Weekly Round-up: 11 Feb 2024
All the latest news, events, and results from NFCC Members from this week’s two-wheeled adventures…
NFCC Virtual TT
Tuesday’s Virtual 10.5-mile Zwift TT featured ten NFCC riders. A last-minute change to the starting procedure caused some initial confusion, though it looked like chaos, it didn’t affect the results. Jay Tee claimed 1st place, finishing 17 seconds ahead of Robert Sweatman in 2nd, with Neil Stevenson securing the podium in 3rd. Unfortunately, Phil J recorded a DNF due to a connection drop halfway through, while race organizer Phil G was forced to DQ himself due to corrupt data.
Saturday Club Ride
It was a damp start but compared with recent months deckchair weather. After a few miles the speed proved a little too pedestrian for Robert the Machine Sweatman who, in a bid to keep warm made a one man breakaway across to Hatchett pond. We waved him goodbye and good luck but within 5 minutes someone familiar came gunning it back towards us. Who should it be but Robert, next thing we know he’s taken off on breakaway number 2 but this time he’s got help, kidnapping Matt K and Ben T. It’s not in the racing authodoxy for already successful breakaways to come back for reinforcements but seemed to work and we didn’t see them again until we reached the cafe.
|The group survived some seriously dodgy map reading by yours-truly before heading back down Beaulieu hill towards the safety of the cafe. We were pretty nonplussed by the comments of those coming from the opposite direction like ‘ got your passport?’ but all became clear when we reached the bottom of the hill and found that the tide had come in, overwhelming what sea defences there are and completely flooding the road. Sensibly we all dismounted and inched our way around on the soggy, grassy knoll, dodging the wakes made by the kind and considerate local motor enthusiasts.
I’m not blaming anyone directly for our wet feet but surely any cycling group ride leader worth his salt checks the tide tables before planning the route!
|We made it to the safety of Stephs cafe. Those lucky enough to get the sunny seats could warm and dry up a bit. After stuffing various exotic cakes down our necks and with Lucy’s pockets full of treats for man-flu victim Phill G’s recovery we reluctantly set back out. We made it a full two metres up the rd before the cry of ‘flat’ rang out. Matt S was the unlucky victim. With help at hand the repair took under an hour and those that hadn’t given up and gone home got moving again. By now the group was down to 5 or 6 and then Matt S who was suffering from the club’s mid-week TT and Chaingang also pulled the plug to head home. We took a detour to avoid another of the river crossings that Barry had planned into the route before somehow meeting back up with Matt, everyone seemed confused and slightly embarrassed by his reappearance as we’d already said our goodbyes.
|After narrowly avoiding death by psycho-car on the narrow bridge heading back into Brock, Axum and Graham suddenly smelled the possibility of a second coffee stop and put the burners on. Phil H, a cafe-phile himself and not easily distanced when the scent of baking muffins is in the air, hunted the pair down like a Labrador on the scent of your chocolate bourbons. The Terrace was the only cafe in Brock with available seats so we were much surprised and delighted to get some of the items that we had ordered. in Axums case this included cakes number 2 +3 of the ride. To be fair he and Graham both put the calories to good use, covering an additional 50-60 K to complete another in a series of early season centuries. In Barry’s barrel this week has to be the man himself because reading the tide table is surely rule number one when planning a cycling route, and was covered extensively in the British Cycling Ride leaders course last year. (Ed. I think that was the Day skipper’s course).
Sunday Club Ride
Axums car has become a familiar sight at the start of recent club rides. Previously delivering a prospective new rider minus their cycling shoes or the man himself popping in on the way home from a night shift. This week it delivered a slightly flustered Axum and a slightly punctured bike. With the bike out of the car and a full minute and 45 seconds left before our planned departure it was going to be a pretty impressive showing of tyre repair skills if we were to set off on time. The stopwatch was set and the challenge was on. It surely wasn’t possible to fix a puncture in that time, well no, it wasn’t, not even close. We split the 15 attendees into two poorly counted groups, the first group set off, more or less on time.
|Group 2 made their own entertainment until the tyre was fixed and we were soon on our way (15 minutes for the record). The route was planned to have a nice tailwind finish but unfortunately this meant that the first third of the ride was into a headwind. Not what you want when you are not 100%. Budge was clearly suffering. He had turned up in full length leggings for the first time since the Big freeze in 1963 and took the wise decision to head home asap. As on Saturdays ride we came across another flooded road. There was a great big sign which said ‘Beware pot holes beneath water’. Undimmed we ploughed on until much to everyone’s surprise there were indeed potholes beneath the water. Colin hit the Mariana Trench-like abyss and ended up on his backside, sat in the water like a toddler at bathtime. Meanwhile in group one Rich, James, Simon and others were the victims of some road rage lunacy but sounds like they taught him some new words. As planned we all had a nice tailwind finish to the cafe and as the sun was starting to shine in earnest various riders set off for longer routes home. Back at Setley ridge some of the Cafe-Holics were digging into their second and third coffees.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.