2012.02 February

Saturday 3rd February 2012.
PT, RT, CB, ZA, FL, AM and GD were out today for the AM Brek extravaganza. AM picked the route and we headed off to Cissbury to start a three peak ride. It was cold today, minus three in the village and at least minus 5 on the downs, and that’s not taking into account wind chill. We were all wrapped up well and it was not long before the blood was flowing and we all warmed up by the time we arrived at Cissbury.
There are certain FGCC events that occur from time to time and are never forgotten, ‘Lovely’ is one example of a brief incident that has lived on, as is, ‘Check you tyres’, or ‘Shall I replace you” The immortal words of FL when RT was pumping up a tyre. One more moment in time to add to the list is that of our very own Yorkshire man DS who e mailed to say he would not be out today as it was minus 5 the day before. The mail was the topic of much discussion prior to our departure and as we gathered by the car park at Cissbury a lone cyclist passed and headed off into the morning. As he disappeared over the brow of the hill and with perfect timing, the silence was broken by a voice saying, “Bet he don’t come from Barnsley.”

Once composed we carried on to Chanctonbury, CB made off to Worthing at this stage for removal duties and the remaining members carried on down the west face of Chanctonbury, crossing the A24 and onto Windlesham School. Our intended last peak was cut short as time was not on our side. A 9.30 brek was being lovingly prepared by Mrs AM AKA Shirley and passing Tolmere Farm we took a short cut onto Long Furlong to School Hill, a homely wood fire and a fantastic full Findon brek. A cold but dry ride just before the snowfall.

Saturday 11th February 2012. Training Ride.
Findon to Shoreham via Truleigh Hill, and return via Lancing College.
0730 today RT, MA, CB, FL and GD assembled at Pond Green dressed for Arctic conditions. It was a damp minus 5 at Pond Green and the temperature only dropped as we ascended from the village.
We decided on a brek in Shoreham and would join the South Downs Way from the bridleway leading up to Chanctonbury so we headed off up Stable Lane and past Giffords Gallops, (Stop press: Our sympathy goes out to the Gifford family at this time at the sad passing of Mr Josh Gifford earlier this week.)

We carried on towards Chanctonbury and half way up turned right on the farm track to join the SDW. It was a lovely morning on the downs albeit a little chilly, the ground was frozen so our going was firm but slippery in places. We headed south east and followed the SDW down to the Adur and then across the A283 before we tackled Truleigh Hill. Stopping to regain our breath at Mill Hill, after 100% success on the ascent, we made our way down into Shoreham and a brek at Truffles Cafe where, as always, we suffered the banter and abuse of the lovely manager. FL took the brunt of it as he only stopped to warm up briefly before heading home alone. The remainder took advantage of the warm and early sustenance in the form of a full English or rolls and toast and the statutory gallon of tea.

The return route saw MA depart the peleton at Shoreham Airport to make his way back home on the beach road. RT, CB and GD made their way back passing Lancing College, carefully negotiating the slippery chalk and ice on the track back towards Cissbury and dodging the scouts busy on an outward bound adventure. We returned to the village via Cissbury and completed 18 miles by the we reached home. A fresh ride but rewarding one after a week in the office and on the road!

Saturday 18 February 2012

Attending: MA, CB, FL, AM, JR, PT, RT & Adam (ride only).

PT had good reason to wish to depart directly from the breakfast destiantion (straight after the marvellous repast laid on by Clare and Carl), so JR met him at Ashington at 07.15; leaving LSVII parked up they transported him and bike back to the Butcher’s in time for the start of the 10 minute rule.

A marvellous ride followed; up to the barn, SDW to the Rackham car park for a team photo,
then down to and crossing the Amberly road to head north on Clay Lane then across the Pulborough road through a series of hidden hamlets including Hurston and others to the north of Storrington; then followed a tricky negotian of the banks of the River Stor. North and west to Thakeham before heading off-road again to Warminghurst, a brief stop to admire the church before completing the course to Ashington for that splendid Brek with Clare, Carl & Julie Avery. Thanks to them for a marvellous feast.
The ride home was by comparison a bit boring, hugging the A24 except to divert through Washington. Roadworks on the A24 south of Washington generated a coned lane that excluded cars but facilitated a safe passage for the exclusive use of the FGCC.

Saturday 25th February
An 8 o’clock start due to the NGN the previous evening and most in a particularly groggy state for some reason, with the weather damp and foggy to suitably compliment their condition. A discussion and conclusion on the route was followed by a question from JR as to the route even though he had been there (ok not there!).
A very slow start up the A24 and the North face to Chanctonbury, with JR having several Dave Mackerel moments on the way and PT suffering. At Chanctonbury CB suffered a “blasteet” and provided entertainment for RT as he struggled to complete the process of putting the tyre back on the rim, at which point others had to come to his rescue:

CB struggling to repair a blasteet post NGN

A debate was held on whether to continue to Langmead or a last post to the village (and the Linga Longa), but Langmead was (reluctantly by some) selected. MA parted from the peleton at the Steyning road to return home, whilst the rest headed down the track and right towards Cissbury ring. At the bottom GD had a “blasteet” from one of the many hawthorn cuttings along the track. JR issued his regular blasteet stop call “check your tyres lads”. Just as he was setting off, PT discovered that he had a “blasteet” also. By this time CB was more awake, to enjoy the spectacle of PT staring at the upturned bike and seemingly wondering what to do. A climb to the car park at which point GD found that he has a slow puncture, but decided to pump the tyre up again and repair it at home.
The main peleton headed round the side of Cissbury to Findon Valley, with JR suddenly energised by the thought of a return to the ancestral home – or most likely the brek. PT & GD returned to the village, with PT collecting LSV 2 and continuing to the Linga Longa.

A very slow 9.5 miles taking over 2 hours! But it was a great evening, wasn’t it!

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