2009.12 December

Sat 5th December 7.30 am saturday morning ride.
GD writes “a couple of us were a little rusty as the appalling storms and winds recently ‘put paid’ to even looking at the shed let alone taking a bike out.
Anyway on Saturday Zach, Kim, Francois, David and I braved the potential gale force winds to represent the FGCC. It was a modest ride as rides go but taking into account the muddy terrain it was hard work and seemed like twice the distance. 10 miles in total for the record.
We took the gentle ascent out of Findon via Stable lane and Mr. Gifford’s gallops, that was a treat as we were left for standing just past the old windmill when six of his finest thoroughbred’s flew up the hill in rhythmic elegance. (sorry for that but it was marvelous).
We regrouped at the top of the gallops and made our way to Chanctonbury for another regroup, a quick chat and to take in the views. It was very wet and even with a couple of mudguards I was covered in no time.
Our descent to the a 24 was on the SDW and we parted company with David who had family commitments. We stayed on the SDW after crossing the A24 and climbed up to the barn, swinging a left there we headed back to Findon. Kim said his farewell’s at the top of the crematorium and we parted company. Incidentally, Zach kept up with Kim for the whole ride and I was thinking he must have had a whole box of shredded wheat for breakfast and it was not until he washed his bike at my house that I realised what a lovely machine he was on. He had borrowed his sons bike and as Forrest Gump once said, it went like the wind blows! I must consider an upgrade at some stage.
Sorry for waffling on but you get the rough idea of where we went.”

10 miles.

Sat 12th Dec 7.30am saturday morning ride.
The twisted chain gang ride.
The start of the ride was delayed whilst a puncture on MA’s bike was fixed. It was agreed that since we were quorate it was an opportunity to establish a new memorial, this time to Mr Budd following the dislocated finger a few weeks earlier.
On the way up to the tank GD’s change broke, leading to a long repair process, which would have had TM squirming in horror if he were watching. FL kindly offered one of his speedy repair links and KBS led the way instructing GD to remove 3 links when one would have sufficed. The repair link was duly installed but then the operators discovered that the chain was twisted and could not remove the new link. Another link had to be opened and turned round to remove the twist, all the time there being a completely unhelpful commentary from the remainder of the peleton – but we found it funny!

Twisted chain

Past the tank across the field and left again to the top of the hill, at which point FL headed left again to return home. At this point there was a mound of ground tarmac providing KBS & MA with an opportunity for jumps. As we headed into the next field there were a few more mounds and the group tried to encourage KBS to ride up and over them – for some reason he reacted as if he thought we were trying to dump him in the sh*t!
Round the gallops to the location of the proposed memorial, which was then created by RT, followed by the formal adoption of the memorial by a recital of the FGCC ode. KBS and GD parted company to return through Angmering park estate (after all that rain we wonder if GD knew what he was letting himself in for), and the remaining trio headed off into Arundel for another fine brek at the Edible Sandwich Company. Possibly a record time (2 hours) to get to Arundel as a result of all the delays.
Uneventful return home via Burpham, though RT had a couple of chain jams.
Total distance 21.5 miles.

Sat 19th December Ride to Number 10.
Snow having fallen the previous day, along with the overnight freeze meant that the road conditions were particularly slippery. MA had managed the drive up from Worthing, along with a loaned fancy Stumpjumper from the Bike Store, but had forgotten his helmet. Route via Nepcroft to borrow a helmet and then across the green and up the Monarch’s Way to minimise use of slippery roads. Drifting on the Monarch’s Way resulted in having to push bikes for much of the climb, but also provide an opportunity for photoshoots of a glorious sunrise.

Sunrise over Cissbury

Towards Chanctonbury and then onto the SDW to Langmead for MA to do his snow angel!


Continued along the SDW for a great run through the snow in the dip alongside Steyning Bowl,


down to meet the Downslink extension via which we arrived in Shoreham for bacon sarnies, toast and tea. Across the footbridge to Shoreham beach and along the coastal path to Worthing to go to a shop for french bread which was appropriately placed in FL’s backpack. Back along the road to number 10 for the annual beanfeast courtesy of the Avery’s, where we were joined by Messrs Nightingale and Topley. KBS also appeared having become confused by JR on timing of the ride and setting off much later via a more circuitous route.
FL, KBS and RT cycled back to Findon afterwards.
Total distance 21.5 miles

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