Weekly Round-up: 3 Mar 2024

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

NFCC Virtual TT

On Tuesday, we had six riders participate in the second of our virtual time trials on Zwift. The course was a rolling one, involving two laps of the loch in virtual Scotland. Reece Dawson secured the top spot with a fantastic time of 22:10. Phil Grant took 2nd place with 23:32, and James Allen finished 3rd with 25:19. It was great to see Cathrine Pascoe join the race this week, finishing with a solid time of 29:38. The standings for the Virtual TT league after two races are as follows: Michael Johnston holds 1st place with 22 points, Mark Cowling is in 2nd with 20 points, and Reece D and Jay Tee are tied for 3rd place with 15 points each. Only three cyclists turned up for Thursday’s Chain Gang ride, which may indicate that people are growing tired of indoor training and eager to get outside.

Saturday Club Ride

With a pretty horrible weather forecast, roads flooded and covered with mud it was not a good outlook for this week’s club ride. Only nine riders broke contact with their duvets and made the start in Brockenhurst. The planned route was a relatively short 107 km but quite punchy hill-wise. We had the bonus of club kitman Joe hawking his wares and plugging the club’s 90th Anniversary jerseys in the car park before the start. This was appreciated by those wanting to order the right size, but he did look more Rodney than Del Boy showing his samples out the back of his car. Joe had elected not to ride with us as he had some errands to do Winchester way, so we thanked him and wished him well for his solo effort. We did welcome back Phill B for his first club ride of the year. Obviously, the money we had raised to ship him out to New Zealand for a couple of months had run out and they had no hesitation in deporting him back to us. Unfortunately for the hapless scribe and ride organiser the nine riders assembled were essentially eight who normally or should ride in Group One and one who is most definitely Group Two. So, it was a one-group ride and going to be a long hard day for one rider!

We set off towards Sway, then Setthorns, Burley, Bransgore and down Braggers Lane. At this point, Matt K found that his front disk brake was loose but happily managed to come to a halt before Ringwood Road. Phill B whipped out his tool (he doesn’t need to be asked twice) and made a quick adjustment. We continued north though Crow and some deep water between Poulner and Moyles Court. We had been pre-warned by Graham of the problems in that area and as we did not have Peter W to check the depth of the water at Harbridge this week, we diverted north to Fordingbridge and picked up the route at Sandleheath. Mark C was spotted departing The Potting Shed having followed the full route – fortunately, all his triathlon experience helped him to get through the waters at Harbridge!
All proceeded as normal, and we made the coffee stop at the club’s favourite Potting Shed in Hyde. When Matt K makes a bid to be in the barrel for a week his normal modus operandi is to make it a trifecta so to add to his disk brake fail he tried to add to his tally at the café. Having no body fat and being underdressed for the day he was shivering in the café and luckily Phil G lent him a gilet. At the time to leave he had “lost” his sunglasses. A frantic search ensued but eventually they were found on his back sitting between his jersey and the borrowed gilet. This completed his hattrick of misdemeanours but still didn’t get him into the barrel this week. We regrouped as an eight as Simon had ridden on and passed on the coffee. More hills ensued and then we said goodbye to young Matt, Graham and later Baz. We had the usual headwind across Ocknell’s Plain and some sterling work on the front from Phil G, Jay T and Phill B got us to Milkham where Matt K turned off.
Now down to four, we headed back to Brock where Barry peeled off at his road and the last three standing completed the route, so kudos to Phill B, Phil G and Jay T. Having already established that Matt K hadn’t done enough to get into the barrel this week and had only made third place on the podium, there’s still the matter of the top two places. Second are the Group Two riders who normally made up the grupetto on the climbs with Barry. Those that left him to suffer alone please hang your heads in shame. But far and away the worst offenders this week are all those who decided to stay indoors and ride on Zwift due to a slightly iffy weather forecast. The Zwift Gods sent phone notifications of all the lightweights logging onto Zwift to an unknown reporter, so we know who you are, Zwift has outed every one of you!
The nine that rode this week were treated to some quite decent weather as it turned out, so chapeau to you all.

Wessex CX Prize Giving 2023/4

Saturday evening saw the prize giving for the outgoing Wessex Cyclocross season which started in 27 degrees at a dusty Clanfield and finished with a decidedly muddier and chillier day at Crow. Find out more by CLICKING HERE

Sunday Club Ride

Cyclists are of course optimistic and trusting souls by nature so despite the absolutely baltic ride to the meeting point the promise of sunshine, no rain and negligible wind tempted an almost record turnout of 22 to the start line. Always great to welcome new riders so particularly pleased to have three first timers on this weeks ride. As the group assembled and spread out, almost filling the car park, Colin managed to put the group leader on edge by going the wrong way around the car park’s one-way system just as a police car and its rather stern looking officers of the law followed closely behind. Luckily the officers were only in Brookley rd to pop into the local Tesco express for a supply of their finest doughnuts and to my mind seemed surprisingly indifferent to his contemptuous attitude towards one-way flow systems. And they wonder why the country’s in the state it is! Naturally I have reported him for the good of both the club and society in general. With such high numbers we decided to split into three, fairly equal groups of… well, you can do the math.

Groups one and two set out at a moderate pace with group three a more gentle affair. Group one fell prey to an early flat however on the climb up Bolderwood with newcomer Jonathan the unlucky victim. The young, light Belgian visitor who was wearing Jumbo Visma team kit and could easily be mistaken for any one of the pro team, could be seen arms out hailing the team car (well according to Phil G anyway). Phil G though was good enough to stop and help him with the puncture unlike everyone else who legged it up the hill. Group two soon caught group one at the top of Bolderwood, bid them a reasonably polite good-day, and headed off at a lively pace down towards Emery Down and the enclave of Minstead. With the promised sunshine still hanging around and the temperature rising, some people started to notice that it was actually quite nice out. Group two took advantage of the conditions and put the hammer down for a few K, everyone seemed ‘up for it’ and to be revelling in the end of winter and though it may be a false Dawn, the start of Spring.
About 15 made it to Setley Ridge Cafe. Groups one and two arrived almost together with group three arriving just as the others were finishing their aperitifs and preparing to head home. With Steve B and Axum away it was left to others to gorge on the fine vittles on offer with one selecting a vast and rather tempting Sausage sandwich. For a Sunday club ride, this week was a pretty pacy affair but I think enjoyed by all with perhaps the exception of Rupert who had rather ambitiously joined group one adding about 10 years to the average age (Sorry Rupert). Rupert always looks pretty cheerful but when we met up at the cafe looked like he was regretting at least one of his life choices. Many riders took advantage of the fair conditions to add some extra miles. A really enjoyable Sunday club ride.

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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