Thursday, May 15, 2008

Country Smells and Bike Washes

Eager to get stared after a cup of tea and some toasted teacakes, John and Jon ventured out along the track beside the Goodward Motor Circuit. The weather was cloudy and a bit cool but not bad considering that it was the beginning of summer with first Test match having taken place at Lords. It was easy going with little sign of the mud and deep ruts familiar to us in our winter rides and we quickly made progress to Chalkpit Lane to the Trundle. John was riding his full "sus" Scott that was now working properly and sparkling clean following a visit to the bike shed and repair undertaken free on warranty. After our exploits at the weekend, we seemed to make rather speedy progress up to Trundle although John was complaining of aching limbs following circuit training earlier in the week. (The lengths to which some members go to get fit for our rides is amazing - pity some others do't bother!).

At this point Jon realised he had forgotten his camera and it was too late to cycle back and get it. In any event the views [..and the riders, Ed.] were not particularly photogenic from the Trundle due to the haze and sticky atmosphere that had built up during the day. Off down the side of the Trundle we missed a couple of walkers and both of us almost got caught out by sharp zig zag at the bottom just before the road. Around the horse circuit at Goodward we quickly got to the infamous footpath leading down to East Dean. We have tied this path with the epithet "puncture alley" as every time Jon has tackled it he's had a puncture there. Johns track record on punctures has also not been good so after a bit of self-persuasion the pair hopped thier bikes over the gate and cycled down the middle of the path, careful to miss any potential source of thorns, nails or similar pointy objects. We navigated it safely although John had another problem with his bike, namely his seat and a country smell. This problem was not helped by a strange "Ellis" type smell emanatting from Johns' gloves - He had somehow managed to dunk them in horse faeces. Ignoring the smell as best as possible both bombed down the grassy hill towards the road at East Dean, Jon discretely keeping his distance from his partner.

At the Star and Garter, John promptly washed his hands and gloves and we enjoyed a pint each of Arundel Gold. We moved off after getting a bit chilly and made our way to hill that leads up to forestry track through the woodland that Al and Jon had found so muddy on their last winter visit. On this occasion too both riders failed to cycle all the way up and had to walk the steepest bit. Jon even managed to stall in mid motion and and flattened a good bit of field falling into the crops (sorry farmer!). The top the track was dry but challenging to ride over the ruts which required some nifty technical skills. Unfortunately we were enjoying this so much that we forgot to branch off down towards Halnaker and Goodward. Instead we headed towards Petworth. How we made this mistake, in the light, when we have never made this mistake in the dark, I do not know but worse navigation errors have rarely been made I'm sure [...don't bet on it, Ed.]. Having realised the error, Jon shouted "turn round" to John just as he was negotiating riding a high bank above a rut full of deep mud and water. After diverting his attention, Jon watched as John and his sparklingly clean bike slid down deep into the quagmire. Both bike and John then get even muddier trying to get out of this and turn himself and bike round.

John, surprisingly calm in this instance, was convinced where the pair were by Jon and both got back on the track. We both enjoyed a long downhill bumping over forestry track ruts and avoiding other mud patches through Halnaker Park to Halnaker itself and then rode the bikes back through the outskirts of Goodward House to Sainsburys petrol filling station where John spayed his bike (and himself) down to remove the worst of the mud. The evening was finished off by Spagetti bolognaise at Jon's place.

(Posted by: Jon)

Labels: , , ,


At 7:11 am, June 06, 2008, Blogger simon said...

spag bol is great after a ride


Post a Comment

<< Home