Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Day at the Races

Ride: Goodword West Dean circuit
Present: Al, Jon, Julie

We kicked off from Jon's house just after 6.00pm on a hot and sunny evening, a delay due to Julie's forgotten socks being averted when, quite miraculously, some of Jon’s (freakishly large, Ed.) socks fitted her perfectly. After a few weeks off we were keen to get back in the saddle and raced past Goodwood circuit, up past the Royal Oak in Lavant onto the Chalkhill lane. The 2.5 km uphill towards the Trundle was particularly hard in the heat and sun but the view on top was well worth it; affording great views of Chichester, Bognor and its environs (above left). The Isle of Wright particularly stood out on such a clear evening.

After this short break to recover, we rode eastward past the Trundle and on to Goodwood. In the hot weather it was hard to imagine the near-Siberian conditions we encountered earlier in the year with Billy-Bob when we made the same journey in 2” of snow! Just past the Goodwood race course (above right) we cycled downhill towards the pub. Much to Jon’s annoyance he soon realized that the newest recruit, Julie was speeding past him; he is now officially the slowest down-hiller in the TCA!

At the Fox, Chalton we enjoyed a couple of pints of Liber- ation bitter (Suthwyk) and crisps (left). Much to the dismay of the TCAUK committee members though Julie still prefers fizzy lager!

The next section of the trip was a new route; part track and then bridleway to the north of the Chalton. We stopped off near Broadham House to admire further views, including a field full of rabbits and a great view of some roe deer. We then cycled alongside the edge of Singleton Forest and into Nightingale Forest, which was strewn with many of confusing tracks. In true Bowman style, we got a little lost with no batteries in the GPS but (unlike days of old when Billy-Bob himself was custodian of the map, Ed.), we soon worked out exactly where we were, where we went wrong and efficiently joined the official route once more. At this point Al participated in some in-the-saddle Hare chasing, a challenging sport indeed - Hares 1 - 0 Al!

Back on the correct track we rode through ‘the land that time forgot’. The overgrown grass was as high as the handlebars and tree branches covered the track. We soon lost sight of each other but regrouped at the top before enjoying a long downhill section, joining our regular ‘Chicester Route #1’, albeit in the reverse direction. At the bottom we stopped at the familiar charcoal burning stoves (below left) which were still smoldering away. We also chanced upon a badger at very close quarters crossing the road leading down to the Selsey Arms. It was about 9.00pm at this point, by which time we were beginning to slow. We therefore took the flatter route to West Lavant rather than up over the top of the trundle again, picking up the normal route along Goodwood Circuit. We got nice views of young fox cubs playing in the last light of a balmy evening as we approached West Lavant, then Jon cycled home ahead to put on the rice for the Hungarian Goulash (God bless ‘im, Ed.).

(Posted by: Jon)

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16 Comments:

At 11:38 pm, July 05, 2006, Anonymous Ju's little sister said...

Wow folks, that sounds like so much fun! I cannot imagine (being from NZ and all) seeing a badger or fox as I cycle about the countryside. I also cannot imagine the idea that a field full of rabbits is a pretty sight??? Good on ya Ju for not being the slowest downhiller, but I'm concerned you fit enormous socks? You're not giving our family a dodgy name are you? Down here, it is already dark by six o'clock and by about 7pm is is beginning to freeze, so I am jealous of your wonderful sounding weather. Keep up the good work folks. And there's nothing wrong with fizzy lager! Love Sas

 
At 11:59 pm, July 05, 2006, Blogger simon said...

I agree Sas! Fizzy Larger (and COLD) is ideal in Australia too, and as for rabbits..........
But what a great ride :o)
Mind you its good riding weather here. About 20c during the day..not bad

 
At 7:38 am, July 06, 2006, Blogger TCA 2006 said...

What! Hungarian Goulash on the menu and rabbit chasing! why was this not on the menu when i was in the UK! Hello to Ju's little sister, nice and warm here in Hamilton, North Island! get yourself a bike and come riding with Billybob NZ! although no fizzy larger -yuk! nice work John I CANT beleive we did that in so much snow earlier this year..B.B

 
At 12:11 am, July 07, 2006, Blogger simon said...

what tyres are you using? I am on tubless Maxxis 2.35.. Quite a big lug pattern. Not too sure about any advantage with tubeless ( although they say less risk of a "pinch" puncture) But the cost,and they don't always seal well....
How can I become a member? Bring my bike over in May next year??

 
At 1:55 am, July 07, 2006, Anonymous Ju's little sister said...

Hi again folks. Billybob I'm not sure my bike (or my fitness for that matter) is up to the standard. Having said that I reckon I could get a team together to spend a weekend in Hamilton and see what you've got! Maybe closer to spring, when I've got a little leave saved up...

 
At 11:43 am, July 07, 2006, Blogger TCA 2006 said...

Splendid,I'm always up for a ride with potential new recruits - don't worry about fitness that has never been a priority of the TCA! I have never used tubles tires (always carried a spare tube and far cheaper)currently using standard Tioga's, you must be able to float on water with tires that big.

 
At 1:37 am, July 09, 2006, Blogger simon said...

Yes the tyres are big, bigger than the last lot... But everything is a compromise. The previous bike would suffer pinched tubes and broken spokes. So the feature of bigger tubes is not to suffer the same + better stability in the rough... sadly it is like riding a tractor on fast open cross country. (and I still carry a spare tube!....

 
At 10:07 am, July 12, 2006, Anonymous Ju's little sister said...

Steady on Sunshine, Recruitment? Ha ha, we'll see! Are you a kiwi yourself Billybob or a crazy native of the mother country? If you need a place to crash in Auckland I'm sure I could source you some sort of nocturnal sleep-apparatus, and I might even be convinced (after a couple fizzy lagers) to do a round of the Woodhill Forest MTB Park. 'Till then, happy riding!

 
At 5:53 am, July 16, 2006, Blogger Ju's Mum said...

This is Ju's Mum here from deep in the mountains of the South Island of New Zealand. I am so JEALOUS of you all participating in this wonderful pasttime - I wish such ventures had been available when I was MUCH younger. It is all the more interesting because I can recognise a lot of the place names following a visit to Ju & AD in 2002. Keep up with the fun & have a fizzy lager on me !!

 
At 9:19 am, July 16, 2006, Blogger TCA 2006 said...

Hello Ju's little sis (and Ju's mum!) I am indeed a crazy native of the motherland unlike the other founding father Al who is a Kiwi although equally as crazy. Yes when you are next up in Auckland give me a shout! and in exchange I will pay a return visit to the deep south for a bit of cyling mixed with some Red Stag hunting! -now thats TCA. Besides Stef and I promised Julie in March we would stop of for a cuppa at her home and say hello to her folks for her.

 
At 11:20 am, July 17, 2006, Anonymous Ju's little sister said...

I think it would be rude not to! But Iperhaps I need to straighten out the details of my current abode; Whilst my folks do indeed live in the Deep South I live in Auckland. Well...oh okay, yeah I guess I'll have to call it Auckland. I work out at Whenuapai and live in Massey.
Still, 'The Tui' Station is a very wonderful place and I'm sure that an adventurous, outdoors-y bloke like yourself would just love it. I look forward to reading about the Cycle vs Stag Hunt right here on the TCA Blog space. Carry on the good work ;-)

 
At 12:12 am, July 19, 2006, Blogger simon said...

Ju's mum:- you are never too old to ride a bike! thats the beauty of it.. its for all ages and levels. there is a lass from NZ.. started triathons eg walking a couple of k, riding a couple of k and a 50m swim etc.. who is now travelling Europe and riding 60k in a day...
www.kiwinomad06.blogspot.com

 
At 3:17 am, July 19, 2006, Anonymous Ju's little sister said...

Simon is absoluely spot on Mum! When you're next up here for a visit we can go for a bike ride, what a plan :-)
Maybe we could even make it a trip to the nearest Pub, then I'll write an exciting episode and you can post it on your blog - now that you're a member. What'ya reckon?

That Simon - he's an ideas man...

 
At 4:53 am, July 22, 2006, Blogger Ju's Mum said...

Cor - this has turned into a real chatroom !! How nice. Of course you are all welcome here at any time for a cuppa or venison stew. It'll be me who's in a stew if you try and put me on one of these new fan-dangled bikes! Unfortunately my old 1961 second-hand model is past it now, really ! my "other half" borrowed a part off it one day when partaking in a little kiwi ingenuity (as we do !) so the machine is rather U.S. And I couldn't even get my leg over when I tried the sisters' brother's bike ! Never mind :-) Never say die. Tomorrow's always another day

 
At 10:11 am, July 22, 2006, Blogger simon said...

well, I am a 1962 model with hemochromatosis... (a blood disorder) & I did 50k this morning, before work...( I am not boasting but happy to still turn a wheel)

The Venison sounds like the right protein to build muscle! and fizzy larger is good carbohydrate,
start with 3klm, then 5 etc etc.....

 
At 10:12 am, July 22, 2006, Blogger simon said...

oops you were talking about your bike.. I thought you meant you birth year! ha! sorry!! ;o)

 

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