Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Walk of Shame

After much route choice deliberation Jon insisted on taking the infamous route up to the East Dean and through Goodwood Estate. The last ride was in May with John and before that in November with Al; but were largely unsatisfactory so hopefully this would be third time lucky, dispite the punctured tyres and mud, which tupically befalls Jon . The omens were not good as Jon discovering that he had a flat tyre before he and Billy-Bob set off. Billy-Bob had yet to 'enjoy' this route and after scoffing his iced Belgian Buns (no French Fancies for us again! ) would have agreed to anything anyway.

Billy-Bob on the Trundle

Following the delayed start the pair cycled fast around the Goodwood racing circuit, through East Lavant through a back street not previously discovered and then Chalkpit Lane up to the Trundle. Billy-Bob found the pace hard and was heard to shout after Jon "I'll see you at the top". Nevertheless the pair met three quarters of the way to the summit, admiring the scenery and the wild flowers (lots of Pyramid Orchids), and to take some photos. The ride skirted around the side of the Trundle, past some obstinate sheep along the way. There was also a slight delay due to difficulties in working out how to chain up the gate: Billy-Bob would not fare well in a Krypton Factor Test.

As usual we cut through part of the grounds of Goodwood racing circuit and onto the road towards the end of race track. At this point, we took a deep breath and hauled our bikes over the gate marking the beginning of a footpath down towards East Dean. Known as 'puncture alley' we rode carefully down the path avoiding any fallen hawthorn branches or fence posts, and being ever watchful of horse muck (which had so afflicted John last time). Being a sensible chap, Billy-Bob insisted on Jon taking the lead as a little bit of limbo was required to get bikes and riders under a electric fences, the pair eventually got the road and recuperated in the Star and Garter, although bikes or riders suffered electric shocks.

After the usual odd stares from a well-heeled clientele at the Star and Garter, the welcoming landlord served up two pints of Arundel Castle from the barrel. The landlord recognised Jon from previous visitations so we must have made an impact before. After due warning about the hill up to Dubholts and East Dean, we made slow and painful progress up to the wood. Jon just failed to make the top by pedal power but sadly Billy-Bob took the walk of shame, having found the uphill deceptively difficult over uneven track gullies and trees roots.

Walk of shame

At the top Jon was determined not to get lost as they had last time and so he guided the pair slowly to the right hand turn to cross over Selhurst Park Road.

More Shame

Riding through the edge of Goodwood Estate we got a decent speed up despite the rutted nature of the track and the extensive mud pools intermitted located along the route. At the end we chatted to a local, gardening, who was obviously surprised to see two professional bikers making such a fine job of riding along this track. He suggested a drink at the Anglessey Arms which we turned down on account of the famishing pangs we were now encountering. We got home, inner-tubes intact and enjoyed a hot chilli trying to find suitable TCA viewing. We plumbed for Harley Street (modeled on Hotel Babylon) but were sadly disappointed. However we were rudely interrupted by one of Jons cats using a bike tyre as a scratching post. The resulting loud rush of noise, like a jet engine, jolted resting riders out of theire seats, and the cats out of the cat flap, and ensured that this route has again lived up to its reputation as harbinger of punctured tyres.

(Posted by: Jon)

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At 9:34 pm, July 28, 2008, Blogger TCA said...

Jon, those Halfords puncture 'free' inner tubes are a complete waste of money either that or you should take your cats for a nail trim.


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