Weekly Round-up: 29 Oct 2023

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

Saturday Club Ride

As expected, this weeks club ride had to deal with a lot of standing water on the forest roads and muck washed down from the hills. Combined with a slightly iffy weather forecast this was probably the main reason only ten riders made the start. So, it was a one group ride. With so few riders you’d have thought it would be hard to find candidates to be put on the barrel this week but have no fear the small peloton came up trumps as usual. Firstly, the hapless ride leader must proffer a couple of mea culpa. He forgot to load the road onto his own computer and then relying on his ageing memory started doing the route in reverse. But more egregious were his choice of shorts for the ride. He inadvertently picked out a pair of shorts that should have been in the box marked “turbo training for indoor use only”. The said shorts had developed a gruesome amount of translucence where they are stretched over his ample frame and apologies to all that saw things that they are now desperately trying to wipe from their memory. But, this can also be viewed as karma and punishment for those that suck Barry’s wheel week in week out!

The bad weather forecast also prompted some others to raid their kit box and produce their own fashion faux pas. Phil J sported a waterproof jacket that looked like he’d steamed “Motorway Maintenance” off the back before using it for cycling. Graham, who is not noted for sartorial elegance and frequently looks like he got dressed in the dark found a pair of shorts that had all the padding under one buttock and nothing on the other. Kudos to him for finding a new and novel kit fail. The ride eventually got back to heading in the right direction but took a small diversion to avoid potential flooding at Latchmoor under the railway bridge. This caused us to miss Phill B who had decided to wait in Lymington until the mercury had risen to his satisfaction and resulted in him being late for the start and having to second guess where we were heading. Luckily, his legs having just been upgraded to Cat 2 enabled him to catch the group near Holmlsey Tea Rooms.
The ride continued as planned and though some pretty deep standing water especially between Poulner and Moyles Court. We diverted to avoid the ford at Moyles Court but had to ride through the one at North Gorley not once but three times as we diverted that way to the coffee stop at The Potting Shed. The effects of Phil H’s pneumonia were there to see as we approached the coffee stop. He has a fully deserved bad reputation as a man who hides in the peloton for hours and then sprints to the front just before the coffee stop to be first in the queue. His condition meant that he was eighth in the queue this week (get well soon Phil). We met up at The Potting Shed with our Cycling Cross supremo, Catherine who thought she could recruit us all for CX as we were covered in mud, soaking wet and cold so thought we could do that for less than an hour in a CX race rather than a 4 hour group ride. In a remarkable feat of planning the heavens opened whilst we were under cover having coffee so we missed the worst of the weather.
After coffee riders started dropping off and heading for home and only a small hardcore did the full route and the bonus loop around Nomansland.
With no mechanical issues, no punctures and a 90% mudguard adoption rate there should be shared kudos for everyone’s bike prep for a week like this. But with all the above issues there still needs to be a standout candidate for a turn in the barrel this week. So, step forward for his first nomination Paul C. His idea of mudguards was a tiny ass saver on the back of his gravel bike below his saddle. This thing was useless at keeping the mud of his own backside and no use to anyone following.
In all, a decent autumn ride with some spectacular scenery with the falling leaves and plenty of pigs to see on the road. Some challenging conditions but well ridden and definitely a fun day out in good company as usual.

Sunday Water Sports

Many of the clubs members have learned from bitter experience that the BBC’s weather forecast can be somewhat optimistic. Following a very wet day at the end of a very wet week we were promised, at worst, light rain and some standing water. Most, rightly called bullshit on that but eight turned up anyway, against all reason and in already steady, persistent rain. Two riders never even made the start having had catastrophic tyre failures on route to the start. Puncture gods got their revenge in early. After a couple of miles Jeff bailed out and swam to shore to leave 7 which thinned out to 6 at the top of Bolderwood. The rain really set in here and it became one of those rides of attrition where the only goal is survival. At times there was so much standing water it was hard to tell where the streams ended and roads began and there was no alternative but to cross fingers and play pothole roulette. Thankfully we had apparently not angered the puncture gods and miraculously made it around the route unscathed but despite this good fortune, enthusiasm for a coffee with a slice of hypothermia was less than overwhelming so everyone headed home for a well earned cocoa and hot bath.

Sotonia Hill Climb P14/HC

NFCC’s Rich Ward braved the biblical conditions to take on Sotonia’s annual race up Dean Hill in south Wiltshire on Sunday morning. Condition weren’t going to hamper the course record this year and Rich’s solid effort of a 3m02s secured him 6th place overall. Richard Parker was also seen checking out the competition and undoubtedly baiting all the “one time” climbers with stories of his successful everesting on the very same hill a few years back. Cheapeau chaps.

Gorrick Halloween XC MTB Race

Despite the rain, Graham Sharman was between the tapes for the club in the Gorrick Halloween XC MTB race. The promise of an “all weather” course (and parking) was not in vain as most of the course was hard-pack with mud on top, and a few man made jumps and drops. Sharman got away with the front group and was able to pace himself around to finish P11, 4 mins behind the leader. A huge PB for Graham, well done!

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.

Share this post