Weekly Round-up: 30 June 2024

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

NFCC Ten Series Rd.7: P182 – 25 June 2024

Find out more by CLICKING HERE.

RCR CAMS Goodwood Handicap

Nearly 100 riders lined up for the season finale Handicap race at Goodwood on Tuesday including NFCC’s Phill Brown. Riders of all categories and abilities from elite racers including ex-pro-cyclists Alex Dowsett and Ian Bibby and Olympian Ed Clancy, through to racers getting their very first taste of being on a circuit were greeted with glorious sunshine for the evening race. With the lowest category given a lap in hand, the procession of categories commenced with a few minutes given as a gap between groups, with the first rider over the line after 14 laps declared the winner. Brown started with the Cat2 group, working hard to chase down the Cat3s in just eight laps, with the Elite/Cat1 group catching them two laps earlier. Adamant to keep himself self safe and towards the front of the enlarged group, the bunch never really split until two laps to go when Grio d’Italia stage winner and ex-world hour record holder Dowsett unleashed a huge attack from the middle of the group to go clear. Four riders managed to bridge the gap to Dowsett, but the bunch were determined to sprint for the line and Brown finished a respectable 12th from the near 100 strong peloton. For those with experience of Barry’s infamous through-and-off technique – think of that, with nearly 100 riders, at 48.5km/h for 70 minutes!

The annual SDWCA time trial took place on Wednesday evening and after lots of success for NFCC last year, the women of the club followed up with another great performance. This year the event was held on the P161, a variation of the P164. The course starts by Matley Wood with a downhill start and follows the same route as the 164 but continues past the usual finish to the end of the road for an extra left turn back down towards Beaulieu to finish at Calverley. Riders reported mixed feelings about the course, enjoying the easier start but not liking the extra distance to the finish after the uphill section from Ipley Cross.

It was a hot evening for time trialling and all riders found it tough but the New Forest Women still managed some excellent performances. Emma Shepherd took the prize for fastest woman on the night in 28.29. Jenny Goddard wasn’t far behind in 29.01 as third fastest woman. Lucy Greehy improved on her time from last year with a time of 32.52. The combined time of 90.22 secured the team the prize for 1st all female team.

Dirty Dawdle

Six weeks in the planning, Jay T hosted the inaugural NFCC Dirty Dawdle on Saturday – a 70km route with a total of 9, yes NINE planned coffee/refreshments stops. Starting at the usual spot in Brockenhurst with a spot of alcohol-free prosecco for an hors d’oeuvre, the route took a winding route around Brockenhurst, dodging a bevy of deer at Blackwater, before arriving at the glorious Rhiefiled House Hotel for the first of many stops… The 11 rider & 1 support driver group enjoyed a splendid morning brew in the sun-kissed gardens of the hotel. Order were placed for the delicate bottoms among the riders and all the outside cushions in the garden were acquired without any shame.

Leaving one five star venue and heading straight for another, the group enjoyed the sights and sounds of Rhinefield Ornamental Drive and Bolderwood, skirting through the edge of the Deer Sanctuary, descending to Woods Corner and on to Burley for stop no.2. Unbeknown to Bill, who was looking for a safe way to traverse the less-raging torrent at the ford near the dead forest, Phill Brown came through at speed and ensured Bill had his morning shower – declaring the water full of e.Coli and later using that to name the groups tab! Arriving in very civilised fashion (excluding Ben – who can be seen on the left of the image, doing his best Phil Harris to get to the front of the queue) at the Burley Manor Hotel, the group took a prime spot on the terrace to enjoy even more of the morning sun. It wasn’t until the group were ready to leave that Peter Weaver held his hand up to a puncture – giving Phil & Lucy just enough time to go for a tour around the campsite opposite to snag a few more squares for wanderer.earth!
Exiting the Fleshpots of Burley, the route wasn’t to everyone’s delight when a right hand indication sent them over Castle Hill – nearly 2km section of bumpy gravel, most of which is climbing, that ends with a rolling descent towards Crow – topped off with a short road section before joining a part of the Castleman Trailway into Ringwood. Despite the usual Saturday Club Ride passing by countless times, this week the ride stopped at the Elm Tree for a spot of lunch where the support team doubled and a VIP joined the Crew.
Despite another a planned refreshment stop at Red Shoot, the team decided to press on to High Corner Inn instead to get a few more miles under their belts. Joining the ride at Red Shoot was the next generation of cyclist – Ben George Junior… If his cadence is anything to go by, it won’t be long until he’s challenging his dad for the lead of the time trial series! Phil Grant was seen disappearing into the trees for more covert photography while the group found their way around Dockens Water and on to the next stop. The beer garden at the High Corner Inn is the ideal location to loose an afternoon but with 30km still on the route sheet and the sun high over the yard arm, it was onwards to Fritham for ice-cream at The Royal Oak.
A quick dash across the forest, a dive under the A31, heading into to Minstead had a familiar feeling for a Saturday – but instead of the Community Store, it was a quick trip to the beer-garden at The Trusty Servant instead. Upon arrival, Phill B decided not to dismount the bike he was riding, and just to lean against the bank instead… only to find the bank further away than expected, leaving him sliding down the hill and taking a chunk out of his knee in the process – thankfully the only incident on the ride and as it’s Phill, it doesn’t really count anyway!
Leaving Minstead and passing through another ford at Acres Down, It wasn’t long before the group looped back through Lyndhurst, took the tracks through the forest back to Brock and landed squarely at the Foresters Arms for a spot of “apres-velo” …feeling like the group had only left Brockenhurst a short time earlier, it was nearly time for supper and thanks were passed to Jay, his co-pilot Sally and to everyone for a truly wonderful, laughter and sunshine filled day out – exactly what a day of cycling should be about, here’s to next year!

Saturday Club Ride

This week’s club ride took us offshore for a loop around the Isle of Wight. Nine riders met at Lymington for the 0900 ferry to Yarmouth. With a long hilly day in prospect a number of the group made the drive of shame to the start rather than doing additional mileage to get to Lymington. Most took the opportunity for additional coffee on the ferry. We disembarked and Dan took an unbeatable lead in the quest for who’s in the barrel this week. Just after getting off the ferry lavishly equipped with at least four toilets on every deck, he enquired where the nearest loo was! We managed to find a quiet spot a few miles down the road and this did give us a great view of a Red Squirrel so Dan’s bladder did give us a good outcome.

We continued east into the headwind and then caught the floating bridge across the river at Cowes. The ride continued eastwards for a planned lunch stop at Bembridge where some of the riders consumed massive baguettes which were enough fuel for the whole day. On the way to Bembridge we went through St Helen’s where we overtook a gentleman on a sit on lawn mower going down the road which appeared to being used as a mode of transport. We knew then that we were on the island! On leaving the café Dan’s rear tyre started squirting tubeless sealant everywhere. A swift and expert repair with a Dynaplug and CO2 cartridge got us back on the road in quick time and the repair held up for the rest of the ride. Smithy took the opportunity for a smart move to get down the road and get a head start for the hills. We were now heading westward and had the benefit of a tailwind on the Military Road. The views of the channel were spectacular, the sea was a blue that was more Mediterranean than England and certainly matched the weather we were enjoying. We continued to the very westmost point and up the steep and gratuitous climb to The Neddles Battery.
With most of the climbing done it was now just a 10Km ride back to Yarmouth and a delicious ice cream stop. Back on the ferry, coffee and beers were the order of the day. James had a spoke break on the last part of the ride but luckily it was not terminal. On reaching Lymington the ride split and everyone made their own way home. Thanks to Ben G for his route that we copied, it was appreciated by all. Thanks to the faster riders who had a fair bit of waiting at the top of some of the hills for the grupetto to arrive. Another enjoyable club ride in excellent company, made better by perfect weather.

Sunday Club Ride

Despite several Sunday regulars being absent (presumably blaming fatigue following Saturday’s IOW club ride) a pretty staggering 20 riders made it to the rather overcast start-line for this weeks Tour de mid-east of the forest. Dividing the group into three groups proved more challenging than usual with many of those asked about joining the faster group reacting towards the question as though I was sending them to the front to fight in the trenches. Great to see Tony. B back in the fold even if as club welfare officer there was a risk that, as club welfare officer I’d have to ‘make an intervention’, as he showed semi-explicit photo’s of his recent groin injuries to our newbie female rider.

With several new riders joining us and quite a few coming back from injury or sickness we split the remainder into approximately two groups and set out for pastures old. Despite several riders being concerned that they might struggle with the pace, everyone seemed comfortable at a reasonably brisk 27.5 kph so we made good progress with no one being dropped. Happily, no major incidents to report with at least 15 making back to Setley ridge to further swell the coffers of their shareholders. Hot topics of conversation this week were ‘exremities’, how one should wear one’s sunglasses (inside or out. It’s out but…), jaunty helmet angles and riding no-handed on a club ride (the answer is always no). Jane Hardy (Sunday regular and downhill bully) and I also discussed the onerous duties that we have both performed so far as the clubs welfare officers, nada. But worth reminding folk that we are here if needed so if you have any concerns about a fellow member or need to reach out we are here… Contact details are available HERE.

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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