2011.03 March

5th March 2011 Saturday Training Ride

We had an excellent turn out today and with new recruit (AC) in tow, PT, MA, ZA, CB, MR, FL, KBS and GD assembled in Pond Green car park at the appointed hour or half past the hour to be precise.

As it was a ‘training ride’ a decision was made to head out for the ‘Arundel loop’ not taking in the river just yet as a dodgy terrain and time constraints applied to the morning. We left Findon and cycled to Muntham Farm and after a brief regroup carried on towards the barn on the SDW. On this leg of the journey, our new recruit, AC, not feeling 100% match fit, decided to bid us farewell and make his way back to the village.

The weather was kind today, a brisk but fresh north easterly wind assisted our passage once we were on the SDW and truning left to pass ‘the tank’ we enjoyed the wind on our backs all the way to Warningcamp. ZA ‘peeled off’ at the Lee Farm bridleway after a Team Photo.
Team Photo minus Adam C
Half a mile after that KBS, who through work and holiday had not been present since early February, experienced a pinch ‘blast eet’ after inadvertently running over a stationary boulder. He was quickly back in the saddle after a little help from his friendsContinental hard=pumpin’ man-on-man action and then began his return journey with MR, parting company with the peleton just north of the CB “two fingers” memorial.

We emerged onto the road south of Warningcamp none the worse for wear or mud, in fact it was a fairly dry ride to this point and 15 minutes later we arrived in Arundel just before 9.30am and tucked into a traditional cafe breakfast in the little Moathouse cafe. (Llama rating to be considered, but nearer the Chalet than the Orchard) Several cups of tea and a full belly later we commenced our homeward leg.

The return journey took us back to Warningcamp, turning right we cycled south and then east onto Blackhurst Lane and up the hill into Angmering Estate. Initially the going was good but it was about two thirds of the way through the woods the hard surface melted into a cattle trail / bridleway and a half mile ‘slog through bog’ awaited us. At this point we met another intrepid group of cyclists from Worthing and after a brief chat they trundled off in front of us. Well, they were a little younger and faster than us so we let them go, but not before FL had overtaken them all at least once!

Successfully negotiating our passage through Angmering Woods we descended to Clapham Village and wary of the lady with the ‘loaded finger’ we stealthily passed her dwelling evading confrontation and disappeared one by one into the safety of Clapham Woods.
MA and CB were the first to emerge at the other side of the wood and on the bridleway overlooking Long Furling we regrouped for the last time to enjoy the views and allow a little oxygen back into our tired muscles. Findon awaited and we returned to the village following a ferocious descent of Church Hill. Excellent ride, very much enjoyed by all.

I believe it was 26 miles in total and I’m sure PT will fill in the distance climbed at some stage (PT’s note – sadly George only 19.8 miles, but 1768 feet climbed). Next week a Rustington trek and brek!

Saturday 12th March ZA Trek and Brek.
PT and AC met early in Pond Green car park and set off prior to the main 7.30am peleton. (route to be added)
At 7.30 RT, MA, JR, KBS, DS, NW and GD met and after replacing pads on RT’s rear brakes, without the aid of TM, we set off in search of PT and AC, we left the village via Church Hill, GD immediately coming a cropper on the slippery chalk ensured he ‘followed up the rear‘ for the rest of the climb.
At the summit RT managed to make contact with PT and ascertained that they had already reached the tank and were awaiting our arrival. Having taken the wrong ascent out of Findon RT and PT decided our group should reroute and all rendezvous in Angmering woods. Last weeks ride took us on that route and we encountered a quagmire at the Clapham end of the woods. This week was no different and albeit a little dryer in places it was still heavy going.
The main peleton met up with the breakaway group, PT and AC, in middle of the woods and we all cycled south towards the A27 and Poling. RT suffering a ‘blast eet’ on the bridleway north of the A27 had TM on hand to effect repairs.
Entering the picturesque village of Poling we were forced onto a footpath to exit the village and found ourselves at the back door of Poling church as the footpath came to an end. PT exclaimed, “Didn’t you see the footpath in front of the church?” Still it was a great setting for a team photo.
The footpath wound its way across fields to Ham Manor Estate and then over the A259 to enter Rustington, over the railway line and a couple of side streets later we arrived at the Vicarage where ZA, and ‘little son’, MA had prepared a feast of a brek into which we all indulged ourselves. We were joined at the table by Mrs. MA who similarly tucked in. Once refreshed and relaxed we discussed a route back and varying domestic demands demanded some members take direct routes and others decided to follow the coast or head through Highdown.
KBS, DS and GD headed off for Highdown via Ham Manor golf club, Ashington and the footbridge over the main road. The climb to Highdown did not seem as long as last time, however the last 100 yards to the peak was no different and hats off to KBS and DS for remaining in the saddle.
From there we cycled down to Clapham and as we did last week, ran the gauntlet of the ‘lady with the loaded finger’. DS received a call outside her house and bravely stopped to answer it. KBS and GD retired to a safe distance to watch and wait. Nothing to report thankfully and we then took on Clapham woods for a second time this day. We regrouped on the east side of the woods at the top of Long Furlong and then rode back to Findon retracing our passage down Church Hill.
The outward leg was 13.4 miles and for KBS’s group it was 10 miles back. A tiring ride but physically rewarding many thanks to ZA for a great breakfast.

The 2nd peleton left Rustington c.11.00 with JR as RouteMeister. We rode through the Sea Estate and the Willowhayne (where Nigel peeled off n to Angmering) until we came out on the greensward e. of E Preston We pushed our bikes along to the Bluebird Cafe (a possible brek venue for the future?) at Ferring from where we went through Goring (where Mark peeled off east), up into Durrington. Had he still been with us, Nigel could have given us a commentary on the track relaying work at Durrington Station! We made a detour past Melrose Close and offered the Club Salute as we did so in honour of our late lamented legendary LSV Director, Mr Ewart Nightingale: we said goodbye to Adam quite near where he lives (Mendip Close or Mendip Road) and continued up Stone Lane thence crossed A27 up into Mill Lane where Paul & John returned to Findon via the Gallops and I rode up to High Salvington, through Clapham Woods, over Highdown and back to Rustington via East Preston 19 mls, 3 hrs. Great to be out!

Looking forward to John’s new route north over the border 25/03

Saturday 19th March 2011 Leith Hill Ride. PM – DS.

A necessary but brief EPM in the Findon Manor Hotel on Friday evening set the scene for a marvelous ride today on the Surrey Downs.
Strange how the real world is mirrored in FGCC events – a resolution followed by the establishing of a no fly(ing Dane) zone in a foreign territory.
JR, MA, FL, an unexpected but very welcome RT, DS and GD met at 7am by Pond Green, Findon and after putting our bikes in the back of three cars we set off for Leith Hill and an 18 mile ride.
We arrived in Abinger Roughs car park at 7.38am and were joined five minutes later by PT.
After reassembling our machines we set off on a clockwise direction of ‘the loop’. The previous night we had experienced a ‘Lunar Perigee’ the moon being the closest it has been to Earth for 18 years and a with a cloud free sky it provided us with a very fresh and frosty start to our ride.
It felt as though we spent most of the morning going uphill, and despite our relatively above average level of fitness(speak for yourself! – PT) the terrain was tiring. However, the countryside was amazing, slightly reminiscent of our French trip last year in places. We enjoyed the panoramic views from Leith Hill Tower over a cup of tea, it was a welcome break and there we met a British version of Forrest Gump. Wherever he went, ‘he was running! He was in the process of planning a coast to coast run across the USA. Yep, that’s Gump!

We suffered only one ‘blast eet’ during the day, GD being the victim and after a rather later than expected arrived back in the car park above Gomshall, it was too late for a team brek in Dorking. Next time perhaps?
17.2 miles in total, and 2670 feet of climb in this short route, according to PT’s magic map. Big thanks to DS for suggesting, researching and making today happen, great ride.

George Down The Slope!
Friday 25 March – To Mrs Deeks’
In a break from the traditional run up and down the Downslink, the outward route for this year’s expedition to Shalford took us up through Muntham to Ewart’s car park, then down the north side of the downs. Hurtling down the road were JR, ZA, PT, KBS, RT and MA, with DS giving a fine show of jumping over crests and potholes. We then struck north through Rackham and its woods, across Wiggonholt Common and on the road to Marehill. Reaching the A29 at Codmore hill, we made a slight detour to the Toat Cafe for refreshment, then headed off up the lane past the Toat Monument, to the venue for JR’s “Sermon on the Bridge” as we crossed the Arun.
Sermon on the Bridge
Passing east of Wisborough Green, we picked up the Wey South Path at Newpound Common and headed north to Malham, through the llama farm and on to Drungewick, where we met the canal.
It was as we followed the canal that PT stopped to photograph the sunset. CB stopped in sympathy, causing a short but spectacular demonstration by JR of bicycle somersaulting as he arrived behind CB. Sadly, only the sunset is recorded photographically. It was worth stopping, however, to see the trick-cycling.
Following the canal towpath west, the Onslow Arms provided vital rehydration therapy and allowed us to struggle on to Loxwood and through Sidney Wood to skirt the south boundary of Dunsfold aerodrome. Sadly, the Stig was not sighted. A short section to the north west brought us on to the Downslink just by Vachery Pond, and from there it was tally-ho for the chipshop in Cranleigh. The chip plan however fell into disfavour when we reached Cranleigh and were presented with the option of joining CB and GD at the Richard Onslow for a further rehydration treatment.
Refreshed, the last seven miles to Mrs Deeks’ passed off without incident, and we were soon sipping tea at The Laurels.
We were joined at the Parrot by AP, and after dinner by Mrs Flying Dane, whom Kim had summoned to collect him on account of an engagement he had on the Saturday.

Saturday saw JR, ZA and PT loaded into the JRmobile for the return leg, as AP, GD, MA, DS and RT set off for the Downslink. All arrived safely, but their story will have to be told by A N Other.

According to the GPS, the round trip was 74.9 miles, with 4668 feet climbed. Those who did the outward leg covered 37.4 miles and climbed 3054 feeet .

A.N.Other adds:
AP, GD, CB, MA, DS & RT had an uneventful ride along the Downslink to Southwater for refreshments. CB & GD at this point loaded bikes onto CB’s car for return to Findon, whilst the remaining 4 continued. Route via the Bostal at Steyning, Langmead, SDW and drop down Monarch’s Way to finish the ride.