06.2021 June

FGCC Rides in June 2021.

Saturday 5th June 08.00am ride

The peleton (ZA, PT, JR, RK, TK, RT) which assembled on 5 June in The Square was augmented by a fine expat effort from Mr Budd.  The Findon contingent took the SDW to the Downslink, stopped for a brek at Teddies, and returned along the beach (21.4 miles & 1,024ft):

while the Italian Stallion completed a circuit of local mountains, covering 17.5 miles and climbing 2687 feet:

Saturday 12th June 08.00am ride

A reduced Findon peloton of three – JR, RT and AM – was split further into road and off-road due to AM only having his road bike available. Arundel agreed as a meeting point and AM set off down to the coast.

The off-road peloton of 2 headed off via Muntham for the SDW and drop to Burpham to Arundel.

At the beginning of the long drop from the top of Kithurst Hill RT said “see you at the end of the long drop” and proceeded for a fast run down to that point. However, after about 10minutes wait and no sign of JR, RT turned back to see what might have detained him. Getting to the point where he could see up to the sharp bend he phoned only to discover that JR had suffered a double blasteet only about 20 yards after the point where they had parted company.

RT rode back up to that point to find JR sitting on the ground sorting out his front wheel, so RT started on the rear but found it impossible to remove the tyre – its first time to be removed. We swapped duties for RT to reassemble the front, though JR suggested that RT might check that he had put the patch on the hole – quick check confirmed that he had missed it so RT had to remove the patch and repair and reassemble, whilst JR completed repairs on the rear.

Setting off again we met AM in Arundel and took breakfast at the Waterside Cafe, which we all agreed was acceptable but pricey.

Return route via Littlehampton so we could ride with AM, with a coffee stop at Edgecome, another Mead coffee find. Down to Climping, Ferry Road and into a crowded Littlehampton, along the sea front to Rustington, A259, The Strand, Tarring, Findon Valley and back to Findon.

JR adds:

“Just three riders on Saturday, AM, RT and JR. Destination Arundel: AM by road, RT & JR off-road (not electrically assisted). The latter rode to the SDW via Muntham Farm and progressed towards Burpham.
JR had two simultaneous blasteets but on different wheels just after leaving the SDW. RT had by this time made it to the bottom of the hill and a lesser man would have carried on to rendezvous with a very patient Mr. Mead. However, RT kindly chose not to and instead climbed back up the hill again to find JR surrounded by wheels. Having climbed (back up) one mountain he then had another mountain to overcome – one of sheer incompetence by JR who had (sort of) mended one of the punctures but managed to stick the patch on in an entirely different place to where the hole was located. Thankfully taking charge RT was able to maintain puncture repair standards whilst JR scored a lucky hit with the second patch on the other wheel.
Ride progressed to Arundel via Burpham for brek at the Riverside Café. An experience which would probably have scored well with the bacons-meister but not with the whip-meister as this was a tad expensive. We could have walked to the inevitable 2nd coffee stop at the Edge café in Ford. An establishment recommended by Andy which was IMHO very nouveau – the sort of establishment typically frequented by the modern-day-Mead, very classy and excellent coffee. Ride progressed to LA, the bridge, Rustington and home on-road via Goring, Durrington, Offington and the A24.
A huge thank you to Andy for his patience (and for advising us about the current problems with the education system) and to Richard for his kind attention to my tyre. Without his help I maybe would have managed eventually but would have missed brek, coffee, two important lectures and (thinking about it) would probably have missed Songs of Praise and Country File too.”

Total 31.2miles and 1,316ft

TAMITS – JR double blasteet and missing the puncture when trying to repair the tube

Mr Budd representing the FGCC locally in Italy went for an afternoon gentle ride of 23.1 miles and 1,308ft.

The “Croc” had a scouting trip from base camp somewhere in St Albans – 33.4miles and 1,834ft

And Mr Avery representing the FGCC in Exmoor headed for the beach – 17.5 miles and 2,288ft

Saturday 19th June 08.00 am ride

Numbers were down this weekend, due to Gentlemen being variously otherwise occupied honing essential life skills including powerboat driving, flying, and hosting family breakfasts.
RT and PT, both in need of a gentle ride following the EPM of the previous evening, heard the siren call of Teddies and opted for a relaxed amble over the SDW to Shoreham:

JR, after a similarly slow start to the day, took a road dash to Shoreham along the coast and joined the peletwo for  brek at Teddies.

Refreshed, the pelethree then returned to Findon via the coast, West Worthing and the gallops, pausing for a second coffee refresher in Tarring (The Bakery).  Grey skies, but no actual rain.  21.21 miles and 1020 feet climbed, according to Plotaroute.

A report has flooded in from our esteemed CCTV (Club Chaplain and Team Vicar) of his recent excursion to Stroud, including two rides which qualify for the Bling.  They are:
Saturday 12 June 2021
A circular route of some 13.5 miles along the towpath of the Stroudwater Canal from Ebley to Eastington Church, thence to Frocester: SE from there up the Cotswold escarpment to Coaley Peak, NE on B4066 turning R down unclassified rd into Woodchester and thence back to Ebley via the cycle track following the disused railway line from Nailsworth to Stroud:
On Saturday 19 June, ZA took a more direct route into Stroud to check out the local market, but since it was a Saturday it still counts for the bling, doesn’t it?

Friday 25th/Saturday 26th June Isle of Wight ride

PT, RT, RK, AM + JR (part) + MA (deprived of the ride by backpack loss)
A peleton of five embarked for the IoW, but was sadly denuded before arrival at the waterfront.  PT travelled from Horsham via Cosham, in serene ignorance of the unfolding drama befalling the Worthing contingent.  As the peleton of five changed trains at Havant, Mr Avery’s excitement was such that the absence of his rucksack from his back went unnoticed until after the departure of the train.  Mr Avery contacted the railway folk, but their best efforts were not rewarded with the recovery of the bag, of which (at the time of writing) no more has been heard.  The now pelefour boarded their onward train and, despite Mr Kersley’s efforts to further delay the train, arrived at Portsmouth with seconds to spare before joining PT in the “departure lounge” (the name promising so much more than the premises provide) and boarding the Ferry.  Mr Mead cut a particularly devil-may-care figure as he sauntered up the gangplank, last to board.

Again overcoming the frustrations heaped upon the peleton by those in charge of the nation’s train set, we rode to Shanklin along the sea front, with a restorative coffee at Sandown in the shadow of the beach huts.

Striking inland from Shanklin we met Mr Roche at mile 20.5 (Merstone), he having been engaged in thrusting forward the commercial and economic development of the country by first discussing masts with a supplier in Lymington, then boarding the ferry to Yarmouth and riding east.  His exact route is as yet shrouded in mystery.
Well met, the now pelefive followed the disused railway line to mile 23, where we repaired to the pavillion of the cricket club just south of Newport to take a hearty luncheon, whose passage was assisted by fine ales.
At this point, a blasteet overtook JR’s steed.  This was dealt with by RK sticking a patch on the tube near the hole and reinflating the tyre.
Departing the cricket club, at mile 24 JR reported a recurrence of the blasteet.  This time the patch was applied over the hole in the tube, and the peleton proceeded to Carisbrooke then north through the Parkhurst forest to the coast at Gurnard.  Rounding the northern tip of Cowes, the approach to Newport (from the north, Lewes-style) was along the track of the old Medina railway. (Total 38.6 miles and 2.238ft)
Bikes safely lodged in our rooms, dinner was taken at The Bargeman’s Rest, where ample portions and excellent service were enjoyed with the accompaniment of more fine ales.
After a memorable breakfast experience overseen by Doreen (a lady singularly determined to ensure the victualling satisfaction of her guests, and keen to share her life experiences with all), bike were retrieved and a farewell bade to JR, who was under a three-line whip to be 1) on the 12:05 ferry and 2) smartly back to World HQ for a family function.  The pelefour then set about the ascent of the Tennyson trail.
We were passed on the way up by a couple of young lads, the lead rider on an e-bike and the second man on a leg-powered bike tethered to the e-bike by a towrope.  PT noted sly internet searching by others of the peleton, keen to obtain such equipment, so as to share in the e-bike experience currently enjoyed by PT (and the sadly-missed MA).  From the top at about mile 9, we sighted the 12:05 ferry approaching Yarmouth and shouted an encouraging word or two to JR, but he did not reply.
After a further restorative coffee at Freshwater,  we made for the 13:05 ferry from Yarmouth. (Total 14.8 miles & 1,280ft)
Disembarking we made our way up the east bank of the river with a short detour at mile 1 for lunch. Falling most definitely on our feet at the Walhampton Arms at mile 1, a copious carvery lunch was enjoyed with much plant-based material consumed to keep on the right side of the Club Nurse (Retd.)
After wading through the boggy reedbeds between miles 1 and 2, during which Moses Mead discovered that an overhanging branch would not give way to him bringing him to an abrupt stop part suspended by his backpack, we emerged into the forest and were able to use a campsite tap to wash of the worst of the sticky and uniquely-perfumed mud.  A delightful sunny day afforded fine riding in the forest, with some off-piste routing (but only 1 gate to lift bikes over) bringing us to Beaulieu Road station, whence we took a road route to the Hythe ferry, arriving at 17:30.  Our failure to check the timetable afforded mirth to the ferry box office bloke, who let us know that the last ferry left at 17:10.  He was very helpful in directing us to Totton via quiet roads. (Total 22.4 miles and 1,007ft for the afternoon)
From Totton, a train took us all to So’ton and thence home.  PT got in at 9pm to Horsham.  Probably everyone else also got home.
PT covered about 75 miles altogether and climbed about 4500 feet. Findon contingent had the ride to and from W Worthing Station adding a further 8 miles and approx 200ft.
JR adds a summary for his sections of the ride:
On Friday JR did indeed take the ferry from Yarmouth and then a road ride through quiet back lanes via such lovely IOW villages as Wellow, Newbridge etc. A debacle was overdue and occurred when JR tried to rendezvous with the peloton at Carrisbrooke. Arriving early he called PT who directed him on the old branch line that runs from Newport to Sandown. However, that line branches and (you guessed it) the hero of our story was well advanced on the wrong part of the trail before telephoning PT again to receive new coordinates and reach a rendezvous point as correctly described below.
On the Saturday leg JR’s return journey attempted to retrace his journey of the previous day when a second overdue debacle overcame him. In true Flying Brit style and with a little time to spare our hero spotted an off road trail through the forest NE of Newport and announced to anyone listening the famous Viking cry: “Enough of tarmac”. Using, what he thought was a highly tuned sense of direction, JR proceeded to take a thoroughly enjoyable 40 minute perambulation through the said forest. Uphill and down dale went our hero but was a little troubled to notice that when the sun reappeared it was in the wrong place. Consulting a local he was directed to the nearest tarmac exit point and found that he was in very familiar surroundings, i.e. at the same point that he had entered.
Turning on Google Maps JR was then directed to Yarmouth by the voice of a very nice young lady from within his phone – as soon as I trace her, via the personal column of the Times, you can expect an announcement in the engagements column of that same organ. Arriving in Yarmouth a forest route was taken via Brockenhurst before recovering the Anglia and heading home for quarantine!
TAMITS: RK trying to repair a puncture by placing the repair patch adjacent to the hole.
                  Mr Mead suspended from an overhanging branch.
                  JR following the sun and going round in circles
                  PT fear of acquisition of e-bike tow ropes
CB’s ride:
Meanwhile on the Saturday morning, ladies on the continent were treated to another glimpse of Mr Budds lycra-clad pins as he breezed round a hilly circuit round Lago de Fiastra, a reservoir in Monti Sibillini National Park created in 1955 and popular for kayaking & swimming (total 20 miles and 3,013ft)
It transpires that some of that 300ft was accomplished with the assistance of a tow-rope connected to a friend’s e-bike.
ZA’s ride:
Far from being in a county with an illustrious tradition of cricketing endeavour (i.e. Gloucester having been his earlier destination), our dear CCTV found himself en famille in the land of the Celts where singing and rugby dominate the cultural landscape.  However, a creditable outing on Saturday maintains his “full house” in the Bulldog Bling stakes. (Total 12.8miles and 988ft)