Weekly Round-up: 10 Dec 2023

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

NFCC Virtual ChainGang

Last week’s Zwift Chain Gang on the Champs-élysées was a record turnout with 11 riders! Jay took the green jersey after dominating the sprint on each lap. The group worked well staying in formation for a majority of the ride, except for Rich W who had unwittingly handicapped himself by turning up on a TT bike (TT bikes do not benefit from drafting on Zwift), basically committing himself to an hour long solo time trial.

Saturday Club Ride

After three successive cancellations due to weather there was a steely determination from a hardy few to get out for a ride this Saturday. And when I saw a few I mean a few. Only six were tough enough to make the start including Axom (welcome Axom) for his first Saturday ride. We did make a complement of eight when Chris and Jen joined us at Exbury after wisely decided to avoid the 0800 start to get to Brockenhurst and dodge the early downpour. Barry was particularly ebullient that there was a 100% compliance with the mudguard edict and with Phill B going the extra mile by fixing an Ass Saver to the end of his rear mudguard. The was much kudos being despatched at the start to Neil and Joe for bringing out their new bikes on such a day that would result in them looking very second hand by the end of the ride. The new bike thing was a strange phenomenon for Joe who has only ever been seen before riding and driving contraptions that are totally untouched by the 21st Century (and a good part of the 20th Century).

As soon as we were on the road out of Brockenhurst we were greeted by flooded roads which were a theme of the day even on high ground that you would have thought safe from flooding. Barry took a lot of stick for his calf high neoprene waterproof shoe covers, endured many jokes about which particular fetish shop they may have come from. But by the end he had the last laugh being the only one with dry feet all day. Phill B did try a novel way of keeping his feet dry going through deep water at Pilley as he adopted a Superman position whilst traversing the flood. The ride continued without incident but battling some pretty stiff winds that all found challenging. We duly met Chris and Jen in Exbury and continued to Lepe where Matt K picked up the first of his three punctures.
When you’ve been on as many club rides as Barry has you’d think he’d have seen every possible mechanical incompetence especially when he’s ridden with Phil H for 10+ years. But thanks to new technology in bikes this is not the case. After fixing his first puncture, Matt spent time rummaging through the autumn leaves looking for his Thru Axle. After a fruitless search a kindly rider pointed out that the wheel had a QR and it was attached to the wheel all the time. So, for this new mechanical fail it’s Matt K’s turn in the barrel this week. Joe peeled off at Blackfield finding it too tempting to go home for a hot drink and a shower and the remaining riders headed back via Beaulieu where Chris and Jen said adieu. With his nomination for the barrel being safe Matt decided to have a couple more punctures just to make his nomination safe and clean everybody out of inner tubes.
The last leg of the ride was from Hatchet Pond back to Brock into a very strong headwind. Neil instantly made a call to start doing though and off which was very wise and there was some great teamwork dealing with the headwind. Coffee was duly taken at Boost in Brockenhurst, and the remaining riders made it home without incident. General consensus was that this week’s short club ride was a lot harder than it looked and all are hoping for more clement conditions next week and greeting all the lightweights who proffered pathetic excuses for their non-attendance this week.

Sunday Club Ride

The cycling forecast by Dr Budge for Sunday’s ride was “rain at times” …whilst most of the ride was enjoyed in dry conditions, it seems a weather front pushed its way in from the west and ensured the end of the ride was wet. VERY WET. Phill H dispatched of his trademark misery index for this weeks tour of Royston Vasey, and resorted to simply describing his Sunday jaunt as Attritional. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for a dry weekend of cycling very soon…

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.

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