03.2021 March

FGCC rides in March 2021.

Saturday 6th March 08.00am ride

AM reports for the 2 and a half peletwos:

A pair of pelotwos set off from Findon. AM and ZA, RT and CB. Accidentally converging but remaining socially distanced on the climb up to The SDW via Muntham. Amazingly ran into MA at the gate before the barn and pleasantries were exchanged before we set off for Arundel via the tank site, across the fields for a reverently observed stop at the Budd memorial. Onwards to Arundel where bacon’s and mushrooms were consumed and coffees quaffed. At this point came a parting of the ways. ZA,RT and CB heading east and AM and MA heading south to Climbing beach via the Ford road and the A259.

This pelotwo returned via the byway back to Climping school. Onwards to Littlehampton seafront and another coffee stop at the East Beach cafe before continuing through Rustington and East Preston to the R/about on the A259 where MA headed North back to Angmering via the bridleway by the Angmering bypass to the Spotted Cow and home. AM continued Eastward on the 259, left at the Yeomans R/about up through Durrington past Tescos and back to the A27 and A24. Up the valley, up to Nepcote Green and home via the paper shop and the long way round via the A24 home. A very pleasant morning ride in good company with much laughter and plenty of vox testicularum. My mileage worked out at 29.8 miles. Cant speak for the others as I’m not sure which way they returned. Bon chance mes amis. Total 29.3 miles and 1,299ft
CB replied to the above on behalf of both himself and RT, with ZA following the same route from Cherry Cottage:
The two plus one Pelotwo headed to warningcamp, continuing through Angmering  park and foloowing down to Dover Lane and the A27.  Talking the northern path along to the Fox and the World’s End then the underpass and the bridleway to connect with the north face climb of Highdown.  Up highdown then a decent on the eastern flank.  Through the bee housing estates of durington as ZA had proposed that we take Cote street and church hill as our return route.  A beautiful view from the bench at the top of cote street and a congestion free decent down church hill – cb very cautious with only one pad in his rear brake.  Climbing back to nepcroft where subsequent fettling of ZA kona was administered by RT.  Total 23.9 miles & 1,770 ft.
MA rode up to Chantry Post from Angmering and then followed similar routes to others. Total 28.5 miles and 1,330ft.:

RK was out and about in the St Albans area, on what Strava hailed to be his longest ride this year. Total 32.4 miles & 1,676ft

PT reports: PT failed in his endeavour to reach Dorking, managing a ride north to Capel and Newdigate but proceeding only to flirt with its southern extremities (Ooer missus) on a largely road ride, punctuated by intermittent stops to top up the suspension with air. Total 27.6 miles and1,490ft.

TK reports:

Having initially been instructed (domestic instruction) to await a time where we could enjoy a joint ride I was subsequently instructed to go it alone ( something to do with the cold nature of the breeze on Saturday am) This late change of plan meant that I was released to enjoy a ride from around 0940 am

The route took in the now thawed section between Cisbury car park and top of Giffords gallops which was incompatible with the tyres and frame in use. I was forced to walk the last 1/3rdof this section before removing approx. 15kg of mud from wheels, chain , frame etc..  ‘see where I was going wrong is.. not enough tarmac’ I thought.  I proceeded to top of Lion Trail, but avoided a descent for fear of more sticky mud, instead taking SDW to langmead and down SDW past Bacon Belson, a surprisingly mud free section. From this point I was resolved to stick to solid tracks, so proceeded to airport, shoreham beach, grand avenue and home vis mill lane, descending the bostal to return Findon to continue duties fairly assigned to me.   Total 21.6miles & 1,165ft

Saturday 13th March 08.00am ride

RT reports:

In spite of not arranging to not chance upon others at Chantry Post the only two that finally made it there were Mr Mead and yours truly. I say finally as the 45mph+ wind made for a real struggle to get there. Checking mobile communications as to the whereabouts of Messrs Avery and Bang-Sorensen we learned that the former had reported an electronic error on his steed whilst, surprisingly (!), the Flying Brit had suffered a broken chain.
The peletwo set off taking the Lee Farm/Gallops route as this route is a bit more sheltered from westerly winds, though we still had to pedal hard downhill to Lee Farm. The heavy overnight rain made the lower end of the gallops very slippery and hard work.
Bacons and mushroom baguettes from the Moathouse cafe and then a route down through Ford and Climping and to the end of West beach. Over the bridge, coffees at the cafe on the seafront and then blown along the coast to Rustington, A259, Tescos, Findon valley, Nepcote and home – see map AM’s route end is via Horsham road and doubling back on the A24.
A very windy ride even without the Team Aromatherapist present – his error corrected itself but we missed him at the Moathouse cafe as he got there a lot earlier, our progress having been very slow into the strong winds.

AM later reminded that RT failed to mention the steel drummers practising on the roadside outside climping Church. An interesting

diversion. The contrast between the outward leg and the return was quite remarkable. Freewheeling at 17 mph!
PT then summarised for all as follows:
Richard, Andy and John (as a peletwo then later a solo ride by John of the same route) completed a circuit of Arundel and beyond (Total 27.3 miles and 1.302ft):
with Richard and Andy enjoying a steel band in the nether regions west of Littlehampton.
Paul battled west on the Downslink (miles 3 to 7) into the wind to reach the canal at Loxwood.  Extensive building works ensue at the Onslow Arms, presumably to replace the dishwasher with one operable by the chatelaine of the establishment. Note significant waves on t’cut due to gale.
PT then turned south to skirt Billingshurst and returned to Horsham via Five Oaks and Itchingfield, thus (total 25.8miles & 1,198ft):
ZA: Our dear Team Chaplain thrashed the tarmac to encompass Washington, Sutton and Eartham in a stout 37 mile pilgrimage, with not a little climbing (total 37.1miles and 2,474ft).
MA: …and Mark A overcame the difficulties which initially ‘ampered him to squelch through the APE and brek at Arundel, before venturing to parts west and divers marine esplenades:

All in, a fine effort bringing the cumulative total distance ridden so far this year on bling rides to 1837.79 miles!

Saturday 20th March 08.00am ride

ZA first to report:

-> Coombes via Cissbury c/p, crossing Sompting – Steyning Rd (Titch Hill?), passing Coombe Head; Coombes Rd to visit Botolphs Church:

SDW across R Adur E towards Truleigh Hill; at 6-Way jn (where rd from Mill Hill comes up) Monarchs Way to Castletown, then R Hyde St/Pound Lane/Deacons Way/Church Lane to St Peters, Upper Beeding (which, like Botolphs, was also open – see photo)

Thence footpath S skirting edge of housing to Beeding Bridge; road (MW) W through Bramber, Maudlyn Lane from Roundabout, Sopers Lane/Concrete Rd (MW), N to Langmead Memorial, SDW back to Findon via Stump Barn, Gallops – L on b’way running S (E of The Downs stables) thence back to Cherry Cott via Nepcote Lane.

‘A host of golden daffodils’ in Coombes churchyard; was overtaken by 3 riders on ebikes ascending concrete rd

2hrs 45 mins – brunch on return ..

Good to be out 🚴‍♂️.  Total: 15.1 miles & 1,640ft.

TK’s ride:

With an arm full of Astra Zeneca , plan for a short ride , 4 peaks or similar .. but got a bit carried away

Findon – Cisbury towards Coombes , at point where a right turn would have led to lancing clump , turned left passing the model aircraft runway and on to steyning bowl, langmead for views over River Adur ..on to Chanctonbury , down through the chalk pit to join SDW heading west crossing a24 continued along SDW to barn , on to chantry car park , turning right and promptly left to head along ridge overlooking storrington , made way west and rejoined SDW continuing to rackham and banks near top of amberley mount , great views of Adur, the coast and IOW ( murky but did enable)  , turning left and looping back to rackham , SDW to gun club , to church hill, nanny sues and home ..

Great day for cycling , skylarks , kestrel and red kites a plenty. Total 19.3 miles & 1,903ft.

RT & AM:

Another splendid ride for RT & Mr Mead to Arundel. We happened to meet in Nepcote Lane, possibly both seeing if Zach was making full use of the 10 minute rule. Andy was considering going to Shoreham and I was drawn to bacons and mushroom baguette at Arundel having been to Shoreham on Tuesday. Mentioned whether to join Team Chaplain on his quest to ascend Truleigh Hill, but both of us quickly decided that Arundel was the more attractive option and we headed off to Muntham and on up to the SDW. Then on SDW past Kithurst and the route to Arundel via Burpham for a splendid brek by the river.
Return route via Warningcamp, APE, Dover Lane, A27, Highdown, Tescos and Findon Gallops.
Total 23.3 miles and 1,594 ft climbed.

MA (Friday ride):
Knowing I wouldn’t get out at the weekend, I set off Friday afternoon in an easterly direction to hack up to Church Hill via Holt Farm then collarbone alley and up to the SDW at high barn. SDW to Houghton then down the West Bank to Arundel where I arrived to Kate for refreshments so I continued on to Edge Cafe on Ford Lane which had also just closed. At this point I received a communication from the finer half that she was going for a walk at Climping beach.

As I was heading in that direction anyway I decided to curtail my ride at that point and put the bike in the car rather than cycle home from there. Total 22.9 miles & 1,552ft.


I can hardly bear to confess this but my ride on Saturday was a pathetic 10m, being initially a road route to see first #1 grand-daughter (for the purposes of the cartographer this was located in Durrington – just east of EN LSV HQ – Melrose Avenue).
The route being due south from Findon via the A24, A27, Durrington Lane, the Boulevard and east on Ringmer Road to Melrose Avenue. The home leg was Ringmer Road, Littlehampton Road, Stone Lane, Half-moon Lane, Mill Lane, onto High Salvington (and an attempt to shake-off the loose tarmac), crossing Long Furlong at Tolmare Farm – but unable even to look in the direction of KBS HQ, riddled as I was with guilt and tarmac. Long Furlong, School Hill, a ride around Findon to make the mileage into double figures and home to World HQ.
The planned longer ride on Sunday never happened as, flouting my own TEMKEK rules, I was confined to barracks and subjected to gardening duties – the charge being that I did wantonly and deliberately go out and enjoy myself the previous day! Total 10.3 miles & 568ft.
I was able to get out onSaturday, conteporaneously yet distanced (by about 12 miles) from other Gentlemen, for a circuit southward from Horsham. Total 22.2 miles and 1,047ft.

PT adds:

So seven outings last weekend, bringing the cumulative totals to 82 outings and 1976 miles covered on Saturday rides!
Godspeed les peletons!

Saturday 27th March 08.00am ride

PT summarises the various rides as follows:

Mr Budd put in a very hilly 18 miles in italy on Saturday morning, probably cycling home from a Friday night wine tasting since he seems to have started in the middle of a particularly crinkly bit of the country:(18.5 miles & 2,269ft)

PT took a road route down to the Bax Castle (mile 3) then through Barns Green and Coneyhurst to West Chiltington, pausing at Storrington to sample the bacons baguettes offered by Truffles fine Sussex Bakery.  They remain excellent.  Return route followed the road to Thakeham, then went off-piste from mile 20 and past Shipley windmill to the A272 at mile 22.5.  Mostly a pleasant track, but with mires of the deepest quag in parts.   Back on the road I swiftly regained the Bax Casle (now at mile 25.5) and retraced the outward route home. (28.6 miles & 1,476ft)

Indeed, so far has the fame of said bacons been noised abroad, that I found ZA and RT had ridden over Llama lane from Findon to refresh themselves therewith: (18.7miles & 1,627ft)

Lancing being generally acknowledged as a gastronomic wasteland, and a propensity for meat having been long observed amongst crocodiles, RK had also made a pilgrimage to worship at the Truffles shrine, and by sheer coincidence arrived in time to break baguettes with the assembled.

How he made the return trip remains shrouded in mystery, as befits any clandestine international man of action. (Total 32.6 miles and 1,012ft – double the outward assumed)
Mark A fired up the green Whyte and headed over the hills from Angmering to Findon and met by chance ZA and RT.  To the joy and surprise of Gentlemen fortuitously and coincidentally present at Storrington, these three Gentlemen, after a circular tour round Ashington and Thakeham, hove into Truffles eager to verify rumours of the excellence of their bacons, baguettes and gluten free bread (which proved accurate).  Mark A, ZA and RT climbed the downs south of storrington and then parted, Mark towards Angmering and ZA/RT to Findon via the SDW and the direct approach through Muntham. (Total 27.9miles & 2,524ft)
Tim flicked the last specks of mud off his Whyte and sped off towards Shoreham, but relented at the sight of Lancing Clump and turned north to follow the SDW from Langmead to Amberley and complete the Amberley Loop and Church Hill, thus adopting a characteristic stealth approach on his return to Findon rather than the all-too-obvious descent through Muntham: (Total 23.7 miles & 2,398ft)
Andy, suffering from an attack of shinynewbikeitis (a tarmac deficiency almost unknown to those of the Danish persuasion) took to the roads to at least reduce the symptoms, and raced over to Climping, pausing to canvass the availability of bacons at various of the victualling emporia en route. (Total 32.9miles & 741ft)

However the Ride (and Debacle) of the Day must be that of Mr Roche.  During his ascent through the field of cows thoughtfully arranged by Farmer Heath next to the perfectly serviceable road leading through Muntham, fatigue struck and a little lie-down was called for.  Jumping up instantly refreshed by the medicinal properties of the fertilised soil, he climbed over Sullington Hill in search of a bacons baguette, but was frustrated in his quest by the discovery that his telefonino had escaped during his dalliance amongst the bovines.  This forced our hero to reconquer Sullington hill to make enquiries amongst the herd as to whether they had seen or trodden on the instrument.  Despite their uncooperative and borderline truculent silence, the phone was recovered, and for a third time Sullington hill was devoured beneath the Roche wheels.  Crumble is what lesser men would have done, but in true FGCC spirit John went on to a formidable penetration north into the murky hinterlands of Thakeham before returning up Llama lane. (Total 22.6miles & 2,254ft)

A fine turnout , bringing the total rides for the first quarter of this year to 91, and the cumulative miles total to 2184.

Further detail from individuals as follows:

AM: Late start this am. Shirley not well. To Climping on the road. Down to West Worthing Station. R along to Bruce Avenue, Bruce Way and George V

R/about. Along to Ilex Way, through Ferrring , Turned L over the crossing to A259. Back way through EP to Angmering R/about. L.at Sainsbury’s, over the bridge R at R/about and through to Body Shop R/about.Straight on to Morrison’s R/about and the cycle path that goes through the industrial estate and comes out by Tescos. A259 to Climping, down to Climping beach to check cafe opening hours and availability of bacons. Back to A259 and returning via West Beach, to check cafe opening,(1st April.) LA Arun footbridge, seafront, Rustington,
EP, Ferring, Sea Lane seafront to East Worthing.
Coffee @ Velo coffee van and then back to Findon via various back streets, A24, A27 and Findon Valley to Nepcote Green, paper shop, A24 and home. Cateye says 36.16 miles. Westerly wind relentless and cold but helpful on return journey.


Left World HQ hell-bent on joining the massed membership at Truffles for 10.00am. All was going well (slipped past the security detail etc.) and I was crossing Robert Heath’s cow-infested field at Muntham Farm (rather than taking the tarmac via Sussex Manures), when the going got rough due to the cow-trampled ground. Hit the bovine equivalent of a pot hole and had a very brief lie down but manfully thought no more about it as I progressed to rejoin the path (that any sensible rider would have stayed on in the first place),  to reach the SDW. Turned right, headed eastwards until the next junction with the southbound bridleway that descends down Barnsfarm Hill to cross the A283 at Clayton Farm close to the Washington roundabout.
Proud of the hill that I had just descended and the progress made I decided to check the phone. The problem was there was no phone! You’ve probably guessed it already but for me it took clever logical historical analysis to tell me that the phone was back with Robert Heath’s cows. A bold dash back for 4 miles, mostly uphill, miraculously reunited me with my phone and I am grateful to each and everyone of Robert Heath’s cows for not trampling on my phone and credit card as they lay amongst the clods and cow $*!t in the field.
I celebrated the amazing restoration of my working phone by calling Paul (I call my first witness!), to explain the debacle and to tender my apologies for absence from his important meeting – by this time it was 10.10! At this point a lesser man would have buckled and returned to face the security guards at World HQ. Undeterred I carried on.
Boldly retraced my route back to the A283, crossing to the George’s Lane bridleway, heading north across Washington Common onto the Storrington/Sullington,road turning east towards the A24 but doing a clever left at Mutton’s Lane, battling on northwards up Park Lane pausing briefly to:
1. Admire Warminghurst Church.
2. Chat to one of my fellow governors who lives in Ashington but happened to be out airing his children in the locality. I call my second witness!
Carried on north along the ‘Public Way’ to join the Billingshurst/Ashington road at Goose Green. Headed SE to the BP service station north of Ashington on the A24 where I took on more caffeine and cholesterol than the club nurse (retired) need be told about and then headed down through Ashington, SE under the A24 towards Wiston, Hole Street, Water Lane, crossing the A283 to head  towards World HQ via Llama Lane, (almost) Chanctonbury and (almost) a last post home. I notice that the Wiston Estate has put up no entry notices at the top of the Lion Trail, citing wood cutting operations as the excuse for barring the anti-tarmac brigade from venturing off-piste!
A Class I, Grade A debacle. (TAMITS?)


With the intention of improving on last weeks ride I set off following the same route to cisbury , towards Coombes , up past the model aircraft landing strip, langmead , SDW to chanctonbury , through the pits to SDW crossing A24 and SDW to rackham … beset by enthusiasm I ventured on the complete the amberley loop , returning via gun club, church hill and home to Findon
Hope to be out en peloton next week