Weekly Round-up: 10 Mar 2024

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

NFCC YorkArrow Team

A self-assembled team of terribly brave NFCC riders have volunteered to not only spend 24 hours with Joe Shepherd but also spend those hours riding to York in the 2024 York Arrow event. Following a successful initial team training ride a few weeks back, the team gathered on Friday evening for an over-nighter to test their endurance, night-vision and lighting technology ahead of the main event in a few weeks. Some say the event was a success with 60% of riders staying upright, but the 40% that hit the deck christened the ride the “Badger & Bollard” ride… Need we say any more? We’re sure the stories will make their way through the peloton soon… What goes on tour stays on tour!

Saturday Club Ride

With a decidedly inclement weather forecast again this week, Barry planned a relatively short, 105 km ride with a few loops that could be cut out if the weather worsened. As it turned out the early morning pre-ride rain was the worst part of the day and we only had to deal with a strong easterly wind and a couple of bits of light drizzle. With most of the rider fails taking place during the previous night with those hardy soles practising their night riding in preparation for their 24 hours to York event, it was going to be hard to find someone to put in the barrel this week. No incidents on the road, no fashion faux pas, and no stupid mechanicals but luckily Graham “Not a Belgian Hard Man” Fletcher gallantly came to the rescue. We’ve had riders breaking cranks 100M into the ride, a rider failing at the start when he’d forgotten his shoes, but now we have one failing two and a half hours before the start wimping out and mailing in his absence because it was “raining“. It is believed that this hydrophobia is a result of a rogue hypnotist convincing Graham that he was made of salt and would dissolve if he came into contact with a light shower!

A hardy bunch of eleven made the start. With no volunteers willing to take one for the team and form a Group One with Robert “The Beast” Sweatman, it was a single peloton that left Brockenhurst. The first hill on the Beaulieu Road split the group into two, Matt M instantly regretted his burst up the climb that left him stranded in the newly formed Group One. The groups powered on straight into the harsh easterly wind and re-grouped at Hill Top. Loops around Lepe and Calshot followed and again the group split. About a mile from the coffee stop the ride swept up Lucy who had picked up the scent of coffee and cake. Her olfactory ability to sniff out a coffee shop is only matched by the dogs at the airport that sniff out illicit substances in people’s luggage!
We re-grouped at the coffee stop at Steff’s where the garden was completely full of cyclists from numerous clubs. It was quite chilly outside at the café and after the stop riders were keen to put in a bit of an effort to get warm. The ride then headed south again for a circuit around Sowley and East End. The ramp on Bucklers Hard Road immediately split the group which was never to reform. Group One did its usual thing, shredded riders and disintegrated by the end. Group Two said goodbye to Adrian at East End and Lucy at Lyndhurst. Everybody made it safely around. The consensus on the comments on Strava post ride was that it was a very challenging ride and the wind had taken its toll on everybody. Chapeau to all those who braved the conditions and to those who added pre and post-ride mileage. Big thanks to all those who took turns leading the groups into the headwinds. I think Robert was the only one rounding up to a century so kudos to him.

Sunday Club Ride

The weather forecast just said ‘it’s March the 10th’, what do you expect? And that’s exactly what we got. Bit damp, bit cold and a bit of a wind but not too bad. 12 made the start, some by the skin of their teeth. We decided that we’d stick together in one group this week as no one appeared super-keen on a faster-paced ride. The route took us out for the St Leonard’s loop and then up Beaulieu Hill to do the Lepe loop. For reasons unknown to me the Lepe circuit seems to bring out the worst in the local drivers including no fewer than 3 close/punishment passes accompanied by blaring horns. One of these car clowns close passing and then immediately turns into the Exbury Gardens car park. Luckily for them, we were in team kit and I have a slow temper or they might have found themselves tied to the rails and then buried under the flowering aspidistra. Anyway, resisting all violent impulses we headed to Lepe before turning and being rewarded with about 45 minutes of lightly encouraging tailwind back to Beaulieu, Hatchett Pond and back to Brock. With no dramas, punctures, moving bollards or badger attacks we made it back to the cafe within a couple of hours. A classic Sunday ride, good chat with a great group of guys and gals.

A3crg Rogate Rumble

NFCC’s very own time-trial super-star was back in action again this weekend at the A3crg Rogate Rumble. The 17.6 mile course welcomed only road bikes in a first for the event this year and Sien van der Plank not only recorded the 11th fastest time on the day, against some of the local big hitters, but ended up on the top step of the podium as the fastest woman rider. An excellent way to start the season, chapeau.

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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