2008.01 January

January 2008 FGCC rides
Sat 5 January 2008 7.30am Saturday ride
After changing RT to knobbly rear tyre, fitting spare innertube with 17 patches, RT and PT appeared 5 mins late at the butchers to be told that no others had shown. RT’s tyre had deflated, so we repaired to Nepcroft to effect a repair (patch count now 18). Rode up to Cissbury car park, but tyre deflated again. Removed tyre, and after not finding the puncture, replaced tyre and reinflated tube and headed up towards Chanctonbury, stopping after Stable Lane turn to pump tyre up again. Left turn down into Buddington bottom, where horse trough full of water was spotted, and tyre again removed to dunk tube in trough.
Tube dunking
Puncture located and repaired (patch count now 19). Tube stayed up this time, for return through farm to top of Stable lane. It was observed that ZA got a medal with only one puncture in his spare tube. 6.4 miles only, in about an hour and a half of a bright sunny morning.

Sat 12 7.30am
RT writes:
Messrs Avery, Leroux and yours truly – set off in search of the location of the Kamikaze event. Further input is required from others present at the time as for some reason the event itself has resulted in a somewhat hazy recollection for the victim. It is thought that one of Messrs Topley, Roche or Mead might be able to assist.
The ride itself took us up to Cissbury car park, round the west side of the ring, with a bit of back-tracking down to the lower levels of the west side (which is thought to be the location of the Avery crash all those years ago), during which descent I took a slow lie-down due to my front wheel disappearing down a rabbit hole. After this we followed further round the ring and then down to the Findon Valley car park, along the valley a bit, over the A24 and up past the Vale School to the gallops. Headed south to the bottom of Mill Lane and ascended same to the top of the Bostal. Left and then a right to take the track to the top of Cote Street. Further along to collarbone lane and return via Muntham to Findon. (estimated as 10 miles)

Sat 19 7.30am Saturday ride
RT again writes:
Messrs Thomas, Leroux & Bang-Sorensen were half expecting Mr Topley to join us, which gave us an excuse to decide upon an impromptu brek at Henfield, with a text to Mr Topley to see if Three Bridges Station might have been the reason for his absence. Response to the effect that “domestic exigencies preclude velocipedal participation this fine morning”, meant that it was only the three.

We might have been one fewer, but for the smart move of Mr Bang-Sorensen tricking his mother-in-law into thinking it was Danish time so that he could whisk her off to the airport and be back in time for the ride – an excellent effort, Kim.

The ascent of Stable Lane included a long discussion of the positive merits of B&B’s in comparison with the sterile atmosphere of hotels in general. Mr Leroux, in full flow on the poor shower provision (cold) of some hotel in Warrington, was so engrossed in his verbalising that he omitted to notice that he was traversing the large puddle (lake now) at the top of the lane, resulting in his sitting in the middle of said puddle. In spite of one soaked derriere he continued with the small peleton to Henfield for the brek.

The return journey raised the subject of what should be the official French translation of “You’re not Zach, then” to be used during the ride to ruin. “Ainsi, tu n’est pas Zach” being probably the only option. But comes the more difficult “Right then”? “Bon, alors”? “Bien alors”? or simply “Vraiment”? Any suggestions.

KBS insisted on a return round the back of Llama lane so that he could pursue his off-track paths, only to be proven wrong.

Sat 26 7.30am Trek’n’Henfield
RT JR KB-S MA FL and PT assembled in sunshine, departing at 07:45 to ascend Stable lane, take the SDW to Langmead and down the Bostal to Steyning. FL low on brownie points due to recce trips to France for the R2R, had to turn back. Out to Downslink in 55 mins, and to Truffles in Henfield by 09:10. Return slower due to wind in face, peleton ascended concrete road after maintenance to PT’s memorial. Turning left after the Steyning Road, we returned to Findon over Cissbury. There were fresh flowers at the crash site on the Cissbury road, in the week of Luke Lambourn’s funeral.

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