Weekly Round-up: 08 July 2024

All the latest news, events, and results from NFCC Members from this week’s two-wheeled adventures…

NFCC RB TT: P128 – 02 July 2024

The NFCC Road Bikes Only TT Series returned to the fastest course in the Forest – P128. Overall results from the night can be found by CLICKING HERE, series results can be found by CLICKING HERE and a gallery of images can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Saturday Club Ride

After last weeks superb turnout on Saturday for two rides in excellent weather, this week saw only a hardcore of riders turn out in the unseasonable wind and drizzle that stayed with us all day. Some had legitimate excuses such as climbing Ventoux three ways or doing the Etape Du Tour but a worrying trend of some riders being fair weather friends! Only seven riders made the start for a lumpy 130Km route to the badlands of north Hampshire. Despite it being July, riders were generally starting off in gilets, arm warmers and Phil H even sported waterproof overshoes.

After climbing Bolderwood, we started to enjoy the tailwind across Ocknells Plain. There we picked up Duncan for his first club ride since his recent injury. He also attained a first for the club ride in July with his long sleeve waterproof complemented by full length bib tights ensuring he was hermetically sealed against the elements.We descended to Stocks Cross and approached Furzley. Here we lost Mark who was suffering with the cold and being unequipped for such weather decided to cut short. Mark has spent his life in the military, is a meticulous planner and is an unstoppable force of nature. But we have no found what can stop him – light drizzle and no jacket. There is some sympathy with his plight. Mark is a seasoned Ironman athlete. Obviously, his big fear as an Ironman was rust and that meant he had to depart! Mark knew at this point that he was in the barrel this week and so he is despite some more attempts for infamy later on.
We continued north and picked up our man from the north, Richard. We can guarantee that Richard will be wherever there is coffee and cake. The group meandered its way over a few hills for a welcome stop at Broughton Community Shop. There we were joined by Phill B who missed the start by a mere fifty minutes so did a speedy solo ride to meet the rest of the group. Timing is everything so we were glad to shelter under the awning at the shop for a brief downpour. On resuming we were all ready to go including the immaculately behaved Smithy and then Phil H appeared sans helmet. We all waited patiently for Mr Sunday whilst he went back into the shop to retrieve his lid. At this point Richard also found out that his trusty Cervelo equipped with the sorcery that is Shimano Di2 was now a single speed. Despite the best advice from the group, it stubbornly refused to budge so Richard carried on mashing the gears up the hills. We left Richard after Lockerly and he only had to ride his single speed over Dean Hill to get home so we wished him well.
Barry had picked some narrow, nettled lined hilly gravelly roads for the return leg which earned him much love from the group. Fortunately, Richard had inspected the route and with his local knowledge advised against one of the roads near Sheffield English so a diversion to the planned route was made. Back into the forest and the high winds were taking their toll on the riders. Phil H peeled off to watch the football rather than take a long diversion home. Phill B did a mighty turn taking the headwind for the full 4Km across the airfield as there were no volunteers to take over the duty. We all gratefully held onto his wheel with grim determination.
Onwards to Red Shoot, Moyles Court and Poulner. There we said adieu to Duncan and a very tired Smithy. Down to four we completed the route around Bransgore, Burley and back to Brock. Stuart M and Neil continued for a couple of mighty century rides so chapeau to them. Thanks as ever to the group for the good company, teamwork in riding in difficult conditions and most importantly being the source of so much material for “who’s in the barrel” this week.

Sunday Club Ride

I like to drive down to the start on Sundays, it’s nice. I can have a coffee and listen to RadMac on radio 6, all snug and warm. Arriving at 8.35 in light rain I got the bike out the back of the car, it started to rain heavily at this point and it was cold, much colder and it has to be said much wetter than it was inside the car. At 8.45 it was pissing down, no one had turned up and I started to hang on to the hope that no one would. Alas, first Tom and then James B and Jane made an appearance. At this point there was no sneaking off. Tom had already clocked me and I’d have to pass them to get to the exit. I tried to reason with them but they all seemed keen to do the ride as they had got out of bed and in any case were ‘already wet’. More people kept turning up, but why? It was looking like a 9, 8 at best on the misery index.

Still determined to sit this one out and go home I was dismayed as the numbers rise to 9 and everyone seemed keen-moderately keen to go ahead. It started to become clear to me that I was going to have to ride, I am after all the ride leader and it’s difficult to lead a ride from the comfort of your car. So it was that already soaked we headed out as a single group into the gale force headwind searching optimistically skyward for patches of blue sky. As it turned out I was being a wuss and compared with many of the winters club rides it was a deckchairs and ice cream ride. Just as we were all warmed up James got a puncture and we all cooled down. We warmed back up when Tom put the hammer down to quickly get off everyone’s least favourite road from Ashurst to Calmore. After a regroup we made nice progress to Beaulieu before turning into a pretty solid headwind up to Hatchett pond, another Regroup whilst we politely waited for Jane who ‘rinsed’ us, hammering past like someone who could already smell the coffee.
The group split up a little into the head/side wind back to Brock, then chose our own routes up the hill to Setley ridge for coffee. Sun made an unenthusiastic appearance here but just enough to sit outside without shivering. Following vittles, everyone made their way home with oneor two continuing on to complete longer rides. Stuart H completed a nice century and James B unluckily thwarted by a second puncture had to make the call of shame to reach home. Turned out o.k in the end, glad I was prised out from behind the steering wheel and as it happens the needle only reached 4-5 max on the misery index.
– Phil Harris.

Get Involved:

If you find yourself out and about representing NFCC, don’t forget to jot down a few words, snap a few photos and send them over to press@newforestcc.co.uk.

Share this post