Saturday 4th December 7.30am ride
GD, CB, KBS, FL, MR & RT
There having been all that snow with temperatures of -11 C on the Friday evening, the morning surprise was to find that most of the snow had gone and that it was a relatively warm sunny day – shorts weather for CB & KBS. Nevertheless some icy patches in sheltered areas.
Route up Cissbury and straight over towards Steyning bowl and the lowest point signalled that this was going to be a bad ride for KBS, when, caught by the ruts he had to be told that he was holding everyone up.
Onwards, with a stop for a group photo at the top followed by a left turn on the track
and on up to Langmead where a discussion revealed the benefits of having our very own franglais translation service on hand.
Onwards towards Llama lane with KBS suffering his second indignity of being overtaken by RT, resulting in him criticising RT for going off-piste!!!!
A little further on, the drifted snow presented a challenge – “Go on Kim, you can do it”. To which the surprising response was “No I can’t!”. MR had to take the lead and show how to get past it.
In order to recover his spirits KBS threatened to head off down Llama lane:
On up to Chanctonbury, but half way up KBS had to get off his bike and walk!
Definitely not KBS’s ride.
It having already been a slow ride some needed to return to Findon, so the descent to the A24 was selected, but this proved to be a bit of a skating rink with FL, CB and RT all taking a tumble – maybe some others but they kept it quiet. Great fun for all.
Total distance, a mere 9 miles.
Saturday 11th December 7.30am ride.
KBS, FL, MA, PT, RRT, ZA, DS, MR
The Amberley loop ride was proposed due to the state of the tracks and time available. However, it soon became evident that this was going to be a slow ride due to the soggy ground above the lower permafrost, and the first hurdle of the drifted snow on the pathway after Chantry Post initiated talk of alternative routes.
At the top of Springhead Hill, where the SDW meets the track from Burpham, PT and ZA decided to return home, whilst the rest of the peleton decided to follow the KBS suggestion of taking the track further down to the left “where you can go wooosh to the end”!!!
“Wooosh” became more like “splodge” as we slogged our way with the last section up to Wepham Down being more like wading through treacle – just one turn of the wheel on the normally firm chalky track was enough to clog it up completely. At this point it was decided that it would be best to return home via Lee Farm.
At Michelgrove DS and FL elected to go back via Long Furlong due to DS’s malfunctioning gears, whilst KBS, MA & RRT headed back via Myrtlegrove and Tolmare, preferring a trudge through the field to Long Furlong.
KBS had to suffer the embarrassment of pushing his bike up the Monarch’s Way in full view of his house – a fast walk with furtive glances in case his family were witnessing this event. The next day, at the excellent Snelson drinks party, Kirsten joyfully confirmed that she had enjoyed every minute of his agony – another ride that wasn’t the best for KBS.
13 miles for those that completed the full ride.
(KBS was meant to be writing this post!)
Saturday 18th December 7.30am ride
PT, FL, MA, NW, RT
The Avery brunch ride.
In spite of incessant weather warnings of snow blanketing the country, PT had a clear drive to Findon with no snow evident, but within a short time of arriving a couple of cms had fallen, so it promised to be an interesting ride.
The peleton headed off up Stable Lane and into a blizzard of fine snow past the gallops. Left and up to join the SDW and then veering off into the welcome shelter of the woods
and along to Bloody Norse Corner. It being too cold to perform any maintenance on the memorial we were about to head off when NW all but became invisible as he turned almost as white as the snow.
Having intended to have a short ride anyway, RT elected to escort NW back to Findon. A slow return with NW firstly getting stomach cramps, followed by having to stop cycling due to his right leg siezing up with cramp. RT was beginning to think of calling for an air ambulance, especially when NW advised that he couldn’t operate his brakes any more because his fingers had siezed up also. Descent to Findon round the back of Findon Park House as this was the most sheltered, a scenic ride as we were clearly the first to arrive since the snow had fallen (other than a partridge as NW later remarked). A cup of tea in the village shop effected a full recovery for NW.
Meanwhile PT, FL and MA followed the track down from BNC to Steyning, making the first tracks down the bostal, to take bacons sarnies in Truffles and then follow the downslink to Shoreham and along the coastal path
under blue skies to the Averys’. A double lie down as PT and MA cycled past the unfinished bulding on the greensward at Lancing leaving both heavily bruised (except for the more amply upholstered PT).
An excellent brunch with punch at the Avery’s restored all after the ride.
Tuesday 28th December – 08.00am ride
JR, CB, NW, GD, DS, MA, FL, RT, along with brother, PT, and MR along with son Jeremy and nephew Charlie.
ZA parallel solo ride. PT, fighting flu, delivered a bike for Charlie and was on LSV duty.
Target was a brek in Arundel. Peleton set off via Muntham towards Chantry Post with the intention of meeting ZA somewhere along the SDW. Going was already heavy due to the sticky ground conditions, and, confronted with pathway covered in ice at Chantry, DS, who only had time for a short ride, decided to return to Findon. ZA meanwhile reported that the SDW from Burpham direction was treacherous and so the peleton went via the tank and down across the field towards Angmering Park estate. Mistake was realised as bikes became heavily bogged down, but the peleton eventually crawled out of the mud at the top of the gallops, where FL and GD decided to return via Leigh Farm.
Meanwhile ZA’s solo ride continued down to Arundel to meet us there.
The peleton continued on to Arundel where PT had reserved half the cafe for us. After a well earned and excellent brek, PT kindly took an exhausted PT back to Findon in LSV2, whilst the remainder cycled back in the drizzle to Findon via a part of the Angmering Park estate, Dover road, A259, and A24 gallops, losing ZA and NW along the way. RT suffered a slow “blasteet” but decided that intermittent pumping up of the tyre would suffice. Jeremy, using SPD’s for the first time, had several lie-downs on the ride, and it is believed that MR had a peaceful afternoon!
Total distance 25.6 miles.