2011.01 January

Saturday 8th January 7.30am ride 

RT, FL KBS – post AGM ride

An extra five minutes was put on the clock for those of who  – the night before – so convincingly had said they would join the early morning Saturday ride. However, only the hard core gentlemen already mentioned above swung in the saddle and took off northbound. RT was surprisingly dressed in more layers of clothes than FL.

 Heading for Bloody Norse Corner as our first destination on route we steadily made it up Stable Lane and turned eastwards along the track leading to Chanctonbury. At the first junction we encountered  our first and only mud on the entire ride.  A de-dressing stop was called for by RT as even waterproof trousers in the winter can get too warm. Continuing along the track towards Lions Trail,  RT revealed that one of his Christmas presents was a pair of SPD pedals and to match the present a new pair of SPD shoes was now in house. So gentlemen, remember to bring your cameras next week.

 Soon we reached the “Root Obstacle Track” leading to Bloody Norse Corner and having great fun riding/sliding over all the wet roots. Even FL seemed to enjoy this section claiming he hadn’t put his foot down a single time! Bloody Norse Corner was an obvious short stop for RT to re-tell his nose-diving crash story before we rolled down the steep hill leading to Steyning. After our descent we discussed whether to go back via the Lama Lane or via the concrete road. At this point FL’s face had turned into a half “Nigel”. Possibly due to the pint of Harveys  the night before or perhaps his sore throat and chest problems?


An unusual quiet FL suffering from chest problems

 Via Bramber and a couple of hurdles we reached the concrete road. First obstacles was a severely flooded Maudlin Road. We did notice a car coming through in a cascade of water. Nevertheless we didn’t expect to be submersed in water past pedal level. Needless to say socks and shoes were a little damp afterwards. Next obstacle was a fallen tree we had to crawl under just to be chased by a reversing car up to the farm.

 The climb up the concrete road was a painful struggle with a strong headwind requiring all man power. RT reached the top with a big smile on his face having been able to follow a suffering FL all the way up.

 After a short break to regain our pulmonary pace we crossed the road, turned left and had a speedy descent to the bottom of the valley and up again. From here we headed back to Cissbury Car Park along a partly flooded track. At the green barn we had a prolonged stop to discuss best remedies for  hangovers before all three of us -with renewed energy-  speeded up to the car park and down to Findon.


RT in high speed up to Cissbury  car park

 A great ride with very little mud and not a single drop of rain. Even the sun emerged at some point.

Almost 15 miles in total, and 1266 feet climbed

Saturday 15th January 2010 7.30am Ride
RT, CB, FL, MR and GD rode today. It was a strange morning, very dark and lights were necessary on the ride to the butchers for 7.30 am. It was another dank winter’s morning, very tight isobars produced a strong south westerly wind which dictated our initial direction of travel.

We headed off past the soon to be redundant fire station and out of Findon towards Muntham Farm. We were protected from the wind on the early part of the journey by the woods and buildings en-route to Muntham but at the top we started to feel its strength. We paused before setting off again towards the barn on the SDW and once there we turned right and with the wind behind us fully we rode some 1/4 mile on the SDW before turning left and down the chalky bridleway to Washington. MR, stepping in for the absent KBS, was out there on his own, other members set a more sedate pace in the slippery conditions. (incidentally KBS was absent today as he was selling his wares at Arundel Market.)

Moving on, once in Washington we regrouped and cycled back towards the South Downs Way and the tough west face of Chanctonbury. We paused in the car park at the foot of climb to discuss with MR reasons why men are from Mars and women are from Venus; moderately satisfied with our common view and resolute in our opinion that the status quo will never change we took a deep breath and set off up the hill.

With the wind assisting our passage to Chanctonbury we made a swift ascent and once over the cattle grid near the summit we met its full force as it channeled itself through the valley at Northend before gusting over Chanctonbury Ring and on towards Henfield. We were forced to lean sideways into the wind to prevent ourselves being blown over or right off course.

Once over the second cattle grid and down by the start of the Lion Trail MR broke his chain. There could be nowhere worse on today’s journey for this to happen as the wind whistled right through us here as FL and MR struggled to rejoin the links.
Following repairs we set off again into the wind and thankfully, down hill, toward Findon .
MR and FL took the Cissbury road back to Nepcote and the remaining three passed the old windmill and arrived back into the village on Stable Lane.

10.4 miles covered this morning, and 1187 feet climbed, a valiant effort in the blustery conditions.

Saturday 22nd January 7.30am ride.
GD, FL, MR, MA, JR & RT.
Inaugural ride for JR’s new bike – JR having the newest bike in the peleton, a novel situation – but before we could set off his rear tyre needed pumping up. JR not able to use his pump, so another supplied, whilst JR proceeded to take his pump apart dropping bits all over the place.
Amberley loop being the selected ride for the morning we set off into the cold mist, but by the time we had reached Chantry Post the sun was starting to break through. The frozen ground was appreciated at the bottom of Amberley hill as otherwise it would have been a quagmire.
Return via North Stoke with nothing to report. JR on each stop still trying to sort out his pump – question as to whether he has all the parts now.
GD & JR finished off the ride with a brek at the VH – others seriously tempted but other demands over-ruled.
Total distance 17 miles, and 1459 feet climbed.

29th January 2011 7.30am ride
PT, RT, MA, JR, CB, FL, KBS, MR and GD made up the FGCC contingent today, a chilly north easterly wind greeted us at 7.30 as we set off for Shoreham with a truffles brek in mind.

We cycled up to Cissbury Ring were KBS pulled over for a pit stop to change brake pads. That’s where it went wrong, the cold wind funneled itself over the top of Cissbury and hit us full on as KBS tried to insert the new set before his bare hands froze. It appeared the brake pistons were protruding slightly and it was not possible to get the replacements in so KBS decided to ride with only his back brake and complete the job in the warmth of home. It was a full two miles further down the bridleway en-route to Lancing College when FL noticed KBS’s saddle bag was open and all his tools had dropped out.

The going was ‘good’ to Shoreham on the hard and frosty bridleways, just few degrees more temperature would have made some of the route impassable.
Arriving in Shoreham past the airport we found Truffles at the end of a winding route through the back streets of the town. Not sure who was leading but they certainly knew Shoreham well.

At Truffles, KBS and FL bade the rest of the peleton farewell, intent on retracing the outward route in the hope of finding the lost content of KBS’s saddle bag. Sadly this turned out not to be the case and KBS returned home empty handed.
The peleton ate a hearty brek in Truffles, great service today but slight confusion over the bill. MR quickly calculated what everybody ate and told the staff how much they were owed!

We departed Shoreham in slight disarray, the one way system appeared to hamper our direct exit and a minor detour through the church grounds found us face to face with the vicar. He appeared slightly miffed at the magnificent seven cycling past the entrance however, a quick smile and a ‘good morning’ greeting was enough to placate him and we carried on to the foot bridge and over to the coast path.

MA, MR and CB made good speed and left the rest of the peleton in their wake with RT and PT lengthening the gap with a comfort break on the prom. Meeting up in Lancing we headed to Findon passing Hill Barn and Worthing Golf Clubs on our way back to the top of Cissbury. The paths had softened slightly and the final ascent to proved too much as our back wheels started to spin in the mud. Eventually we met at the top and all enjoyed the well earned downhill section back into the village.
16.5 miles and 1292 feet climbed

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