Weekly Round-up: 18 Feb 2024

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

The Scotty Brown Emporium Criterium

Still in the land down under, NFCC’s Phill Brown was racing again this week at The Scotty Brown Emporium Criterium at Lancaster Park in Christchurch, NZ. Back on a familiar circuit, Brown lined up with the A/B grade riders (…some freshly returned from the national road race championship!) for the short but intense first race of the evening. The bunch was tight and controlled until two laps to go when a 2-man break went up the road. Staying close to the front of the remaining riders, Brown managed to outsprint the bunch to cross the line in 3rd place. The second race was a much higher intensity affair – a neutral first lap before an all-out sprint, followed by a predetermined number of laps before the flag waved. Poor positioning left Brown 4th in the sprint but a heroic “last-lap-flyer” saw Phill ride away from the bunch and clear to cross the line solo. Final points and prizes will be awarded at the final round of racing next week.

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.

  1. Jay T: 23:22 🥇
  2. Robert S: 23:39 🥈
  3. Neil S: 25:43 🥉
  4. Phil H: 25:48 – 4th
  5. Ben T: 26:06 – 5th
  6. Michael J: 26:26 – 6th
  7. Mark C: 27:03 – 7th
  8. Matt S: 28:14 – 8th

Saturday Club Ride

This week’s club ride was the usual blend of fine riding, rider bonhomie and numerous contenders for a week in the barrel. Fifteen riders made the start. We welcomed Nathan from San Fairy Ann Cycling Club for his first ride with us. Two groups set off from Brockenhurst in some light drizzle that hardly abated all day. Planned route was a relatively modest 109Km but did contain more than the usual number of hills. The ride set off east for a loop around East Boldre and Norleywood before heading west towards the decidedly rough roads around South Bockhampton. Here we encountered some flooding which concealed some very nasty potholes. Fortunately, a big reg sign warned us of the hazard and we got through OK. Alas, at this point Group Two got split and four of the riders then took a wrong turn. The leading four retraced the route to search for them but Chris, Jenny, Smithy and Graham were long gone. Normally this would merit a week in the barrel but not nearly enough to acquire that honour this week. Fortunately, the group met up on the Ringwood Road so no damage done.

The ride continued through Poulner and Group Two came across a stricken Jon at the side of the road fixing his third puncture of the day. All his “friends” in Group One were up the road heading for the coffee stop (Phil G excepted). He was out of inner tubes, but Adrian produced his spare and loaned it to Jon. When you’re having this type of day bad things keep happening, just as Jon completed his repair, he unscrewed his pump, and the valve core came out and the tyre instantly deflated. An experience a lot of us have had with Leyzne pumps. A day like this would normally be enough for a barrel nomination but not this week! We call reconvened at The Potting Shed for coffee and cake. We also me up with Chris, Henry and Richard who had made their own way there. One of The Potting Shed’s staff on seeing Chris being first and attired in an NFCC jersey assumed it was Barry who had made the booking for the NFCC group. Barry naturally assumed that confusing him with a champion triathlete was an easy mistake, but other conversations were more like “Double the age and double the weight and you’ll be close!
Group One as usually happens by this stage started to disintegrate having already lost Matt and Reece. The groups then set off for Barry’s circle of hell that included Stuckton Hill, Godshill, Wood Green to Hale Purlieu and Pipers Wait in short succession. At the top of Stuckton Hill we came across Jon having had puncture number four, this had tipped him over the edge, and he declined the offer of more inner tubes having already made the phone call of shame. After the descent into Wood Green there was a shout of “one off the back”. Smithy is nowhere to be seen. The ride started the climb towards Hale Purlieu and who should we see with his gleaming but guilty smile shining through the mist and drizzle but the formerly lost Smithy taking a shortcut across Brook Lane to avoid some of the climbing. This trumped all previous misdemeanours and all further nominations for the barrel were closed. The ride continued back towards Nomansland, a last-minute decision was taken to divert around Lyburn Road as it was agreed that it would probably be filthy.
After the ascent of Pipers Wait, we were greeted by a headwind much stronger than forecast. The group was grateful for a long stint by Graham on the front to get us back to Milkham. A mention in despatches here for Matt K. His bike had been making all sorts of strange noises all day in a cacophony of clanging sounds not heard since experimental industrial noise merchants of the 1980’s Einstürzende Neubauten (Google it kids, sorry all my cultural references are at least 40 years old). Having lost the front-changer, he muscled his way up Pipers Wait in the big ring. The group then started to split further as riders cut for home. A hard ride in slightly sub-optimal conditions but another one to tick off for the winter.

Sunday Club Ride

The Sunday ride this week saw just 4 of us take to the water for a great ride once the rain stopped, despite having to navigate rivers which were normally trickling fords. Plenty of amphibious activity throughout, including 2-foot wading with bikes slung heroically over shoulders to protect Di2 at one stage. Just as the sun emerged at 40miles in, there was the familiar increase in wattage and rolling resistance that signified a puncture for Axum. The camaraderie and good-will of the Sunday Bunch finally helped him to get back on the road, and before long they pressed on merrily thereafter, spotting the ever-elegant Jane Hardy out and about, and sporting a rather dapper pale jacket. As is becoming the norm after the Sunday rides, this week was no exception with some opting for a mighty three-cake/two-coffee pit stop at Setley Ridge.

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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