2011.11 November

Saturday 5th November – ZA birthday ride
Route up to Cissbury and headed towards Lancing Clump. ZA having expressed great amusement at RT’s cobweb-ridden helmet, suffered his come-uppance in the form of a blasteet. Only problem was that the peleton had reached the top of the next hill, not knowing what had happened. The continentals were despatched back to try to find him but couldn’t – he was alongside the barn repairing the puncture. Meanwhile a strange noise emerged from the valley towards Langmead, eventually turning out to be two female joggers chatting as they went, and one of whom didn’t seem to appreciate being asked if they were enjoying a nice “gossi-jog”.
Team vicar having finally re-joined the peleton finally set off again to Lancing Clump, where we met CB who had ridden up from depositing his car in Worthing, and then on to Lancing College. At this point GD, KBS & FL returned home, while the rest headed off to Shoreham. After a hearty breakfast (!) the route back was via Annington and up the SDW, Langmead and Stable Lane.
Total ? 20 miles?

Saturday 12th November – Brek chez MR
Up Stable lane, and to Langmead (aka The Stones), down into No Man’s Land and towards Cissbury Car Park at which point MR set off home to prepare the brek. The reduced peleton headed up the east side of Cissbury, across the top and round the west side and back to the car park and down to MR’s, where we were greated by the welcoming aroma of cooking bacons. An excellent brek was served by MR, contrary to the doubting comments from Mrs R as she departed the scene.
Total 10 miles

Saturday 26th November 2011.
Five intrepid members of the FGCC were out this morning at 0730 hrs. RT, JR, CB, FL and GD assembled at Pond Green for a JR briefing. JR and PT came first in a general knowledge quiz at the Orchard restaurant and part of the prize was a 10% discount voucher. JR generously donated it for this mornings ride and after discussing our route to breakfast we set out at 0740 hours and made our way to Chanctonbury. RT and GD were suffering with the after effects of a recent epidemic of man-flu and there was much coughing and spluttering on the initial ascent to Chantonbury. RT suffering the most retired early from the peleton at the top of Llama Lane and returned home via Langmead for an early bath!

The remaining four headed down the precariously slippery downhill section of Llama Lane towards Wiston and then out towards Ashington and onto a previously unexplored bridleway. The bridleway brought us out at a private dwelling just before the A24/Ashington roundabout where we narrowly avoided certain death from a ferocious great dane and the most aggressive and solid looking bulldog both desperate to break through their compound and devour us. We carried on and with the noise of the hounds blending in to the hum of the traffic and safely made good our escape and continued out of Ashington towards Shipley.

We followed back-roads, on a route similar to the recently completed North East passage, traveling though Shipley and into the grounds of Knepp Castle and then out to the A24. Crossing the A24 again we cycled along Steyning Road and with mounting hunger we turned left onto Park Lane and emerged opposite our midway destination the Orchard restaurant. 18 miles completed and it was not long before we were tucking into one of their scrumptious breakfasts accompanied by several cups of warming tea.

Once full and warm GD parted company with the peleton, not feeling 100% he summoned a lift home and became the second retiree of the day.
JR write up of this event is as follows:
Riders: RT, GD, CB, FL & JR

An optimistic peleton departed Pond Green at the expiry of the 10 Minute Rule (and after careful audit there-of using the clock in the butcher).
Optimistic because the route looked (challenging but) interesting, the weather seemed good, and JR was in possession of a discount voucher for the Orchard Restaurant – kindly donated by PT – but which was due to expire at
the end of the month.
The route, something that it self threatened expiry (of the riders), took us up to near Chanctonbury Ring via Stable Lane. At the top, just north of ‘The Last Post’, RT departed the peleton to take the SDW on an easterly and circular route back to Findon (no doubt auditing memorials on the way). The remaining riders proceeded to Wiston via the northerly descent of Chanctonbury Ring Road, then crossing the A283, passing the Wiston Tea Rooms on Water Lane, and heading towards north Ashington but doing so by not staying on the tarmac – Kim would have been frantic by this point, but then relieved – as we took a northerly bridleway (admittedly initially on concrete), known locally as North Lane, then turning onto a flint and grass track which ended in East Wolves Farm, then the northerly roundabout close to the A24 slip road at Ashington.

The joy of this latter bridleway (apart from a lack of tarmac) was that the FGCC have never ridden it before! This is a bit of a rarity as we all agreed that few such paths exist within a 10 mile radius of Findon, thanks to the fortitude and hard work put in by the FGCC.

From there straight across at the roundabout on the B2133 so as to fool the innocent bystander into thinking that we were heading to Adversane, Billingshurst etc. That is until we reached the sharp bend that admits Spear Hill and enabled us to travel north on Hooklands Lane all the way to Broomers Corner, turning east towards Whitehall then north on Smithers Hill Lane, but east again fairly soon to head towards Shipley to reprise our route to The Orchard as per the previous month’s pilgrimage, via Knepp Castle, crossing the A24 to take the Steyning Road (B2135) as far as the RC church, then heading north on Park Lane to eventually cross the A272 and settle into Brek at The Orchard.

Commercial pressures meant GD needed collecting from the Brek stop so as to meet a client who wanted to buy a pile of S H one T! A big thanks to Carol for stepping in to the rescue here.

CB, FL and JR headed south on the Downs Link to Partridge Green, rejoined the B2315 south through Ashurst, took a right turn to enjoy Autumn colours in Spithandle Lane, then south on Water Lane to retrace the route as far as the start of Llama Lane on Chanctonbury Ring Road. Here we headed west on the Bridleway which takes a lesser ascent until it gets to the SDW. Here we opted for a push up to the top of the SDW to ride past Chanctonbury and then south to Findon (but no last post). All agreed that we had enjoyed a splendid ride, the route of which must be repeated soon by us all (but with strong tranquilizers for Kim)!