miles. Great ride, and a great following wind for most of the last leg. See some of you at a distance on Tuesday. Gud Yul. Plotaroute total 35.5 miles and 1,398ft

ZA reports:

My Boxing Day ride somewhat paltry by comparison – A280 (Long Furlong) to Patching Junction; A27 E to Jn with Salvington Hill; up and over same descending via Bostal to A24; thence back via Nepcote – 45 mins, 7 or 8 miles I guess. Good to be out, even for only a short ride. Plotaroute total 7.8 miles and 643ft