2012.06 June

Saturday 2nd June – Jubilee Trek ‘n brek at the tank.
JR, AM, PT, AC, GD, RT, MA, TK, Wayne
The annual trek and brek to the tank, but a special occasion as the FGCC’s part of the Jubilee celebrations.
Project Manager, JR, kindly drove to Kithurst with the equipment and food, whilst the rest cycled. TK offered to take the water container, getting a strange look from another cyclist as he left the car part, to which TK commented “a man can’t have enough water when out for a ride!” (note Camelbak and two containers of water on the bike also).

Arriving at the tank, Adam decided to fully test his brakes resulting in a stylish slide-landing (note the absence of the bike which had been left behind):
Adam’s landing

The area around the tank had been trimmed specially for the occasion – thank you GD.

Mr Topley arrives at the tank with triple-deck laden trailer
Paul and trailer

A toast to her majesty, followed by a toast to the FGCC and absent friends, along with a toast to Andy going straight – the excellent news of his straightened knee meaning that he is back on his bike again for longer rides.
Jubilee toast

With the tank bedecked with bunting and the Union flag (and the Brazilian flag! – why not?), the FGCC colours on the tank fully maintained, the preparations for the brek continued.
The feast

A group shot following the clear up.
Group shot

Saturday 9th June – 7.30am ride
PT, GD, CB + JR?
Ride to the Orchards, meeting PT who had ridden from Haywards Heath.

Saturday 16th June – 7.30am ride
An uneventful ride over to Arundel into the face of a very strong wind. Observing that the Farmer’s market was there we went to see if KBS had his French serf present and whether she might let him join us for a brek. However the Flying Dane was raging around ready to behead the market organiser as he had not supplied a promised gazeebo, so withdrew to the safety of the cafe.
Route back via Highdown and Cote Street, the only slight concern being the track across the rife after Poling Street, necessitating cycling through about 9″ or more of water, but this passed without incident – CB kindly decided to let RT see if the newly created ford was passable!
Tea at Nepcroft, as CB had been kicked out of his house until the estate agents had taken someone round – yes the for sale sign has gone up so we need to plan the Italian ride!
Total 23miles

Saturday 23rd June 7.30am ride
Ride to Shoreham. Cissbury towards Chanctonbury and then Langmead. Decided to go via SDW even though PT was tempted by the concrete road drop. At the gate off the Steyning road to the SDW a new notice – “Warning free range pigs ahead” – but the field was full of very woolly looking “pigs”. However at the next gate we came across what was instantly described (PT) as a concentration camp for pigs(Belsen for bacons?) :-


At the next gate ZA was on gate duty, but had a painful landing as he jumped back on his bike and his saddle bolt broke. ZA then rode on, sans saddle, to the footbridge at Shoreham where we caught up with PT, and a masterclass ensued – ZA had a spare saddle bolt which he keeps with him as this had happened to him before (?medal in there somewhere?).

It was decided that it would be too rude to go to Shoreham and not have a brek at Truffles.

Slow ride along the sea front into a very strong wind, a stop at the Bike Store for RT to purchase pads (nothing to do with his age, as was implied) and ZA to acquire new shoes and saddle clamp/bolt set.Then return via the carbuncle and Findon Valley.
Total 23 miles and 1200 ft climbed.

Friday 29th/Saturday 30th – New Forest & IOW ride
Our PM’s plans came together as RT caught 07.55 train at Worthing, meeting PT who was already on board from Brighton, and then NW at Angmering, with ZA planning to join us later. Changed at Southampton and then on to Ashurst. A complete history of the southern railway system and its practices made for a seemingly short journey overall.
As we got off at Ashurst the rain started (no vicar with us at this moment). Took a wide green track just to the south of the station that turned out to be full of small streams resulting in doubling the straight line distance, with a few mishaps along the way. On to the heath proper and towards Brockenhurst. On a nice flat roadway through a NF campsite PT decided to “have a little lie down” but fortunately was unscathed.
By the time we got to the road just south of Brockenhurst we had been informed of multiple train delays for ZA and that he wouldn’t be arriving at Brockenhurst till 1.00pm. A route through the woods opposite was selected using the satmap. Descending into these extremely damp-looking woods PT decided to have another lie down. At the bottom of the slope as the going got boggier we had to pick our route carefully in order to be able to ride (well sort of). Following the track across a wooden bridge seemed the obvious route, but immediately after this PT’s front wheel sunk into the mud up to its axle and his new cycle shoes suddenly didn’t look so new as his feet sunk deep into the mud. A check of the Satmap suggested that we follow a river round to the left and go across it (!?) and Nigel found his way blocked – decided not to hop across this one:

Nigel inspecting the route ahead

At this point we resigned ourselves to taking the road route to Brockenhurst and to have a cup of tea. After that we had a short (8 mile?) ride to the northeast of Brockenhurst to return there for lunch and to meet ZA. A couple of pints of bitter shandy and a lunch in the sunshine, and time for RT to “inspect a bowl of soup”.

After ZA joined us, we headed off in a north westerly (well more or less – slight diversion within the village via the ford much to ZA’s amusement) direction up the old railway track, with the intention of a loop round to then head south to Milton-on-sea and our destination. Needing to find another track, on an off-track climb up a hill it was RT’s turn to have a lie down, decapitating a gorse bush approx 6ft high, to the great entertainment of others just behind!
Heading south involved a combination of roads and straight tracks, one of which was more than a little overgrown and soggy, with NW having his turn to lie down in a bed of nettles.

Arriving earlier than expected in Milton-on-sea we decided to inspect the castle at the end of the Solent estuary, but stopped short due to thick gravel making the going only possible on foot. Returning to the sea-front cafe it closed as we arrived – summer closing at 5.00pm! – so we headed for the hotel.

Milton’s equivalent of Fawlty Towers made for an entertaining evening, during which we were served by a Polly rushing around at high speed.

Saturday morning we took the road route to the terminal at Lymington so that we could catch the 10.00am ferry and NW could catch the 10.03 train home.

Many bikers on the ferry who were on a round-IOW ride, but fortunately turned out to mostly going an on-road route. “Are you with us” asked a cycling man with clip-board at the ferry. “No we’re with the FGCC”!

On the trip across we could see the tail end of the magnificent spectacle of the round IOW sailing race disappearing round the Needles, and waved to MA who was out there somewhere no doubt enjoying the strong winds.

A stop for cash in Yarmouth and then the direct route to Freshwater, where ZA decided that this time he would not have a dip in the bay due to the combination of the fierce sea and low temperature. Onwards to the start of the Tennyson trail and a stop for memorial maintenance, whilst PT replaced RT’s front brake pads. A group of golfers seemed not to notice the maintenance as they teed off from the green alongside the memorial:-
The lost keys memorial - Ewart Nightingale

Zach inspecting the lost keys memorial
An excellent ride along the Tennyson trail with views of the continuing round-IOW race and the traditional stop for lunch at Carisbrook. A mostly off-road route to Ryde where we were straight onto the ferry and at Portsmouth had just enough time to get a cup of tea before catching train home. Thank you to Mr Topley for organising another most enjoyable ride.

Total 70 miles for, 68 for PT.

Meanwhile JR had a solo saturday am ride – not sure of the route.

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