12.2022 December

FGCC rides in December 2022

Saturday 3rd December 08.00am ride

CB, PT,MA, RT meeting JR and AM at the Moathouse Cafe.

At OPG JR appeared without steed and on learning of the peloton’s destination threw down the Bus Pass challenge gauntlet, intending to beat the peloton to the Moathouse ahead of the riders.

Route to Arundel via Burpham due to the still sticky conditions via other routes. No incidents along the way but to our surprise we arrived at the cafe to find both Messrs Mead and Roche half way into their coffees. It transpired that JR had taken a bus to Pulborough and then a train to Arundel to achieve what he regarded as a win, though this was contested due to the fact that the whole idea of the bus pass challenge is that it should be by bus and foot and free.

Route back via Dover lane, Highdown and the Gallops.

Total 23.3 miles and 1,543ft

TAMITS: JR the Not-award for not quite winning the bus pass challenge?


Saturday 10th December 08.00am ride


A peleton of three, comprising CB and the turbo twins (MA on a spanking new demo bike), decided to make a circuit taking in Chanctonbury, Wiston, Steyning and brek at Shoreham airport.

Reaching the ring via Stable lane, views were admired:

MA and the view north, and

CB and the view southeast

After a vertiginous descent through the woods at Chanctonbury,
climbing over fallen trees and generally fearing for life and limb on the steeper sections, the intrepid trio progressed eastward to the north of Chanctonbury and continued along the footpath through Wiston and on to Mouse Lane, which had a yard of running water along the left side.  We should have ridden in it, because the centre of the roadway was completely yet invisibly iced over.  Leading the peleton, PT was first to take a prone position, followed in short order by Mark and Chris.  This may be the first occasion on which an entire peleton has fallen simultaneously.  Sadly no photographic record was made, due to the shocked condition of the riders.   A reconstruction may be necessary for the purposes of the Annals.

The peleton was able to continue despite injury to MA’s lower back collected in the collective crash.
Having arranged a rendezvous with an expert brekker, the peleton was augmented on arrival at the Hummingbird cafe by the waiting Mr Mead, and a convivial brek ensued.
Well refreshed, the peleton departed for Findon via the sea front and the cycle superhighway up Findon valley, and by dint of a few traffic-related barkles contrived to arrive separately back in Findon.  Mr Mead set off from the Hummingbird in search of miles, but your correspondent has it on good authority that he arrived home afterward.
Twonav GPS reckons 22.65 miles and 1115 feet climbed.
TAMITS: the FGCC ice skaters award?
Saturday 17th December 08.00 am ride
Tommy, Paul, Zach and Chris assembled at OPG to send the customary Whatsapp message to the recently-awakened Andy so that we could meet for brek.
Heading off through the crem, climbed Collarbone Alley and on to SDW.  A left turn at the tank took us down to Wepham, but just before the wood there was a hissing from Mr Budd’s rear wheel, accompanied by intermittent spurts of Stan’s finest sealant.  Mr Budd had tempted fate by sallying forth sans pump (or any other means, apparatus or consumables, blasteets for the repair of) and on removing a flint from the tyre a gaping hole remained.  Using a tubeless tyre repair stick, this was plugged at the third attempt, leaving one repair stick completely inside the tyre.  A dose of fresh sealant and a stop about half a mile on for more pumping, and the tyre held up for the onward passage past the Budd memorial and the now much-widened path through the woods to the Warninglid road and on to meet Andy at the Moat House for brek.  By the time we arrived, Andy was on his third coffee and possible had already had his first breakfast!
Tommy had to bail out from the Moat, summoned back to base to assist in a three-centre Shopping Tour of Sussex, taking in Horsham, Crawley and Shoreham (not necessarily in that order).  He could not have been more pleased.
Andy set off for Littlehampton to fill his mileage quota, and the remaining pelethree headed through APE to Myrtle Grove without incident.
From MG to Tolmare we were treated to a baptism of Mr Budd’s lubricant (first barkle), and even regular stops to scrape off the deposits could not keep up:
Mr Budd surveys his well-lubricated bike at Tolmare
Paul’s and Zach’s muddied steeds at Tolmare
Eagle-eyed observers will note a certain sadness in the disposition of ZA’s chain, and the rear mech ziptied to the chainstay (second barkle).  An attempted gearchange which, was resisted by the accumulated loamy buildup, caused the mech hanger to shear off at the top of the hill before Tolmare, resulting in much pushing but thankfully a minimum of immoderate language.
After hurtling down Long Furlong accompanied by, and enveloped in, an omnidirectional shower of clag, all pitched up at Cherry Cottage for a hose down.  Here began the third barkle.  Not being of the baptist persuasion, and therefore ill-versed in the arcane and mysterious ways of water, our esteemed CCTV had left the hose and its charge of water exposed to the recent inclement weather.  The contents of the hose were solid, and in places the famously anomalous expansion of water had combined with embrittlement of the hose material due to the cold to produce a hose which was simultaneously blocked and leaky.  Buckets and brushes were used to recreate the dark green greasy Limpopo in the road outside Zach’s, encouraged as we toiled by cheery interjections from Margaret.
Eventually the hose had been exposed to sufficient sunlight as to allow it to expel a series of ice pellets followed by a welcome flow of liquid, and effective hosing was possible.  A much lighter bike, both in weight and colour, was then packed into the car for the return to Horsham.  ZA was left to rewind the remains of the hose.
Home by 3pm, having ridden 19 miles and climbed 1535 feet.
CB Stan’s failure award
ZA Dane award for chain tension
ZA the split hose chaplain award
CB the TK not-so-pretty brand new bike award
AM the alarm clock award for the “have just woken up…let me know where you are going” message frequently sent at around 08.10am on a ride day.
CB adds:
A great write up Paul.  Gladly you have saved my blushes by not mentioning my second lay down in so many weeks .  Again suffering on ice, this time on the new speed track through the woods to the wepham road.
AM reports on his ride:
I arrived at the Moat Cafe at approx 9.15 after an uneventful ride via Findon Valley, the Cemetery, A27 through Patching to Poling, Crossbush and down the hill. Return took me to Ford, Climping, LA, EP, Ferring, Goring, Durrington and back up the valley to Findon. Your car was still there so I assume you were all up at Zachs cleaning up. Cateye tells me 27 miles.

Saturday 24th December Christmas Eve ride?

PT and CB headed off up Stable Lane and to the SDW as far as Langmead.  Down the concrete road to Steyning, arriving at Truffles at 09:15 to rv with JR and TK who arrived by car. A convivial brek, then PT and CB proceeded down the Downslink to the Airport, then back along the beach and up the cycle superhighway (Findon Valley).  At the Black Horse we met Mr Mead, setting off on his mtb for a last spin of the year (no idea where or how far he went)

Meanwhile, but a bit later, ZA took his road bike for a 14 mile spin to Lancing and back:

Saturday 31st December Trek’n Lunch at the Avery’s

A rainy day with strong SSW wind.  MA collected PT from Horsham and the two proceeded to OPG, to meet CB.  CB proposed a route taking in Chanctonbury, Cissbury and the Golf course to the A27.  We took it.  Wind blew us up to Chanctonbury, then rain started and hammered our right sides as we rode east along the ridge.  South toward Cissbury against the gusts, and then along the A27 to Broadwater where we called in to Starbucks for a coffee.  West by road, then northward up Cote Street against the current (more Cote Stream than Cote Street).  Along Honeysuckle Lane and down Church Hill to Findon.  CB home to dry out, MA and PT by car to Angmering for a super lunch chez les Averys, with CB, AM, ZA, TB, RT and respective Ladies, and of course Clare Carl and Edie

ZA, still bereft of his mountain bike, took a road route of about 11 miles in the wind and rain, just to be out:

before heading off to Angmering for the event at the Avery’s.