2014.01 January

FGCC rides in January.
Saturday 4th January 08.00am ride
With stormy weather having been predicted and the challenge set to see if the Flying Dane was up to his ancestral strengths (email challenge the previous day), the question was whether he would be there. He was, though admitted later that if he had not confirmed his intention to ride by email he probably would not have come out for the ride – huge rain storms the night before and rivers running down all the roads along with very strong winds demonstrating the nature of the weather.
Route decision was for a 4 peaks (not 3.5) repeating the snowy ride exactly a year ago. A debate as to whether to start up Church Hill as preferred by the FD, but rejected by RT due to the very wet conditions as Church Hill was likely to be a very slippery slide. Ride started and the rain stopped, and by the time we got to the top of Cissbury it was necessary for RT to do a Rolfe-style faff and remove outer layers of waterproof clothing.
A slide down the path on the east side of Cissbury, alongside Lytchpole Hill and round to Lytchpole Farm, then the track all the way up to Langmead, where KBS even stopped without having to be reminded to stop – it seemed that he had learned lessons from the ride a year ago and rather than haring up hills was taking to having a rest from time to time. However, would he be able to make the full 4 peaks this year (see Jan 13 entry for reference)?

At the Langmead memorial. Just to prove we were there - Saturday 3rd January 2014
At the Langmead memorial. Just to prove we were there – Saturday 3rd January 2014

Up to Chanctonbury, even the SDW along the flat section prior to that being a lake, where KBS attempted to take a “selfie” on his phone:

KSB attempt at a selfie
KSB attempt at a selfie

Along the ridge having to lean over sideways to cope with the wind and down to Washington with the Flying Dane demonstrating again that he had learnt from his two falls the year before and RT following behind complaining that it was probably his slowest drop down the “North face”.

KBS was given the opportunity to return home via Windlesham, but we continued up to High Barn – at one point riding down towards the high barn the slippery conditions, adverse camber and a gust of wind resulted in RT’s wheels being whipped from underneath him, but without injury.

As we started back towards Collarbone Alley the rain started, but didn’t last long. Collarbone Alley was a lake and the CB spark-zone was a bog. At Tolmere KBS kindly invited RT in for an impromptu brek, which was greatly appreciated.

Afterwards RT rode up the track towards Salvington and then slid all the way down Church Hill and back to Nepcroft.
Total 12 miles?

Saturday 11th January 08.00am ride and brek at the Flying Dane’s.
Riders: KBS, ZA, CB, SP, RT
At the brek: AM (who had overslept).
Delayed start due to a blasteet suffered by Team Vicar.
Route selected was a 2.5 peaks in order to arrive at Tolmere around 10.00am – Cissbury car park, Chanctonbury, A24, The High Barn, Collarbone Alley, Tolmere, and after the brek back to Findon. Good to be able to welcome Mr Budd back from his retirement to the Italian mountains for a short visit before taking up work again (“I’ve retired and I’m never going to work again” Budd!) on a contract in New Zealand (ok a paid holiday in NZ is something most of us would leap at the chance of doing).
A wonderfully sunny morning after all the recent rain made for a most pleasant ride and to enjoy the views from Chanctonbury:-

The foreign contingent, the youth wing and the two old f**rts at Chanctonbury
The foreign contingent, the youth wing and the two old f**rts at Chanctonbury

although the ride was muddy, not anything like as bad as down in the area of the Adur:-

View towards Steyning and Truleigh Hill after all the recent heavy rain.
View towards Steyning and Truleigh Hill after all the recent heavy rain.

With the Flying Dane just about managing to speed up a bit down the North face in comparison to last week, we had a short stop at the A24 car park to fix another blasteet on ZA’s bike, then had an uneventful ride all the way round to Tolmere, where a splendid brek awaited us, served efficiently by Siri and finished off with a superb freshly baked Danish pastry.
Total distance including return to Findon, 10 miles.

Saturday 18th January 08.00am ride
Amberley loop selected for the ride following yet more rain having continued to make most routes very boggy. At Amberley MT and SP missed the North Stoke turn off going straight up the hill to Houghton before KBS could catch them up and return.
Nice brek at Julia’s kitchen.
18 miles?

Saturday 25th January 08.00am ride – post the APM.
A mix up prior to the ride – KBS wanting to borrow CB’s bike but coming up Nepcote whilst RT/PT went down Steep Lane.
A Shoreham ride proposed, with team mechanic attending to MT’s rear brake. Up Stable Lane stopping again to look at MT’s brake. Straight over and down into No-man’s Land, where MT entertained the Dane by deliberately falling off at the top of the steep section to avoid the potential consequences of complete brake failure.
Another fixing of the brakes prior to the long climb to Langmead, then down the concrete road and an inspection of the PT2 memorial. To Bramber and the Downslink to Shoreham. Over the Old Toll Bridge and round Shoreham Airport at which point the Flying Dane had a strange moment, missing a short cut footpath and taking the road instead. It got worse after the airport when he went for “more Tarmac” and shot off down the oats road rather than the coastal path.
Finally got onto the coastal path at Lancing Sailing Club, past Worthing Pier, up Grand Avenue and over W Worthing crossing, then straight up Findon Valley and Nepcote Lane to part company at Nepcote Green.
Total 20 miles.

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