2017-05 May

These are the rides of the FGCC in May 2017.

Thursday 4th to Tuesday 9th May C2C ride
PT, ZA, MA, RK, JR and the Oxford wing MT & SP.
The main wing gathered at Topley towers in Horsham with RT making a surprise visit to see them off. Tea and distribution of C2C shirts took place whilst final arrangements of bikes and bags took place, with compliments to MA for remembering both wheels only for him to discover that he had forgotten his cycling shoes.
The convoy set off at 10.00am heading for Oxford and bacon sarnies…..
Summary of first couple of days by PT

Thursday 4 May 2017

Roy and Zach arrived at Horsham, bringing John and Mark, respectively. A certain amount of faffing ensued, and eventually bikes were loaded onto Roy’s and Paul’s cars, tea was drunk, and the convoy departed for Oxfordshire.

Arriving at Armageddon Cottage, we were treated to a feast of bacon butties, after which further bikes and bags were loaded and we set off again for St Bees, the peloton expanded by the Oxford Wing, and a stop at Stafford Services and Newby Bridge, by which time we knew we were “up North”.

We reached the Seacote Hotel after a refreshment stop at a motorway service area somewhere in the North.

After a dinner which seemed designed more to placate the appetite than to impress the palate, but was nonetheless enjoyable, the gentlemen retired.

Friday 5 May 2017

After a short ride down to the beach to dip tyres in the sea, the entire peloton set off out of St Bees, confidently led by the satmap. PT, however, had a crisis of confidence and overruled the satmap so that we took the wrong road out of St Bees and executed a scenic but unnecessary detour. After regaining the intended route, the entire peloton was able to join the C2C at is junction with the A5 95 at Moor Row. We all followed the C2C to Rowrah, whereupon PT and RK turned back to retrieve the vehicles from St Bees.

[this next bit needs to be supplied by others]

PT and Roy finally encountered the remainder of the peloton at Thackthwaite, having overtaken them while they were busy drinking coffee. Collecting the two Marks into the vehicles, Paul and Roy then proceeded to the lunch stop at Whinlatter, leaving Zach Sam and John to climb up to the pass.

After a convivial lunch accompanied by much vox testiculorum, including risqué remarks involving the comparisons of the excellence of the birds feeding outside the window and those walking past, Paul Roy and the two Marks set off again by car to Threlkeld and left Zach Sam and John to descend into Keswick. [any remarks on the descent?]

Arriving at Threlkeld to claim our billets, Paul Roy and Mark A set off back towards Keswick, only to find that the off-road C2C route was cut due to bridge failure on the old railway line. Taking a road route, we encountered the remainder of the peloton in a most welcoming coffee shop in Keswick high Street. Suitably refreshed and invigorated we set off towards Threlkeld on the C2C route but found the road blocked by temporary fencing.

Despite there being no indication on the map of any pathway through the woods, we took one anyway. After about half a mile Mark A realised he had lost his phone. Calling his number, some passing walkers answered the phone and said they would remain with it until he got back to them. While Mark was returning to collect his phone, the remainder pressed on until John suffered a chain break. The location of the break was eventually discovered (our consultant chain-break-finding expert not being with us at this time) and by the time the chain was mended Mark T had reappeared, telephonically restored.

The strategically-placed Mark T was able to contact us to take our dinner orders, after some discussion.

All proceeded to Threlkeld, where mine host demonstrated his large collection of sheds, all of which appeared to be 90% full of the sort of thing that one puts in the shed prior to taking it to the dump. Sufficient room was eventually found to store the bikes, and the peleton retired to shower prior to the first sampling of the Jennings.

Paul did not lose his wallet at this time.

Saturday 6 May 2017

Mark T was suffering with his back, and offered to take a vehicle firstly into Keswick to obtain suitable preparations from the local apothecary, and then meet us at the agreed lunch stop in Greystoke. The remainder of the Peleton set off up the Old Coach Road, for an exciting morning of pushing bicycles up hills and mending chains. ”

JR takes up the record with the following:

“A pub-side lunch then ensued in order to extinguish the low-fuel warning lights that had come on since the previous evening’s imbibing.

Setting off for the next night’s digs (t ??????), a most pleasant and scenic ride followed our (under) crossing of the M6 and circumvention of the town of ………. (Preston?). Upon arrival at the digs (another way-side Inn), we were greeted by a landlord whose first words were: “I hope you lot aren’t planning to turn in before midnight”. We later discovered that the reason for this induced insomnia would be the coalition of a darts presentation night followed by a bar “entertainer” who did her best to murder as many hits from the 60s and 70’s as possible; our rooms each having been carefully located above the bass speakers.

Sunday 7 May 2017

Tranquil rides followed next day. A massive up hill to ????? for morning coffee and an encounter with a group of ladies, one of whom had a bent mech’ hanger. Seeking the TM’s advice she interpreted his excellent recommendation that the best fix was no fix by threatening to take a large truck spanner to (not the bike but) her own TM who was offering to bend it back into shape with a hammer. Lunch was taken at ?????? and these same females appeared again (and were to dog us all the way to Beamish – well, they’re only human). An endless uphill battle ensued in the afternoon until we met the LSV peloton atop the hill at ????. From there an almost full FGCC convoy proceeded to Parkhead Station – almost because that Mark T had manfully and thoughtfully remained behind to butter up our hosts for the night and ensure that a convivial evening was had by all.

Monday 8 May 2017

Post-brek high winds ensured no ‘last post’ riding was possible on the downhill trek East.

Lunch at Beamish where the club chaplain briefly broke away to use up a frequent-flyer ticket to the Beamish Museum. The afternoon ride to Sunderland was punctuated by a puncture for JR and later by proof of the theory that EVERYONE in Sunderland owns a dog.

Wheel dipping at Roker was followed by a trip to the digs where the owner was met with an opening (and challenging) question: “Is there ANYONE in Sunderland who DOESN’T own a dog”. The quick reply was: “Well I’ve got two vicious ones, the wife and the Mother-in-Law”. Another eccentric B&B owner to add to the list.

A splendid and convivial evening followed in pub and Curry House.

Tuesday 9th May.

Uneventful drive home via Standlake where we were again welcomed and entertained by the Thriscutt’s (a huge loss to Findon). Then home via Horsham where much thanks were extended to Paul and Roy for PM-ing and driving us all so efficiently.”

MA forgetting his shoes right at the start, and losing his phone on the ride.
PT deciding to override the sat map, only to discover that it was correct
PT losing his wallet resulting in plans made during dinner to recover it the next day from the last time it was seen at the tea stop, only for him to recall at 4.00am that it might have slipped off the bed and finding it accordingly.
JR having proudly boasted that he had taken such care of his steed by giving it a thorough clean prior to the ride, only to suffer not one but three chain breaks even of a newly purchased one – shades of viking bike aggression?
MT helpfully and knowledgeably advising of the location of JR’s chain break.

Sunset at St Bees the evening before the start of the ride.
Sunset at St Bees the evening before the start of the ride.

Faffing TV?
The Coach & Horses at Threlkeld
A road closure doesn’t stop the FGCC

Northumberland moors
Breakfast at Stanhope Station B&B before the last day of riding

Saturday 6th May 08.00am ride for non-C2Cers.
A last opportunity to enjoy the bluebells in Angmering Park. Up Church Hill, over to the SDW and then left fork and left again after Kithurst to arrive up at the top of the Gallops. Up the hill and then a fork right along the ridge to arrive at the west end of Angmering Park. A tour through the bluebell woods with TK adopting FD attitude and going off-piste requiring one about turn in particular. Back along the Monarch’s Way to Findon and bacon sarnie at Julia’s.
Total 14 miles.

Saturday 13th May 08.00am ride
A Shoreham loop ride – Cissbury straight over to Coombes Farm, north to join the Downslink back down to the Shoreham footbridge, up past Lancing college and back to Findon via Cissbury again. RK struggling to get going after 4 days riding on the C2C.
Total 18 miles

Saturday 20th May 08.00am ride
A relatively short ride to the tank, then down across the fields, right turn back up to the SDW, right again to the High Barn and down towards the A24, round the back of Windlesham and back to Findon.
Total? 10 miles.

Saturday 27th May 08.00am ride
Route up to Cissbury car park and straight on all the way to Coombes, left up to join the Downslink heading south to the Shoreham toll bridge. Back up alongside Lancing college and Lancing clump over to Cissbury and Findon for a brek.
TK’s recovery from a bad day at work on Friday, having already commenced following emails proposing much “vox testicularum” and having led to him to laugh uproariously on the train home (much to the surprise of fellow travellers), was completed by coming across a young lady rider wearing a marmite shirt.
On the hill up from Lancing College TK came across a slow worm on the tarmac and proceeded to try to remove it to the side of the road using a couple of sticks. This attempt seemed to be becoming singularly unsuccessful, but upon arrival at the scene RT simply picked up the snake and placed it at the side of the road, causing RK to roar with laughter. TAMITS?
Total 17 miles?