2017-03 March

These are the rides of the Findon Gentlemen’s Cycling Club in March 2017

Saturday 4th March Monarch’s Way ride
5 gathered at Pulborough station to catch the 08.05 finding PT on board all as organised by Mr Budd. Switch of trains at Barnham to take a slow to Emsworth to have a brek at a cafe previously audited by CB.
Excellent brek during which it was observed that Mr Roche was wearing a Fitbit watch with the resulting conversation leading to the conclusion that it would suit as a potential fiancée monitor. The arrival of a young lady led to TK checking the monitor to find that JR’s heart rate leapt from 59 to 68. (At the lunch stop later the arrival saw the potential fiancée monitor leap to 78 resulting in discussion as to what would be the threshold above which the device automatically sent an order to Amazon for a ring).
After the brek we headed up through a boggy track towards Rowland Castle, but taking a right fork near the Castle to join the Monarch’s Way at Stanstead House.
Onwards along the MW to Walderton with discussion as to whether to take the tradional loop through the boggy ploughed field or carry on along the road. Traditional route selected and the ground conditions were in fact fine.
Continued along the MW and a further debate as to whether to go for the traditional double b*****d route or a short but steep detour favoured by Mr Roche. Kept to tradition again. Watching a kill by a Red Kite provided a welcome excuse for a break with a further stop at the top to enjoy the full view.

Monarch's Way ride 2017 peleton.
Monarch’s Way ride 2017 peleton.

Not long to stop as Mr Budd urged us on. Followed the route until “blasteet” hill which lived up to its reputation causing a deflation of PT’s rear which was quickly repaired. Then TK realised that his rear was also suffering with a slow deflation, so a quick pump up enabled him to head off to the pub at West Dean to fix it there. Pub now a bit “Halloumi”, but nowhere else to eat. This is the location where the potential fiancée monitor went off the scale.
After lunch up Roche Hill where Mr Topley experienced another blasteet which had to be fixed. When finally arrived at the top we again were given little time to rest before CB was itching to get going again. Followed the MW all the way past Bignor and to just below Whiteways, where PT experienced a further blasteet. When this was finally fixed he decided to head off to Arundel whilst Mr Budd led the rest of the peloton off at high speed up a sticky hard going track (well high speed for him but not the rest of us) leading to one or two grumblings from the rest.
A great route past Bury Hill and round to eventually arrive at the welcome sight of the inn at Stopham Bridge for a pint, then up round the back of the garden centre opposite towards Pulborough only for JR and RT to get lost as the youth wing shot off again. All gathered together again and finally parted our ways at Pulborough Station just as it was getting dark, thanks to the many efforts of Mr Budd to drive us on.
Total 35 miles.

Friday 10th/Saturday 11th March Downslink/NW Passage ride
JR – PM but did not ride or stay overnight. KBS who helped with bag delivery but did not ride.
A complicated bag delivery arrangement saw RT collect PT plus bike from Horsham, go to Shalford to leave his car there, the FD to collect RT PT and bike and drive to Findon. The FD firstly had difficulty finding Mrs Deekes dwelling, and then had difficulty remembering how to put his bike rack together so bike dismantled and put into the back of the car, with RT generously offering the front passenger seat to PT. This proved to be a novel experience for PT, who found himself in the offside front seat of a car hurtling through the countryside in true Flying Dane style, but without the security of a steering wheel or foot brake to hand…
Arrived back in Findon just before the start time for the ride, but RT then discovered he had a blasteet so eventually the peloton set off some 20 minutes later than planned (RT & PT having said ciao to Mr Budd who was setting off back to Italy). Just after the high barn junction with the SDW TK suffered a blasteet and so did a quick change of tube. Good progress on the NW route to the lunch stop at the RSPB Pulborough Brooks centre. Set off again in good time in spite of the Team Vicar’s attempts to delay us with some considerable faffing. Again good progress on the traditional route eventually getting to the canal side track to the Onslow Arms at Loxley for a quick pint (or two for some). Regaled by an old regular of the pub, Ernie who was and is still at 84 years of age a road cyclist, with a ditty to Daisy Belle.
Again set off in good time with agreement not to do the detour into Cranleigh for chips, thereby finding ourselves in the novel situation of being on the Downslink whilst it was still light, enabling us to see the whole route to Shalford, just before the end of which RK suffered a blasteet. It turned out that we were so early that Mrs Deekes was not home yet, clearly expecting from past experience that we would be much later. ZA and RT loaded bikes onto RT’s car and returned to Findon.
Total 36 miles

A report by TK from the evening of day 1 and the return ride from Shalford

Having waved goodbye to Richard and Zach . The puncture brothers ( Tim and Roy) and honorary Irishmen (Paul and Mark, resplendent in their FGCC dining green ) made our way to the queen Vic for libations , sustenance and the Wales / Ireland rugby. The locals were generous in the warmth of their commiseration to Paul and Mark as Wales turned them over… 5/8ths of a gallon were taken along with a mighty fine meal.

A hearty breakfast and obligatory faffing preceded the official photograph , mrs deekes ( jean to John) and early arrival of John himself bolstered our numbers for said photos

Roy / Paul / Mark and Tim then made way for the downs link , Paul explored and confirmed a new route from Shalford to the downs link avoiding road crossings. Good time was made along the link through cranleigh and on to the now traditional Cheese on Toast stop just beyond Banyards . We then all made our way towards itchingfield where we split into two groups – Mark and Paul heading north for Horsham and Tim and Roy ( surprisingly Unpunctured) continued south

Good time was made as we passed through the remaining length of downslink , ascended Steyning bostal along the south downs way , down towards stable lane returning to pond green for 245. – no punctures and no rain…

Further contribution to the blog from PT
Very many thanks to John for arranging the B and B and collecting bags , also many thanks go to Richard for taking bags to Shalford , deputy PMing and to Kim for lifts back from Shalford

The Saturday peleton and Mrs Deekes

Saturday 18th March 08.00am ride
Arundel brek selected. Route via Burpham, with a short detour through Burpham itself to see if the George serves breakfast but it was closed, and on to a very busy breakfast stop due to the fine weather. Return via Poling and Angmering at which point MA returned home, the remaining peloton returning to Findon via Highdown and the gallops.
Total 22 miles
Tamits moment – it being suggested that phoning home would be a better option to see if Julie was there to let him in rather than riding there when already exhausted and possibly then having to try to catch up with the peloton.

Saturday 25th March 08.00am ride
A strong easterly wind and a beautiful sunny day and a great opportunity to be riding along the seafront. Route up Cissbury and straight on across Steyning Road then continuing east to take the Lancing clump route ending up by Lancing College. Round the airport with a short debate as to whether to have breakfast there, then back along the seafront to Worthing, up Grand Avenue, West Worthing, Salvington and the Gallops for a brek at Julia’s.
Total 18 miles.