12.2021 December

Is it already December!

FGCC rides in December 2021.

Saturday 4th December 08.00am ride

Variations on the theme of the “split peleton” were executed last weekend.  On a cold but dry morning, MA arrived over from Angmering to join PT, RK and ZA at Pond green.  An electronic expression of an intention to brek was received from Mr Mead, and to accommodate him a route taking in Teddies was approved.
The pelefour set off, totally unaware that the Far East contingent had already made tracks through the dense jungles which run alongside the motorways of Chiang Mai, as was reported by the doughty MT:
Despite the chilly start (a mere 19C!) the weather was perfect for an excursion out today. Kick off commenced at 07:15 hours (none of those late morning starts here) from the usual location, close to the major road upgrading works at the Samoeng Road / Canal Road intersection. (For those readers based in the UK, this concept of road improvements is probably a long-forgotten practise, as it involves the government spending money on road infrastructure.) 
A total of 6 intrepid riders commenced their ride northwards along delightful rural roads towards the Royal Botanic Gardens, Park and Market, and onwards adjacent to the National Park towards the Chiang Mai University campus, before heading back southwards for a particularly strange coffee, prepared by a unique, home-made coffee press, close to the commendable WVS dog rescue centre, (associated with the UK’s Dogs Trust). 
With the inclusion of two “honorary gentlemen” (also referred to as “ladies”, “females” or other more derogatory terms in more salubrious circles), the other members of the peleton decided to retire from further velocepedic excursions, following the consumption of said coffee. However, following some years of FGCC training, your correspondent resolved to partake in an additional, more vigorous ride along some superb, off road tracks, through the lush, green and somewhat undulating terrain to the SW of the main Chiang Mai urban area. The ride was concluded by approximately 10:00 hours.

A screenshot of his 17 mile route:

The Bulldog Bling table duly records the breaking of MT’s duck for 2021.  Other ducks (George, Sid, Al and Jake) remain as yet unbroken.

The Findon pelefour headed up and over Cissbury, and down to the coast via the golf club (mile 2):

before threading through the less scenic industrial parts of West Worthing and

meeting AM on the coast at about mile 8 (mile 10 for him), and then immediately heading for Teddies at mile 10.

AM’s route was by road, as he “needed to do some miles” to keep up his weekly target of 100 miles.  His route was:
MA of course went the extra 14 miles or so in his loop over from Angmering.
Sunny day, with ZA and RK battling the NW (not Nigel) wind to climb Cissbury at mile 15.5:
(Turbo twins already at the top!)
Total 17.1 miles and 1,227ft for the main peloton

Saturday 11th December 08.00am ride

RT, ZA, MA, RK, JR, TK with AM separately riding on road

All other than AM gathered at pond green to assist JR with yet another blasteet, caused by tyre lever damage due the tightness of his tyres on the wheel. In fact by the time most had arrived MA had deftly removed and replaced the tyre in the absence of the TM, who would no doubt have awarded a gold star for his apprentice.

Debate as to whether the cafe at Amberley would be open so an Amberley loop ride chosen to enable us to check. We set off soon losing an e-powered Team Chaplain (accompanies by MA on his e-bike) even further in the distance ahead than when on his analogue steed.

Route via the vineyards , which JR had not seen before and found that the Amberley cafe now does open at 09.00am at the weekend. However we decided that it was a bit too early to have a brek and would partake at Findon Garden Centre instead, though reminded by ZA that breakfasts were not served after 11.30am.

Return via North Stoke route stopping near Kithurst car park to re-establish the JR memorial. MA undertook a local survey to propose a suitable post for the memorial, which was approved by the TWA as taking into account the likely effects of prevailing winds and rain on the longevity of the creation. Helmets doffed and the Ode to the fallen recited and we set off again.

At the top of church hill we learned that JR had acquired yet another blasteet and due to the timing of breakfasts at the garden centre the peloton continued down Church Hill with JR walking his bike down. Just in time to order at 11.28 (the staff had to check with the chef if he was still doing breks) though ZA had to leave for grand parenting duties missing the brek.

After the brek a team effort replaced the tube on JR’s wheel, advising a change of tyre.

Total 17.7 miles and 1,614ft

MA of course did the extra home journeys:

Total 30.1 miles and 2,539ft

AM on a road route no doubt to ensure his 100 miles per week target:

Total 20miles and 512ft

Saturday 18th December Trek and Lunch at the Averys.


AM had family taxi duties to fulfil initially so just a pelethree set off from OPG with the aim of trying to get to Avery mansion by 11.30. Headed east via Coombe Farm to the Downslink and down to the Shoreham toll bridge. Decided to go to the old fort on Shoreham beach and then head west along the seafront in anticipation of coming across Andy somewhere along the way and stopping at “coffee Dave’s”. From the fort the pelethree set off towards Worthing assisted by the wind and it wasn’t long before the familiar shape and riding style of Mr Mead appeared on the horizon. His intention had been to have a coffee at the Pollinator cafe van at the Old Fort so we turned about and joined him for an excellent coffee there.

A moderate easterly wind greatly assisted the analogue riders for the ride along the seafront and then up to Ilex way and up through Ferring to the A259. At this point AM continued along the road to Avery mansion on his road bike while the pelethree headed up Hangleton Lane to Highdown and then west along the track to the footbridge over the A280 into Angmering , then up Dappers Lane and to the Averys, where we were able to admire the extensive illuminations though not able to appreciate them fully in the daylight. Inside we were shown round the extensive alterations (and the small space allocated in the utility room for Mark’s cycling gear) as well as the fabulous Christmas decorations. Spouses and various members of the Avery clan also arrived and we were treated to a splendid Christmas brunch including Julie’s legendary kedgeree. Thank you to the Averys for their generous hospitality.

ZA and AM rode back to Findon and RT went by car. Total 24.9 miles and 843ft for RT

MA had his usual ride to Findon to OPG


Meanwhile some 4,500 miles away in Canada our Team Mechanic ventured out in icy conditions on a Brompton in order to keep his bling stats up. No mention has been made of any “little lie-downs” in such unstable conditions. Total 2.6miles and 235ft.

Saturday 25th December – probably not!

Except AM who managed a short ride up to the top of Nepcote Green and then back via steep lane the high Street and the A24.

A grand total of 2.05 miles.