Saturday 5th February 08.00am ride
RT, PT, GD, FL, MR, KBS, CB
A slightly later start after NGN the previous evening. The “I’ll be out in the morning” DS & JR were noticeable by their absence.
It was decided to head for the tea rooms in Ferring, requiring a climb up Church Hill – vengeance on the part of KBS towards RT with new SPD’s and the morning-after effect? Through Clapham Woods to Clapham, too fast to stop at the FL memorial! Along the main road and across the A27 to the path up to Highdown Hill, at the top of which we were pursuaded by GD to try the tea room at Highdown. This unfortunately was closed (opens at 10) so we proceeded straight down the road and across the A259 to Ferring and the original destination. En-route RT’s attempts at subliminal manipulation seemed to be working on some, as talk of bacon sarnies evolved.
Pristine tea rooms were soon full of mud, especially due to KBS insisting on inspecting every corner. Sadly no bacons or brek of any sort available, so we made the most of tea and cakes.
Return via a pathway alongside the rail line to Goring Station, at which point it was observed that the Flying Dane was not in front, and in fact had been left behind. Communications revealed that he had a flat tyre, no replacement and no repair equipment and had also not installed FGCC members’ phone numbers on his new phone. GD gallantly made his way back to rescue the situation, whilst RT & PT waited. FL, MR & CB pressed on due to time commitments.
North across the A259 and Titnore Lane, a right turn and then a path up and across the A27 to Cote Street. Half way up Cote Street the first section of the now split peleton had to deal with a “blasteet” on FL’s bike – no doubt FL and MR muddling their way through and CB providing helpful commentary in the background.
The second group of the peleton regrouped on the pathway behind the monster Tesco site and made their way through to Cote Street. RT & GD discussed strategy for RT to demoralise an already low flying Dane – follow a short way behind all the way up and a last burst to overtake him at the top. Not achieved as RT pushed to early – ok fat chance of it happening anyway.
Descent to Roger’s Farm, accompanied by KBS who could have gone straight home, but by this time he wanted to punish himself for not having puncture repair kit with him.
Not the longest ride – 12 miles, but 1289 feet of climbing.
Saturday 12th February 07.30am ride
RT, PT, GD, FL, JR
The peleton set off in murky conditions up to the SDW via Muntham, with the aim of a brek in Arundel. With the aim of avoiding the muddy field below the tank, at the copse after Kithurst car park (or more accurately, Ewart’s car park) the left branch was taken heading for Burpham. With RT, JR and GD out of sight, PT in a fit of misguided enthusiasm took the sharp left down Kim’s favourite single track. This ended in disaster when the rear brake pads failed and their fragmented remains had to be surgically removed. FL gallantly stayed for this procedure, but then departed down the single track for home as he was under time pressure. Happily, after only half a mile with no brake and left hand manicly clamped round the handlebar so as not to pull the lever, PT caught up to JR, RT and George. RT supplied spares, which were fitted at once. GD then decided that the time was getting on, and returned up towards the SDW and home, to honour a luncheon engagement.
The remaining trio continued on to the Burgh and past Peppering High Barn into Burpham. Arundel was reached by road through Wepham and Warningcamp. Now in weak sunshine, we removed the muddiest outer layers and took the chef’s special breakfast in the tea rooms opposite the post office.
JR proposed a homeward route following the course of the old A27, as time had now marched on somewhat. Climbing up to Crossbush we headed east and at Poling Corner found ourselves on the cycle path next to the current A27. Continuing to Hammerpot we left the traffic behind and passed by the Fox and took France Lane into Patching. Over Long Furlong into Clapham, and an inspection of Francis’ memorial confirmed no maintenance was needed. Then up through the woods to a descent of Church Hill to complete the return leg.
19.3 miles and 1768 feet climbed (the extra 100 feet climbed by RT up Steep Lane do not count!)
Appalling weather conditions greeted PT, MA, JR, FL, AM, ZA, NW and GD at the butchers this morning in Findon. It was a cold, wet and foggy morning with a sharp 15 mph south easterly wind. However, this did not dampen our spirits, we had a breakfast with Mr and Mrs AM to look forward to on our return to the village.
The route, suggested by JR, took us to Cissbury via Nepcote Green and on towards Chanctonbury and the South Downs Way. We were protected from the elements by the woods en-route to Cissbury but half way up we met the wind which immediately bit. At the top we regrouped and made our way north to Chanctonbury on the bridleway. Pausing for shelter at the side of the wood half way to Chanctonbury, PT took advantage and captured an image of the group as we shivered in the rain and wind.
The ride to Chanctonbury summit was uneventful, it was a steady climb with the wind assisting our passage. At the ring our visibility was down to 50 yards and we decided to return via Windlesham school and the crematorium It was very cold at the top and in order to prevent hyperthermia setting in and we quickly set off west into the wind; not before PT grabbed one more snap. It was not pleasant and an executive decision was made to come off the South Downs Way and head straight back into Findon, abandoning Windlesham. It was a wise move considering we were all sodden and cold when we eventually lifted our cycles into AMs back garden. However, it was not long before we were all drying out in front of a roaring fire, drinking tea, eating a marvelous brek and laughing about it all.
Many thanks to AM and SM for a sterling effort.
A mere 6.5 miles, 721 feet climbed, but a fine brek at Mr Mead’s!
Findon to Lewes was 24.1 miles, with 3507 feet climbed