Thursday, October 02, 2008

New Gaff

After week of unseasonably warm weather we gathered at Al & Tee's new house on a dry, clear, still evening. It was a full house too as first John, then Billy-Bob then Jon arrived and tucked into a selection of cakes as Al bathed Jimmy.

There was a little faffing as usual, Al's aging light system being the main culprit; but we were soon on the road. It should perhaps be pointed out at this point that Al & Tee had not moved far - just across the road, within the same post code in fact. So, although the kitting-up routine was a little unfamiliar they were soon slogging up Cams Hill on the trusty Hambledon #1 route.

Pausing briefly for an altercation, with some 4x4 driving yokel who insisted we were breaking the bylaws, as we turned off the road for the first time (they had a point; technically the farm track we use to short-cut a particularly boggy part of the bridle path is a footpath), we were soon on the King's Way and into the woods.

Jon and Billy-Bob emerge
from the woods

The conditions were perfect and the trail was bone dry, unusual at any time of year and the boys enjoyed being back in the saddle again with a full compliment of riders. The bubble was burst though at the foot of the first descent as John, in an all to unfamiliar stance, bent over his upturned bike - yet another puncture.

The King of the Punctures
gets to work

With so much practice John had his bike up-and-running in record time and we were on our way once more. A short section of road before Paul declared a 'runway challenge' (the once mandatory sprint across the fields towards Soberton). Al got a good start and held on as Jon, John and finally the beaten challenger crossed the imaginary line drawn from the hedge at the bottom of the field.

Picking up the rad once more we made for the White Lion to recover from our exertions.

A toast to absent friends
The White Horse, Soberton

With perfect trail conditions the disused railway line was lightening fast and the boys soon arrived at the infamous railway bridge. Al scaled the embankment first, Jon had one unsuccessful attempt and Billy-Bob and Jon thrashed around in the undergrowth for a while before submitting.

Billy-Bob and Al lagged behind during the ascent of the Forest of Bere - a fallen tree at the beginning of their chosen route held them back. All assembled in the car park at the summit before tackling the descent towards the Traveler's.

The frequent spills on this section have taught us to be wary of tail condition halfway down the descent, and tonight we discovered that a batch of fresh dry sand had been used to patch up the path. All did well to hang on as their bikes snaked through the powdery surface.

It was darts night at the Traveller which confined the TCA to the luxury of the lounge bar where all except Billy-Bob enjoyed a pint of fff's Alton's Pride, recently named Champion Beer of Britain for 2008.

We were soon on the way home again for a meal which Al had invested considerable effort in, to make sure the first formal dinner at his new home was a success. Cawl with home-baked poppy seed rolls followed by crumble (made with Hambledon apples) and cream. Echoing days of yore Billy-Bob and John stayed over therefore some after-hours drinking may have taken place.

Route Map (click to enlarge):
(Posted by: Al)

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3 Comments:

At 2:47 am, October 08, 2008, Blogger simon said...

after 2 years of using tubeless tyres and filling them with puncture goo- I have returned to tubed tyres with puncture goo.
Why?

THe puncture goo works a treat, BUT with tubeless tyres it was reacting and causing the inner casing to fall apart, which then led to huge blisters forming all over the tyre.. I can only assume this is because as the tyre "bruises" the goo got into the cracks...

SO, back to tubes, which protect the outer casing, and no punctures!

 
At 5:34 pm, October 09, 2008, Blogger TCA said...

a splendid ride on another clear dry night, followed by top entertaining at the new capacious Hambledon residence. It has been a while since the full squad were out..and a while since I had that much whisky.

B.B

 
At 6:02 pm, October 19, 2008, Anonymous spm said...

Well done boys. I can now sympathise with you guys and the inconvenience of punctures and valves Having recently had my chest punctured and a new valve fitted! I should now be good for 1,000s of miles more.

Seriously, it would be good to meet up with you all at some time but I won't be able to cycle until next April.

 

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