2010.07 July

Fri 2nd – Sun 4th July – New Forest & Isle of Wight ride.
RRT, CB, MA, DS with ZA on Friday.
RT & DS set off from Findon at 07.30am, collecting MA from Worthing, only to have to return to Findon – RT forgot helmet! Near Arundel long queues of Goodwood traffic required a diversion via Bognor, but gave DS an opportunity to salivate over various supercars as we crawled along.
Arrived in Hythe later than planned, dumped car and headed towards Ashurst to rendezvous with ZA.Trying to master the Satmap, a route through the forest was chosen in preference to the road route as there were plenty of paths!
“We’re just the other side of the railway line from you at Ashurst Station, Zach. Should only take a few minutes”. Following a specially selected Satmap path through the forest (Amazon?). The photo below was taken by a bemused DS as MA led RT through wild boar country on the Satmap selected “path!”…………….


…….we eventually arrived with legs bruised, stung and bleeding from the fight through the thicket, around 45minutes later, to find ZA about to end it all if he had to listen to the Ashurst Station announcements one more time (what was the statement again, Zach?). To delay ZA further from his intended ride, a late morning brek in the very pleasant Lite Bites Cafe in Ashurst was decreed as being a necessity. The fresh cream filled Victoria sponge made by the proprietors was delightful and sampled by MA and DS to wash down their bacon and egg baguettes!

Finally setting out around mid-day we headed west and north across the main A31 to end up at the Rufus Stone monument:-

Rufus Stone

Further riding through the woods took us on some beautiful paths, not least this one where we rode through a picturesque stream….


And here where we encountered a slight obstacle….


The peleton headed south via Lyndhurst after a near-suicidal crossing of the A31, to Brockenhurst via Lyndhurst to meet CB at 3.00 for tea. DS had a tyre blister but the offerings of the local cycle shop were not considered desirable. DS attempted an RT-style fix, but then a Sam Sue (or something like that) was acquired from the shop after all and fitted.

DS writes – Actually I was after a Nobby Nic or a Racing Ralph and they had neither! I almost went for a Speedy Sam but decided against it and plumped for a Conti Speed King – nice tyre by the way if anyone needs new rubber!

South to the digs, and ZA was pursuaded to take the ferry from Hythe instead of returning Brockenhurst, and farewells were made as we recovered LSV3.

A welcome by John and Patty at the digs with gallons of tea and generous quantities of biscuits in the evening sunshine on the lawn, after which RT departed to book into the Maple B&B hotel. An excellent meal in the …….. restaurant – as demonstrated by the apparently incoherent conversation RT (who wasn’t drinking) had with Mrs T at the end of the meal (fortunately she saw the funny side of it). We had a fascinating debate over dinner in relation to which of the two stunning waitresses was the prettiest. All went for the blonde except DS!

Excellent brek provided by John the next morning, after which LSV3 was loaded up for the short drive to Lymington.
Ferry to Yarmouth and a high-speed dash to Carisbrook, to arrive there by 1.00pm. MA & DS were convinced that Yarmouth to Carisbrook in 40minutes – RT & CB were convinced otherwise and didn’t really act as a brake to this challenge!

Lunch at the four, no five, no six, no seven, no Eight Bells pub for a salad and drink, but where it was hard to tell the difference in the foul outpourings of sreeching black-headed gulls and vile chav-chatter. DS offered to return with weapons to deal with the former. Also of note, the family of chavs spanned three generations, the grandma was never a day over 35 – a tragic symptom of modern Britain…

Then the excellent Tennyson trail ride in glorious weather, maintenance of the lost keys memorial and a swim at Freshwater bay for MA & DS, following a welcome cream tea. We also chanced across the lovely Hannah who was on her hen night with about 15 lovely friends. They were on hired bikes for the afternoon and looked very fetching. DS arranged for the FGCC to meet with them at 11pm that night…. only joking…

Checked into the digs fairly early so went to the Waterside pub to make a restaurant booking and have a couple of drinks in the evening sunshine, which was unfortunately marred by yet another experience of chav chatter.

We returned to the Waterside for dinner (fair) and had an enjoyable evening with a colleague of Richard’s and his wife who were now residing in the IoW. He was a charming chap although marred his entrance somewhat by knocking our bottle of wine to the ground!

Following morning the group headed off to the needles and up to the Tennyson memorial, down to Freshwater again (another swim for DS) and along the estuary route, including the reed bed path, to Yarmouth on which DS bottled out of riding down some steps – pathetic effort! Excellent lunch in the Bugle Inn (fabulous petit Chablis!) with live acoustic guitar playing in the background, before catching the ferry to Lymington.

Mid-channel the ferry did a surprise 360 degree turn after which the captain made his apologies explaining that he had had to take avoiding action “because of some idiot under sail”!!

Car loaded and all bike frames artistically(?) fitted onto the bike rack for the return home:-

Total distance ridden a mere 69.5 miles but great fun.




Saturday 10th July.

PT, MA, KBS, FL and GD were able to ride this morning and we decided to go to Lancing Hill, on to Steyning and back to Findon via the north of Chanctonbury. (That was the plan!) After the obligatory, ‘Gentlemen, shall we?’ at 0740hrs, we set off towards Cissbury via Nepcote Green. The climb to Lancing was hot, even at that time of day and fairly dusty for those behind, but it did not take too long to reach the summit. KBS then had the group chasing him around the labyrinth of paths through the woods at the top. It was cool under the branches until PT spied a ‘FGCC’ uncharted route. It disappeared north over the downs in the direction of Steyning. That was it, we were off!
It was definitely an ancient path and not too many people have trod it this year as the local flora was somewhat overgrown in places. After a detour through the exotically-named “Cowbottom Hovel” (TQ18827 07008)
Cowbottom Hovel
the path eventually brought us out by Coombes church and the farm but no sooner were we back on tarmac heading into Botolphs we turned off left again on a bridle-way and west towards the SDW.
We arrived at the top of SDW on Titch Hill and made our way back to Findon by the old military road through No Man’s Land towards Giffords Gallops. The last climb was a real test of endurance but we all made it. Finally a quick repair of a PT ‘blaaassstttt iiiiiitttttttt,’ (slow puncture) at the top of Monarch’s way and Cissbury and we returned to Findon on the Monarch’s Way into Nepcote.
12. 5 miles today but it must have been 3000ft of climbing!

Saturday 17th July 2010.
Stop Press, read all about it, read all about it. KBS Trek and brek. DS takes a spill.

KBS, PT, MA, FL, DS and GD were there for the trek and 9.30 brek this morning. Strong southwesterly winds and a forecast of heavy showers sent us to Angmering woods for some protection from the elements. We cycled to the woods via Church Hill, Clapham and Patching.
KBS led the peleton into the woods and we zig zagged our way around the estate for the first hour hour, the only incident of note was when DS hit a tree stump and took a spill over his handlebars into wet bramble in Butler’s Copse (TQ06122 06313). PT, ever sympathetic, asked him to lie back down in the bramble while he took a quick snap. DS ever obliging, did not!
Admiring the view
Admiring the view over Lower Barpham to Harrow Hill
and the view
The view over Lower Barpham to Harrow Hill
We eventually found ourselves at the westerly end of Angmering woods and with only 40 minutes to brek we cycled back towards the Monarch’s Way around the outskirts of the estate. Tolmare Farm was now in view and the smell of the bacon was nearly upon us and on the last climb DS, with 20psi in his rear tyre suffered a ‘pinch’ blast-eet. It took five minutes and two patches to put things right for DS. We completed our route and arrived for a scrumptious brek cooked by Mrs. K.BS and young helpers Rose and Siri.

For the unfortunate gentlemen missing out, we had a ‘Full Findon’ brek with home made bread, followed by cheeses, home made jams and finished off with a delicious home made apple danish pastry. Massive thanks.
13.9 miles and 1627 feet of climb.

Points out of 10 for this journalistic masterpiece please Mr. KBS?

Saturday 24th July 2010.
JR, MA, KBS, FL, GD, MR and new rider J rode the 12 miles this morning, We left the butcher’s in Findon at 7.40 am and headed to the barn on the SDW through Muntham Farm. Once there KBS wanted to head out on the ‘Goats Trail’ and meet up with the remaining members in the car park near to the tank further west on the SDW.
That’s where it went wrong, because JR, FL and J took the tarmac down to Storrington where, mistakenly, they thought KBS had directed them.

KBS and ‘the gullibles’ ventured onto the ‘Goats Trail’ and then to the bridleway which ran brilliantly down hill to the ‘tank’ car-park. JR FL and J were nowhere to be seen and after several attempts to call one another the two peletons agreed to meet at the Franklin Arms in Washington. JR’s merry men risked life and limb on the main road from Storrington and KBS’s valiant followers rode back along the SDW and then left onto the bridleway that runs down, down, down to Washington Church. The bridleway has now been fenced in and at speeds of 30mph on chalk it was a hair-raising descent.

The two peletons merged back into one in Washington and we returned via Windlesham School to Findon. JR, MA, GD, MR and J ate breakfast in the Village Shop, which incidentally, was celebrating its 3rd anniversary of trading. Congratulations on that and thanks to Craig for a splendid brek.

Saturday 31 July 2010
PT, RT, JR, KBS gathered in the Square as MA rode up from the beach to join the peleton. Climbing up to Cissbury in a murky drizzle with visibility of about 100 yards, we turned north towards Chanctonbury then bore right to join the SDW. Turning north into the trees to get out of the rain, we followed the root-infested track to Bloody Norse Corner (TQ16338 10281) where RT performed the customary maintenance of the memorial to his crash.A rapid descent to the north-east, traversing the slope, brought us to the junction on the Steyning road. Hurtling down the hill we took Maudlin Lane to the roundabout and then the Downslink to Shoreham. KBS departed for home to attend to visiting Mother-in-law, while the rest of the peleton headed for a brek at Truffles. On being served gallons of tea the waitress commented “you don’t need all those strainers”, prompting PT to reply with “The quality of the tea ‘ere is not strained……”.

Fortified, we returned over the footbridge and along the beach to No 10, where we bade farewell to MA. Now three, a road route back to Findon was elected, taking in the new cycle path at the foot of Findon Valley. Meeting DS in the village, arrangements were made for a delivery of logs from PT’s estate.
All did 20 miles, climbing 1200 feet, without incident if one ignores getting wet.

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