2009.01 January

January 2009 FGCC rides
Sat 3rd January 7.30am ride
The morning after the APM the night before, but still 7 of us managed to assemble in the cool (-3˚) – PT, JR, MA, CB, FL, RT & his brother Philip – and set off up and over Cissbury, across the Steyning Road and over Lancing Clump as the sun rose.


Dropping down past the College, we skirted the airfield and crossed the Adur via the now refurbished wooden bridge


to seek the sanctuary of Truffles (now rehabilitated following their return to leaf tea and proper pots of coffee) for a full english. FL was really cold, but CB was immune to the message as an ear infection has reduced the effectiveness of one ear (the one nearest to FL).

Warmed by a brek and teas, we sot off op the road to Botolphs, and climbed up the SDW to reach the Steyning road again. HereFL, CB and R and P Thomas left for Cissbury and home, while those with no constraint continued along the SDW. Attempts at a “last post” run were interrupted by traffic.

CB needed some high tech assistance to overcome the effects of the windchill factor on fingerless gloves:


18.5 miles for the SDW peleton, on a fine morning
16 miles for those that took the final short-cut home.

Sat 10 January 7.30 am ride.

PT JR and ZA gathered in temperatures of -7˚, and set off up Stable Lane to the SDW. Descending the north face of Chanctonbury through the ice-crusted trees,
avoided sheet ice on Mouse lane, then took the road to Horsebridge Common. Right turn to cross Bineham bridge, and eventually reach the Downslink at Henfield. North up to Partridge Green, then by road to Blanche’s farm where we took a track east through Wyman’s wood to the A281 and north past the Monastery to the Chalet. Bumper brek for a fiver.

Leaving the Chalet, we turned south on the 281, then west on a footpath north of the Monastery to reach Littleworth Lane. South to Littleworth itself, then west again towards the B2183 and rejoin the Downslink at ReedsBridge. South on the Downslink to the bridge by the sewage works (classy), then right on to a bridleway leading back to the Horsham road into Steyning, from where we retraced the outward route up to the SDW and down to Findon, arriving at 1pm. 30 miles, with magical views.
From the Downslink south of Henfield

Sat 17th January 7.30am ride
CB, KBS, FL and RT present in spite of there having been torrential rain through to around 7.00am. Travelled a massive 50 yds before CB had a puncture. Route up to Chanctonbury via the west face was particularly slow going due to the very sticky state of the tracks, but probably more due to RT being extremely slow recovering from 2 weeks of zero cycling. CB had a second puncture at the top of the grassy section of track just up from the A24 towards Chanctonbury – whilst CB was getting a bit depressed by this, RT was grateful. Past Chanctonbury to Langmead, but the pace was too much for KBS who had to make a detour via Bloody Norse Corner for a quick adrenalin fix, slippery roots at speed not being of much interest to the rest of the peleton. Down the gravel track and past the extremely muddy farm, at which point sunshine appeared and back round the side of Cissbury.
9.5 miles

Sat 24 January 2009 7.30am Trek’n’Arundel
MA CB RT PT and KBS set of from Findon, after some banter with Tony the Butcher and his crew. Passing up through Muntham to the barn, we paused at Chantry Post on the SDW to await ZA, who approached from the south, escorted for the final half mile or so by KBS. . .

Continuing west on the SDW, we paused at the top of Amberley Mount to discuss the route to Arundel. KBS knew a bridleway down by the river, which we took despite seeing the Wild Brooks nicely topped-up by recent rain…

The extent of the rain meant that the bridleway was in places rather damp, as this view RT negotiating of one of the shallower stretches just after Houghton demonstrates. .


Justice was served, since while everyone had wet feet, the only faller to take a bath in the chilly Arun was KBS himself (an outpouring of sympathy from the rest of the peleton was predictably absent). We continued past the Wildfowl Trust into Arundel, and settled down in a caff by the bridge to the chef’s finest full english. MA had been suffering from “Mead’s disease”* for some time, and this became terminal. A rescue vehicle was summoned. ZA left the peleton to negotiate the disposal of sundry magazines at a book dealers, and the reduced peleton of KBS, RT, CB and PT set off up the hill to Crossbush and down the Lyminster road to Lyminster and Toddington where the A259 was joined. Now heading east, we paused to reflect on the war graves in the cemetery at Toddington, before threading our way through the back streets of Rustington to the beach. Followed the beach to East Preston, by which time KBS’s law-abiding nature persuaded us to quit the beach footpath and take to the road about 100 yards inland. Rejoined the beach path to pass West Kingston, then took the road across Goring gap to head north up Alinora Ave to cross the A259. Following a footpath south of the railway we passed the leisure centre and crossed the tracks via the footbridge at the top of Elm Grove. Heading north-west toward the Beckett, PT lost the others and made Offington roundabout and climbed the A27 ascend Mill lane to the Gallops. Having left the road, PT’s phone became audible and rang as KBS caught up to PT. All crossed the gallops and Bost Hill to go round the back of Roger’s Farm, where KBS took his leave to ascend Church Hill. The remainder of the peleton reached Findon at 13:00, after 29.7 miles.

*“Mead’s disease” – failure of front gear change mechanism, resulting in riding everywhere on the middle chainring.

Sat 31 January 7.30 am ride post Not Gala Night.
Route was intended to be a shortened version of the 4 peaks (i.e. without church hill due to the rain). CB had two punctures within a hundred yards of each other at the top of the hill down to the A24 from the high barn – repairs in the freezing wind. PT’s chain then broke whilst crossing the A24, KBS had double trouble with his chain first in the next car park and then half way up the North face. CB and FL had charged up the hill, but CB retraced his route down the hill as he had to get home, and the rest of the group then limped home via Chanctonbury – a really long short ride

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