Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Titchfield Two Take Trundle Trig Trip

We ventured out at about 18.15 after a cup of tea and discussion of a slight variation to the normal route to tackle the regular circuit taking in the Goodwood estate and Charlton - we finally figured the good weather and daylight would make a sufficient change. Whilst sipping our tea I also took the opportunity to reassure Al that my recent rear-end problems were by now completely resolved. We cycled along Westhampnett Road, through the debris at the back of the crematorium and through the Homebase car park (Jon takes us to all the best places! Ed.), then along Madgewick Lane and Stocks Lane, the real start of the off-road route. Normally it is rutted, muddy and slow-going but today it was much easier, if a bit bumpy, due to the prolonged dry weather. Al's solo efforts the previous weeks paid off and he was soon ahead past the Royal Oak in East Lavant.

Jon nears the top of Chalkpit Lane

It was a warm, sunny evening and we soon ran into the inevitable fair-weather cyclists, horse riders and walkers, as we climbed Chalkpit Lane... where were they all back in February? I was struggling with a cold caught in Wales the previous week and our normal positions on the ascent were reversed, with Al pulling some distance ahead. I realized how Al had felt the time before when he complained about having ridden on only one lung.

At the top of Chalkpit lane we normally traverse Trundle Hill but tonight we fancied a little diversion: We easily located the gravel track up towards the Trundle itself, an iron-age hill fort the marked with a trig point. I remarked that it looked quite easy but soon regretted such a comment; the back wheel of my bike was spinning in the gravel as it lost traction. Eventually we got on top and rode along the ancient battlements until we dropped down onto a trig point for a breather, where we had some great views of the Sussex Coast, the Downs and Goodwood race course. I felt slightly better at this point after cleaning out much of my cold from lungs and sinuses onto the grass.

A Breather at the top of the Trundle
(Goodwood race course in the distance)

We continued around the Trundle before dipping down onto our usual downhill route towards the Goodwood Race Course. We slipped into the grounds of the track through some gates that had been left open and briefly looked at the course from the stands - the course offers spectacular views from it’s position perched high on the Downs - and then sped along the road and onto Chalk Road (which is more track than road), negotiating more loose walkers. It’s getting to the time of year when a bit of sun in the evening brings the townies out in force which is really annoying for us dedicated to year-round pursuits; we feel we should at least have right of way as they meander (often with dogs and kids in tow) randomly across our byways! In any event this part of the ride is usually quite challenging because it is rutted, slippery and of adverse camber as it descends steeply. The dry weather has improved things considerably and of course these technical elements are generally a little easier in daylight now that the evenings are drawing out. The track emerges in Charlton at The Fox Goes Free, which is fast becoming a regular TCA watering hole.

By this time, I was ready for the usual pint of Ruddles County at the Fox, I also relished a brief respite, finally feeling that my lungs had not packed up completely. We left the busy pub (half-term; bloody kids) into the by now chilly atmosphere and cycled hard up Knights Hill to get warm. We saw the top of Trundle, where we had previously been, and were tempted to go follow a steep ascent to the summit but decided to leave if for another day and use our usual route east of The Trundle. We passed Cross Dyke and then through a field to the top of Chalkpit Lane where we put my lights on for the first time. On the top section Al avoided Matt’s accident spot, the scene of the worst ‘Off’ in TCA history, by using a higher level route which neither of us had spotted before, alongside a field adjacent to the main track.

At the bottom, we enjoyed two pints of Sussex in The Royal Oak in tropical conditions afforded by a patio heater which was running at full tilt in the empty forecourt. Why do people pay money for a tan when you can get it for free under one of these dreadful things? I soon wished that I had brought some sun cream!

To Absent Friends - Totally Tropical!

We remarked that it was perhaps the most blatant example of the current trend towards carbon wastage for an incremental improvement in comfort. Why don’t they just make some blankets available for those wishing to sit outside? We decided to launch our own mini planet-friendly protest and turned the heater off. It was the sensible thing to do but the temperature dropped though quickly so with little hesitation, we drank up and followed the perimeter track round the motor racing circuit. After a brief divergence of routes (Al favouring a return to Homebase car park rather than the traditional and more direct road-route) we got back to No. 14 in good time to watch the enthralling final few overs of England v Sri Lanka in the cricket World Cup while tucking into a hot beef chilli (no horse meat this time for the TCA!).


Route Map (click to enlarge):


Elevation Profile:


Speed Profile:


Stats:

(Posted by: Jon)

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8 Comments:

At 4:34 pm, April 12, 2007, Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Glad to hear your rear end problems are now better. I don't know what to suggest about the bloody kids, horse riders, walkers and dogs but I am sure someone with your imagination could eliminate a few. I suppose I could give you the phone number of my friend, Ged the Mercenary. He'd sort them all out for you. Impressed to hear you turned the patio heater off. Jack always turns the music off when he is in a lift, or at the railway station. So far he hasn't been challenged.

 
At 3:18 am, April 13, 2007, Blogger Ju's little sister said...

GASP!

Where was my friendly email telling me the blog was updated? :-( Boo hoo, I am going to have a little cry!

Aside from my total gutting, what a lovely blog! The photos were just fantastic especially the first. Well done to both of you!

Keep up the great work, and I agree that the dedicated should be given the right of way. It's not as though the fair-weather-friends (as it were) have anything to lose by it!

 
At 12:46 pm, April 13, 2007, Blogger Maalie said...

Your elevation profile looks like the Kaikouras. Is it really like that round your routs or is it an optical delusion?

 
At 1:32 pm, April 13, 2007, Blogger TCA said...

LtL, nice to include you in our anti-patio-heater action group!

JLS, you're too quick off the mark! You will have probably received your familiar email by now..? Fair weather FRIENDS? I can think of other words beginning with F that would suit the muggles better!

Maalie, the GPS never lies.

 
At 9:09 pm, April 13, 2007, Blogger Ju's little sister said...

Ha - not your friends, I meant they are only friends of nature and the weather when it's fair. Pun, you see.

Yes I have the blog updated notice now - I was excited to receive it in my mailbox this morning. Wicked.

;-)

 
At 11:44 pm, April 13, 2007, Blogger TCA said...

aha! What a nice evening and a dry trundle.. looked like a good ride apart from them fair weather walkers clogging up the route - shameful.

A good max speed I see - over the 40mph that evening, must have been the downhill for the first beer in the Fox Goes Free!

Good work chaps!

 
At 1:14 am, April 15, 2007, Blogger simon said...

Yes I do no tget notice of new blog updates either :o(

it can be a real drag rding with a cold/flu...almost like an out of body experience...

top ride! top photos!

I also agree with you about those out door heaters... they cook you on one side and not on the other! And they are a waste of gas...

 
At 8:37 pm, April 15, 2007, Anonymous spm said...

This takes some believing! Jon using a PC and sending in a report! The man used to give Luddites a bad name. Seriously what is it with you cyclists and trig points? How about stopping at Homebase first, buying some paint and then giving the trig a new coat of paint. That would look good on the blog site.

 

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