2016-04 April

FGCC rides in April 2016

Saturday 2nd April 08.00am ride
So where were all the rest on a nice sunny spring morning.

A clear spring morning view from the track up from Burpham ascending Kithurst Hill
A clear spring morning view from the track up from Burpham ascending Kithurst Hill

Nevertheless we enjoyed an Amberley loop ride followed by brek at Julia’s. No events though slow going due to having not ridden for a while.
18 miles.

Saturday 9th April 08.00am ride
Mr. Tim Kersley – representing Network Rail

A welcome return of Nigel & Son (Steven) – representing Southern Rail – or whatever they call themselves nowadays (let’s settle on the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway), and actually, to his great credit, Steven represented the excellent St. Andrew’s School & The Duke of Edinburgh (currently doing the Bronze).

Mr. Kim Bang Sorenson – representing Pure Chocolate Truffles & The European Union (that offshore island 21 miles from Dover) and who followed our route from in front.

Mr. John Roche – representing The Malaysian Tea Company, the people of Tanah Rata and now SOSS, who stayed very much to the rear of the peloton.

Apologies for absence:

Mr. Richard Thomas, Sales Director , Pure Chocolate Truffles & The standards department of the FGCC (& formerly representing the non EU cantons of Canton Land).

The route:

The Amberley Loop – 16.1 miles, no bicycle-orientated incidents or accidents. A splendid Brek took place post-ride at Julia’s.

Other items & incidents to note:

The lack of representation from the world of education meant that conversation topics were almost entirely limited to the future of our railway networks. As regularly happens during such discussions acronyms abounded as modernisation was debated and the less knowledgeable of us (aka the innocent travelling public), were easily left behind, in my case in all other senses of the word too. Peak frustration point was reached as we passed the historic Amberley chalk pits museum where, suddenly remembering happier travelling experiences and thinking as ever of my people in Tanah Rata,struggling with their somewhat backward (British designed but poorly run) railway network, I was forced to reply.

I voiced the view that, whilst all this modernisation is going on, where does this leave the great British travelling public i.e say the TM (in his case left to make the best of life on Three Bridges Station)? It’s all very well upgrading track and signalling etc., but this leaves the rest of us traveling on replacement bus services, or spending the night in the station-master’s quarters at 3B. Much better to leave things as they are …… in fact says I, why not join my new organisation: SOSS – Save Our Semaphore Signalling: a small but elite force of street fighters (or should it be track-side fighters) who campaign for a return to the halcyon days of efficient network operation. We spend our leisure time chained to signal boxes and semaphore signal posts longing for the days when it only took 75 minutes from London to Worthing. Oh for the sight of Fred or Joe, wandering along the platform, equipped with red and green flags, knapsack and flask, on his way to stoke the coke fires of the stove in the landmark green box, sucking on his pipe, before pulling those levers and dinging that funny bell. That’s how you run a network I say. I have to add that I wasn’t overwhelmed by applications to join. However, I remain hopeful ….. when Steven next meets the Duke …. who knows?

You can tell it’s a quiet start to the day here at WHQ.

John Roche BNTR SOSS

Total 18 miles

Saturday 16th April 08.00am ride
Flying Dane’s 60th. Ride organised by TK whilst the main peleton was away in the Cotswolds.
KBS, TK and J.Barnett.

Report by Mr Kersley.

A ride by the reserve team whilst the first team were on tour in Gloucestershire.

‘Twas the day that the flying Dane turned 60 and in homage to this milestone Kim and Tim drafted in a guest rider – Mr John ( high) Barnett of Findon . Thus a peleton of 3 set off from pond green on an ‘easy’ route selected by the master chocolatier . This commenced with a quick ascent of church hill – somewhat unexpectedly and contrary to historical events Tim was the only rider not to fall of on the way up church hill. We descended to Tolmare and continued up past the gun club to the South Downs way – where we swiftly progressed to Amberley Mount – whereupon we paused and cracked open a bottle of champagne to toast the birthday boy. Giggling as we descended the mount we continued through houghton to north stoke and returning to the SDW at Kithurst hill. Tim thought this was the end of the hill climbs , but Kim had other ideas , diverting right at Chantry hill over ploughed fields , to Black Patch hill where cows and sheep has amply ‘muddied’ the ground – we descended through mirtlegrove and turned left along ploughed Monachs way to return back to Tolmare – where we breakfasted with two further bottles of champagne – returning home for a mid day hangover ….

No blasteets

20 miles?

Saturday 23rd April 08.00am ride
Solo ride again for TK, who reports as follows:

“I did make the trip to pond green, pausing for the 10 minute rule and with no other ‘shows’ deferred to a thigh light ride…

This took me to kit hurst Hill and down the gallops to patching woods – on the way encountering red kites , deer and hare ..

Travelled through Patching woods past bluebells everywhere. Stunning. Made way up through farms , past tank and back on the SDW encountering 5 more red kites , 4 deer and 3 hare – have never seen so much wildlife on downs before …

Great ride and a great time of day to ride – “.

Saturday 30th April 08.00 am ride
Avery wedding day so no one out.