Friday, April 20, 2007

Return to West Marden

On a friday night, not a usual day for a TCA ride, we all met up at Ad and Ju's former home at Nyewood, South Harting. After a few running repairs to Jons bike, another flat tyre and adjustments to his chain, we waited round for Julie who had travelled back from her new home in the west country, some place beginning with a D. She had been left to her own devizes and was late, something to do with catching the cat and putting her in the car, (I think that I got that right) we left just about before 7. The hardcore couple of Scott and Sophie had already arrived in their Tandem from Petersfield. We had not forgotten the route and stormed away apart from Jon down through Nyewood, outskirts of South Harting and along West Harting Down. The missing link in Jons bike chain was playing havoc though as he could not engage the higher gears so the pedaling was fast and furious in order to try and catch up with the others.

Coming down from West Harting Down, there was a gradual meandering down hill through small farms, Ladyholt, Eckensfield and Hucksholt farm and then onto a small section of road. Unfortunately, we met a ramble of amateur mountain bikers in various guises littering our way ahead. One chap had a broken chain. Jon was in no mood to engage in offering advice and it looked like the chap could do with the exercise in walking his bike back home. We quickly sped past them and then cycled down and up a field up to Robin Wood. The weight of the Scott and Sophie Tandem had no problem in dropping down and up this field but for the rest of us the going on the grass was tougher.

After a pleasant ride through the wood, we cycled onto open downland and admired the wild flowers, Cowslips at Horseley farm, and then sped towards the West Marden. The sleeping policemen present along this track in past rides had been removed which was a shame. They had provided entertainment in previous rides in gaining lift off on the downhill. Ade still thought of doing his crazyhorse bmx antics again but thought better of it. Once at the pub, we ordered the Timothy Taylor Landlord, pissy lager for Julie and a fruitjuice with a dainty pink umbrella for Sophie. We had an interesting conversation about partners nicknames, oddities, etc which it is best not to go into here suffice to say that we should congratulate Juls and Ade on their engagement.

From Left: Scott, Sophie, Ad, Jon, Julie
(Necking drinks without even a pause to toast absent friends?! Ed.)

In supping up Juls tried to offload her pissy lager but there were no takers. At this point, Sophie tried to impress with a war wound experienced through an altercation with a door at the pub. (Sorry Sophi,e the drawing of blood has to be through an official off on an active duty to count for the purposes of TCA membership and in large quantities)!

We then cycled up towards Locksach Farm with Ade in the lead and soon were approaching the gully between Harting Down and Beacon Hill. We took the gradual ascent up the gully taking the higher route and as per usual had to circumvent the gate. By now it was getting dark and we undertook one of my least favourite rides down the Devil's Toilet down off the Downs towards Telegraph Lane. As per usual, Julie and Jon took it carefully negotiating exposed holed out tree roots which had the unfortunate knack of capturing your back wheels. Scott and Sophie and Ade just bombed down. We got home to Nursted and much to our surprise had a welcome meal prepared by Ade's mum on the hoof. The pizza, garlic bread and a noodle creation made to a Mathews family secret recipe went down very well.

(Posted by: Jon)

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At 11:09 am, April 30, 2007, Blogger TCA said...

"...left to her own devizes..."

Jon, you are a comedy genius!

At 12:06 pm, April 30, 2007, Blogger Ju's little sister said...

Here here!

Uh Oh though - the photo hasn't loaded :-(

Sounds like a great trip - what a pity about the fair weather mountain bikers...

At 12:05 pm, May 02, 2007, Blogger kiwi mother said...

You guys and gals are just amazing and I love the entertainment you provide. I go to the blog as soon as I receive an update notice. Keep up your wonderful adventures and equally interesting postings.
And a little word ... I am closer than you think ...
Congrats are in order to Ju & AD xx

At 5:56 pm, May 07, 2007, Blogger Ad said...

I just wanted to add that I cooked the Pizza and Garlic Bread, oh and we did talk about absebt friends - no toast though sorry!

Looking forward to the Chi challenge following on from my MOD Championships in June!!!


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