Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Close Encounters at Glorious Goodwood

On a glorious sunny day, John and I set off soon after 18:00 on a modified version of our usual Goodwood ride; a new route beyond the horse racing circuit and up to East Dean. John wanted to test out his new forks so we selected a route which we knew would provide a particularly bumpy downhill section (despite the stretch in mind being a public footpath rather than bridleway).

As we approached Chalkpit Lane it dawned on us that the horse racing was on, accounting for the hordes of posh folk who were worse for wear outside the Royal Oak. Reaching the track I thought I would test out all these performance enhancers that I now routinely take each week and raced up the hill leaving John in my wake. Skirting around the Trundle we prepared ourselves for our first downhill of the evening and the first test of Johns rather shiny new forks.

John with shiny new forks

Unfortunately, since is was such great weather this evening, a few people had decided to walk up the hill in the opposite direction: I encountered one poor person frozen to the spot in the middle of this track which required a quick swerve on my part. At the bottom of the run we were greeted by the sight of cars and people everywhere. Cutting the corner off across the grass by the grandstands we both had to perform similar maneuvers; swerving around swaying obstacles with glasses of champagne attached. Passing the racecourse with it’s marquees, barbies, picnics, gambling and the downing of alcohol taking place it seemed that we were missing out somewhat. A TCA trip to the races may have to be on the cards one day we thought.

Observing the Racegoers

We usually turn off left towards Chalton at the end of the long straight road section next to the course, but this evening we turned right and with a little hesitation lifted our bikes over the stiles and gates through the woods. We soon ran into trouble when I heard what I thought was the noise of a jet engine behind me – in fact I eventually realised that it was a massive puncture in my back wheel. Having recently invested in inner tubes that are meant to repair punctures by emitting a green goo I feel I should seek some compensation – these products have obviously not been properly tested in TCA use. After a quick change of new inner tube, wiping of green goo off my hands as I went, we cycled out of the woods and into a cow field. Cows, like the humans previously encountered, were slow to get out of the way. By now we were ready for a drink but first we had to negotiate a grassy, bumpy and cow patted field. Thankfully John’s forks were in their element and arrived at the pub well and truly christened. East Dean was busy with the Goodwood folk too but we found a table outside the Star and Garter and sampled some ales - Jon , Ballards Castle Ale; John, Boddington keg beer.

My toast to absent friends

After a brief look at the maps we cycled down the road away from the pub in search of a bridleway. Pushing the vegetation aside we cycled southwards through the edge of a field and then on a steep incline up through Buchoirs and Eastdean Hill. Reluctantly we had to dismount and push our bikes up the hill but the climb was worth it for a marvelous downhill through Halnaker Gallop. The gallop started with rows of cut timber hemming us in, followed by muddy pools under the trees. By now it was twilight and there was a sinister feel to some of the houses we passed, not helped by a life sized witch doll outside one house. Creepy!

After reaching Halnaker House we turned westwards onto a road past Goodwood House, Goodwood Racing main entrance and the Rolls Royce factory, arriving back at the ranch at 21:00. We enjoyed a back-to-basics meal of pizza, baked beans and chips while channel-hopping for a film deserving of TCA merit... to no avail.

Route Map (click to enlarge):
Elevation Profile:

(Posted by: Jon/Route Maps by: John)

Labels: , , ,


At 10:29 pm, August 05, 2007, Blogger TCA said...

Good going lads. True dedication carrying on past the champagne stands!

What did John make of his recent upgrade?


At 6:40 am, August 06, 2007, Blogger simon said...

ForkS....? wot sort?

AS for green goo in inner tubes.. For some reason inner tubes rip more than puncture therefore don't always seal even with the goo.

Outer casings are stronger and can cope with a hole up to 1mm in size and reseal with goo. i.e tubless.

Its really frustrating when people freeze to the spot.. they seem to stand on the "best line" forcing riders in to dreadful sand or potholes :o(


At 9:11 am, August 08, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope John used the TCA link to Wiggle for those expensive looking forks! That would help the TCA Christmas Beer-Ride fund?

John what are you doing with your old forks (are they knackered) Julie's bike could do with an upgrade or to?

Let me know, Ad

At 9:45 am, August 08, 2007, Blogger TCA said...

Sexy Forks John, are they Rock shock Reba's? with remote lock off.

Good work fellas, any johdper action with the horsy types?


At 12:41 pm, August 08, 2007, Blogger TCA said...

Steady on BB, you're a family man now!


At 1:05 pm, August 08, 2007, Blogger TCA said...


I think John flogged his old forks on eBay. Might be an option for Ju?

However, check out whether the steerer tube is the correct diameter before you do so: My old GIANT mountain bike does is not the correct dimensions and cannot therefore be upgraded easily.

If Ju is a full convert maybe it's time to upgrade the whole bike - maybe less bother?



Post a Comment

<< Home