2016-01 January

FGCC rides in January 2016.

Saturday 2nd January 2016 – 08.00am ride.
So a weather forecasting rain resulted in most gentlemen staying in their beds? However, the surprise was Mr Kersley making good his New year’s resolution to get out for more rides, but even more surprising for him was that at first he thought he would be out for a solo ride, RT having discovered a blasteet when he went to get his steed. Even worse for RT was the discovery that the tube valve had broken meaning that the tube cannot be repaired – not a good start to another intended year of making the most of the potential life of any item! Though it could of course be used for other purposes.
Four peaks selected. Soggy ground start from Cissbury to top of Stable lane, but fortunately the 40mph winds were behind us. A bit dodgy going across the ridge at Chanctonbury, but fine going down to Washington. Up towards High Barn which was unbelievably boggy being referred to as “the Somme” by TK who got caught in what he thought was a puddle but turned out to be a lake resulting in his shoes being filled with a nice mixture of muddy water. Decided that in view of TK’s now cold feet to return to the village for a brek, only to discover that Julia’s was closed. Therefore went to see if Mr Roche would join us for a brek at Wyvales, which he did. More than acceptable brek there, though staff confused by JR requesting black pudding with his vegetarian brek. RT entertained by a discussion with people on the next table who shares his views on cats.
Total probably around 9 miles.

Saturday 9th January – 08.00am post-APM ride
A short ride proposed again due to it being the morning after… Up Cissbury and over towards Steyning Road, then left up the gravel road to Langmead. Round to Chanctonbury, but with MA suffering problems with a deflated rear at the top of the mount just before Chanctonbury. Attempt at reflation of his tubeless tyre by PT got him as far as Chanctonbury to re-join the peleton. Another attempt at reflation got him another 100 yards, so we stopped (in freezing wind) to see if we could put in an inner tube. No one had a 27.5 tube, but RK had a spare 29″, so we thought we would try that. However, much to the Flying Dane’s amusement we discovered that the tyre was glued to the rim, so MA set off to walk to the Washington car park and the peleton returned to the village so that RK could drive to collect him.
All met at Julia’s with AM joining us for another excellent brek.
Total 11 miles?

Saturday 16th January – 08.00am ride
Below freezing conditions used by KBS to try to convince us that routes would be rideable through Angmering Park Estate, so we decided on a route to bring us back through APE. Up to the tank where there was a debate on the conditions through the field, with TK wanting to go another way. Down through the field with those on hard tails enjoying the slightly bumpy ( 🙂 ) ride, then up to the Gallops. Great run through the Gallops due to the frost on the grass making for a fast run to the other end, at which point the FD wanted to take the steeper sharp left, but not marked as a bridleway, whereas the rest determined to take the other proper bridleway, only to find at the top that the two joined and that for once the FD had been pushing for a legal path!
Then a debate as to whether to go along the road or go through the woods (again the FD’s preference) so a split took place and JR continued along the road whilst the rest decided to follow the FD to see where he might end up. Inevitably he got a bit lost but surprisingly we ended up on the same road as JR and caught up with him after our diversion to then go through the not-swampy (!) section of APE and to follow the Monarch’s Way back to the village.
However as we descended School hill the FD appeared to have a bit of a problem with some female driver in her new BMW who clearly could not judge the width of the road squeezing him against another car, and then in her road rage trying to run over TK and finally cause an obstruction preventing RT from also descending. In the ensuing debate with the driver and her passenger, just when TK had diplomatically cooled the atmosphere, RT interceded to conclude that it was “all a big deal about nothing”, which for some strange reason seemed to enrage the passenger. However, it was all a big deal about nothing and provided an opportunity to provide further training in English cycling etiquette to the foreign wing of the FGCC during a brek at Julia’s.
Total 14.25 miles

Saturday 23rd January 08.00am ride
CB advised that they “made a circuit around amberley loop heading down to the bridge at houghton via the South Downs way and back up via north Stoke. About 15 miles in total and incident free, despite the rather sloppy conditions and the greyness that enveloped our small peleton for much of the ride. Kim kindly pointed out the spot where you had fallen a couple of weeks ago, after assuring us that there was nothing to worry about as the track is now in a much better condition… I am not convinced on this and I think most of us had a bit of a wiggle on, on the way through the ruts. Relentless talk of food throughout the ride, led us all to Julia’s for breakfast on the return to Findon. Excellent as always.”
Total 15 miles (or 12.5EN miles as later reminded by JR).

Saturday 30th January Trek ‘n Brek at Tolmere
Route again selected to take account of very soggy ground conditions, but also with a view to arriving at Tolmere by around 10.00.
Delayed start whilst MA sorted out his steed, the fact that it had just been serviced inviting comments as to whether he had his steel toe-caps at the ready, just in case…..
Up Stable Lane, through Gallops Farm and a left, right, left, left, right zig-zag to take us onto the track up to Chanctonbury. Half way up RT experienced a blasteet, much to the relief of RK, who was recovering from the lurgi, and MA who had only ridden once since November. Tube replaced and we set off to catch the others who were by now freezing in the wind at Chanctonbury.
Over to Langmead for a quick breather and setting off quickly due to rain starting, but by only a short distance RT’s rear tyre was showing signs of deflation again. On the assumption that RT had “done a Zach” and had installed a tube with a slow puncture, we re-inflated the tyre in the hope that a couple of stops to repeat the exercise would get him home.
Down the gravel track and then a right to return to Cissbury, but half way along that track RT’s tyre decided that enough was enough and a repair had to take place – large thorn discovered.
All descended on the KBS residence for a magnificent breakfast combination of English brek combined with home made Danish pastry.
Total 10 miles?