Weekly Round-up: 23 June 2024

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

Road Bike TT Series: P164

Back to the spiritual home of NFCC time trials for another round of the Road Bike TT Series – P164. Find out more by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday Evening Chain Gang

With NFCC members generally too sensible to care about the English football team a respectable 7 riders turned out for this weeks chain gang. This years chainy has not been for the faint hearted with some of the fastest times ever recorded on the course being notched week- in week-out. The group really has gelled into a smooth and efficient operation with most of the group arriving at the foot of Wilverley together. As we hit Wilverley this week Reece, Jay, James N and Phill G took off at an electrifying pace leaving Phil H, Eliot and Mark C gapped and straining with every sinew to maintain at least visual contact. The trio, led by a heroic effort by Mark C weren’t too far behind, Phill G fell back to the chasing group and both groups leathered it back into Brockenhurst with the traditional tail wind urging us on. Most riders set personal bests for the course and considering that we had 3 slow-downs for ponies can reasonably eye the possibility of further improvements ahead.

Saturday Club Ride

With a number of regular riders on holiday and doing other events only thirteen riders made the start this week despite the very clement weather. The route this week was a 115Km ride to the north west and along the Chalke Valley. This did mean that the first couple of hours were largely into a pretty stiff headwind, but the return leg was a lot easier. The dry roads did encourage a couple of riders to display their new club 90th anniversary jerseys as the chance of getting the pristine white fabric mud splattered was minimal. It was a single peloton ride so there was a fair bit of re-grouping required after the hills, but the faster riders seemed happy to wait in the sunshine for the grupetto regulars. We headed north into the aforementioned headwind, a lot of riders took turns on the front which was appreciated by all. When we got to Combe Bisset the group split to make it easier for car passes along the Chalke Valley. Coffee stop was at the always popular Community Shop in Broad Chalke. Smithy was on the phone for most of the stop, we found out later he was talking to his son but there were strong rumours he was calling for a taxi to take him and his bike to Sixpenny Handley to avoid the Bowerchalke climb.

After the Bowerchalke, the majority of the hard work was done and it was plain sailing back to Brockenhurst. The group was only half of it’s original size by this time as a number of riders had peeled off close to their homes. Neil S, Matt K and Graham all rounded up their rides to 100 miles plus so extra kudos to them. It just remains to see who’s in the barrel this week. Normally your scribe being a petty, pedantic, draconian individual has no problems in nominating numerous miscreants for a week in the barrel for the pettiest of reasons. But this week despite a number of the regular offenders being out, I have to report that no transgressors were spotted, so the barrel will be in for maintenance this week. Thanks to all for another excellent Saturday.

Sunday Club Ride

Actual warm and pleasant weather attracted another bumper crop of members to the start line for this weeks Sunday club ride. Nice to have such a wide demographic of riders represented this week ranging between 14 and 74-ish years of age and at least two of the sexes covered. We split into two groups as is generally usual, with the faster group heading off first and the ‘Sunday is a day of rest’ group bringing up the rear. Group 1 set off at a fair pace and must have maintained it, according to Mr Strava, averaging around 30kph for the whole route. Group two meanwhile enjoyed the sunshine and miraculously light winds, winding along happily at our own moderate pace. The natural environment and quiet roads out to Nomansland are particularly pleasant in nice weather and the route is only completely and utterly ruined by the existence of the notorious ‘Pipers wait’, surely the areas second most horrible hill (…Blissford obviously). If your legs feel fresh and the heart light at the Lamb Inn it can be tempting to hit the hill hard, a mistake that many have made and largely lived to regret. The hill has a kicker end at 16% and can be quite the ‘enforcer’. Once that ordeal was over it was plain sailing back to Brock, a few locals dropped off here as we passed through with the remaining crew of 7 heading up the hill to the cafe to meet up with the hardcore A groupers for coffee and vittles. Lovely to sit outdoors at the cafe in glorious sunshine new and old club members alike chewing the fat on everything from the most suitable London art galleries for youthful Ukrainians to optimal tyre pressure based on rider weight and tyre width. We know how to live.

Tandem Tart Time Trial

A fleet of NFCC riders were seen in action at the annual Tandem Tart Time Trial this weekend. Joe and Emma Shepherd were the fastest tandem pair from NFCC crossing the line in just 23m45s. NFCC’s Sien Vdp joined Sotonia’s Julian Gee, clocking 26m20s. Lucy Greehy and Phil Grant took part in the two-up race finishing in 30m29s. Barry Hards crossed the line as a solo part of a mixed team in 24m42s, with wife Bev Hards recording a 27m34s.

Race The Sun 2024

A traditional event in the calendar that seems to attract those that like to push themselves beyond their limits, three NFCC riders reported completing Race The Sun this year… Jay Tarrant and Phil Jones were reported in action at the “south” version of the event, covering over 320km from sunrise Sheerness in the east, to Weston-super-mare in the west… the idea to make it there before sunset around 16 and a bit hours later. Jay completed the course in a shade under 12 hours, and Phil Jones not far behind in just under 14 hours. Ben Schooling (pictured) did the “north” version from Tynemouth in the east to Ayr in the west – completing the 320km course in 12hr35m.

Dragon Ride 2024

Another long distance event that makes the most of the extended hours of daylight is the annual Dragon Ride in Wales… Reece Dawson and Stewart Hawkes were in action, with Reece reporting:
“After a few hours of sleep in a typically Welsh seaside bnb, we thought it was best to drive to the event start to save the legs for the stunning and savage day trip to furthest remote Wales and the devils staircase. I had a couple of small cock ups that I’m sure will make Barry best pleased, I had an escape attempt from multi tool from my tool roll, I had a gel jump to freedom from my pockets and also my sunglasses that I had carried around all day in my helmet and hadn’t used at all decided to jump from the sinking ship at hour 7. By hour 8, the amount of carbs and caffeine had gotten to me internally and I was in the hurt locker for a good couple of hours before I found some strength up the final climb and embrace my TT skills to solo the 20kms back to the finish.
…with Stewart Adding: “I’d rather of gotten a fridge magnet and a bottle than a medal

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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