06. June 2024

FGCC rides in June 2024

Saturday 1st June 08.00am ride

MB, JR, RT

A danish style path-busting ride through flatlands.

Lighthouse cafe in East Preston selected as destination, but heading off in an easterly direction at the start. JR suggested that we head round east side of Cissbury to observe the status of the dew pond there.

Dew pond flourishing – how many of  us have passed it on the adjacent bridleway and never knew it was there? Onwards south up the steep track and then a fast descent on Lambleys Lane to then cross the A27. The pelethree then took a meandering route south and west joining to get to the promenade via Queens Road at the wrong time with all the runners puffing along.

JR as routemeister naturally took us along Ilex Way and then to Ferring Country Park. Then took us on a footpath through long grass alongside the rife and through the fields of the Ferring Gap  (check for ticks lads!) and a further meandering route to the Lighthouse cafe for an excellent brek in the sunshine.

Return via a similar route through the gap though getting a bit lost to begin with and involving crossing a tricky bridge and bank. Ilex way, Durrington bridge, Mill Lane, Gallops and the new cycling motorway to Findon.

RT parted company at the junction of Cross Lane and Steep Lane but just prior to this MB joined the “Little lie-down” club with a gentle landing rolling backwards and standing up again,  as we stopped.

Total22.6 miles and 831ft

Meanwhile MA was out on a similarly flat scenic ride round York:

21.2 miles and 349ft.

…and CB was out on a challenging road ride in the Italian Mountains:

29.8 miles and 2,713ft

TAMITS: MB gracefully joining the Little Lie-down club

Saturday 8th June 08.00am ride

Memorial maintenance ride.

TK, PT, MA, RT

An e-bike only ride – RT had arrived at OPG on analogue, but quickly changed to digital. Initial plan to head for Teddies changed to Henfield due to Shoreham market.

Cissbury, then North to the SDW and towards Langmead but taking the track alongside the top of the north slope towards Bloody Norse Corner. This proved to be extremely overgrown resulting in much blood letting for MA, nettle stinging for any with bare legs or arms and a little lie-down for PT. Memorial maintenance carried out, though it was in surprisingly good condition, followed by the FGCC ode.

Up to Langmead and down the concrete road to the PT² memorial where we were met with a high wall of nettles which made locating it difficult. Fully covered PT managed to flatten an access path for RT to get to work.

  

The memorial was not in such a good condition leading to a query as to which year PT had his high speed crash trying to avoid landing on a concrete post and preferring a nettle bed as a landing. Conclusion was that it was in 2001, followed by Philip’s tree hugging crash in 2009.

Ode recited and we then continued to the Downslink to Henfield for a brek at the Old Post Office and a discussion on logistics for the forthcoming IOW ride rather than the current boring subject of the election.

Return journey via track west onto Spithandle Lane to Wiston, then Chanctonbury Ring road and west through the woods. Again location of the next memorial was at first problematic due to the devastation of ash die-back clearance, but then it transpired that the PT e-memorial was still in existence and well to view. Meanwhile PT himself temporarily got lost also due to the dramatic change in the landscape.

 

Naturally the FGCC Ode was recited again, completing the formal maintenance schedule for the day.

Onwards to the SDW at which TL parted company to Steyning via Chanctonbury, whilst the pelethree continued towards Chalk, again temporarily losing PT as he missed the hidden junction to the restricted by-way. Round the back of Chalk and past Gallops farm to Findon.

MA then continued home to Angmering.

Total: 24 miles and 1,849ft for the peloton.

40.2 miles and 2,712ft for MA

TK?

TAMITS: Team cartographer PT getting lost twice

 

Fri 14th to Sun 16th June Isle of Wight ride

TK, MB, PT, MA, JR, RT

Plans started coming together as TK, MB & RT met in the village to take the 08.35 train, joined by MA at Angmering and then PT in Barnham, arriving on time in Portsmouth Harbour. Ferry across to Ryde followed by such a long ride of around 1.5 miles that we had to stop for brek at the Appley Beach cafe. During the brek MB received a domestic call requesting him to lock their car – the wonders of technology.

Fully energised the peloton then set off in an easterly direction

Green, then red, then blue

Day 1.

Plans started coming together as TK, MB & RT met in the village to take the 08.35 train, joined by MA at Angmering and then PT in Barnham, arriving on time in Portsmouth Harbour. Ferry across to Ryde followed by such a long ride of around 1.5 miles that we had to stop for brek at the Appley Beach cafe. During the brek MB received a domestic call requesting him to lock their car – the wonders of technology.

Fully energised the peloton then set off in an easterly direction following the coast and through Seaview and Nettlestone. As we got to St Helens increasing levels of precipitation caused RT & TK to call for a faff stop, and just as RT dismounted his steed he received a phone call: “is this the Findon Gentlemen’s Cycling Club”. Upon answering in the positive RT was requested to pass on a message to MB to the effect that he hadn’t been answering his phone and was needed to unlock the car again as she had left the keys in the car, a matter which was quickly resolved in the same manner as the earlier event – again the wonders of technology (and thoughts for MB for the likely admonishing that he might get when he got home for not answering his phone 😉).

Onward to Bembridge , Yaverland and Sandown, though with a stop along the way to communicate with JR, who had arrived on the island, and to direct him to take the train to Sandown where the peloton would provide a welcoming party at the station.

Duly met we then headed back to and along the seafront to Shanklin, and then along the cycle path to Wroxhall. Then onto Appuldurcome Road and up to the Appuldurcombe gate at the top for the traditional photo stop and stop to take in the scenery.

A nice descent on the track and on to Godshill, across the river Yar and onto the Sandown-Newport cycle path. Just before Blackwater we were presented with a closed cycle path. Having experienced closed paths in the past that have proven to be perfectly clear a debate took place as to whether to proceed anyway or follow the diversion. Finally “Kamikaze” Avery persuaded all to ignore the sign and continue. However at Blackwater we came across Heras fencing that was securely blocking the end of the path. Not to be defeated we realised that by slipping a tie-wrap upwards we could manoeuvre through to the road.

Finally on to Newport and the hotel along the cycle path to arrive around 5.00pm.

34.5 miles and 1,306ft

TAMITS: MB for the digital equivalent of a lost keys event.

MA for demonstrating his Kamikaze habits of old.

The evening commenced with an entertaining couple of hours and many pints of proper beer straight from the barrel in the Ale House in Holyrood street followed by an evening of fine dining in Burrs.

Day 2.

Plan was to take a route west on the North side of the island in order to be able to follow the Tennyson trail with the wind behind us, particularly for the benefit of the “analoguers”.

All gathered at 08.00am for a sumptuous brek at the One Holyrood Hotel just round the corner before setting off northwards in damp conditions with westerly winds and strong gusts. Up through Pankhurst Woods, though not on the originally planned route due to very boggy conditions. The peloton then headed in a westerly direction on side roads parallel to the main Yarmouth Road crossing same road at Shalfleet, continuing through Willow and Thorley battling strong winds all the way. At the edge of Yarmouth we joined the old railway track to the beautifully restored Yarmouth Station for a welcome coffee and cake stop in sunshine.

MB, needed to get back to Ryde by 4.00pm so decision made for him to experience one of the major climbs and descents and then take road and sustrans route to Brading to then take the train to Ryde.

Fully refreshed the peloton headed up the estuary to just before Freshwater where our Routemeister took us on a new road and off-road route to bring us from the North  onto the Tennyson trail part way up the golf course. Unfortunately this and time pressure for MB meant that the intended maintenance of the EN memorial did not take place (probably much needed as it is several years since the TWA has last attended to it). A stop at the top for RT to enjoy a momentary siesta stop and then on along and down to Brook Road at which point MB parted company from the peloton to follow his intended route (later communications informed us that he did not get lost and arrived at Ryde only slightly later than planned).

The peloton then continued on the trail to Carisbrook, JR on analogue resolutely refusing offers of a tow by the e-bikers (PT).

An early arrival at a tea stop in Newport resulted in decision to continue riding with a short ride. Route in a southerly direction to Newport Golf course though with a much steeper climb (300ft in 0.6miles) than the mapmeister intended but still attacked well by JR. Following a track alongside the golf course we then dropped down the hill and across the road and then a north easterly then southerly track to bring us back onto the Sandown-Newport cycle path and thence back to Newport. A short diversion to look at the Roman Villa but it was closed.

Dinner in the Bargeman’s rest following a slightly more temperate visit to the Ale House.

Total: 36.7 miles and 2,439ft

TAMITS: JR solo analogue rider with a 4 e-bikers peloton on the whole of the Tennyson trail and further.

Day 3

 

17.3 miles and 1,106ft

Saturday 22nd June 08.00am ride

PT and JR at OPG welcomed TK, who had ridden over in the rain from Steyning (red).  The rain stopped at 8:00, and as the Roche derriere was still convinced it had had a ride (JR pioneered a new route on Friday), a short flat hop over to Ferring (blue) was agreed on.

Exiting Findon at Roger’s Farm, we passed the bottom of Church Hill and carried on to the crossing at the edge of the woods, where we turned right to climb up to Honeysuckle Lane.  North, then left to the woods and Holt Lane.  Straight over the A27 and down the footpath (with a stile at the end) to emerge in the housing estates of Durrington.  West, to climb over Highdown, then south to Ferring and a brek at the Country Park.

Down to the beach at Sea Lane, west to the Canadian flag, then back up through Tarring to climb Mill lane for a second coffee stop in Salvington.  Then a hurtle down Bost Hill to the Superhighway and Cross lane.

JR and PT completed 16.5 miles and 850 feet, Tim did an extra 11 miles and an additional 1200 feet.

Saturday 29th June 08.00am ride