Weekly Round-up: 7 Jan 2024
All the latest news, events, and results from NFCC Members from this week’s two-wheeled adventures…
Saturday Club Ride
It wouldn’t be a club ride without a last-minute change of plan and this week was no exception. With the Crow to Bransgore road being underwater the ride was re-planned late on Friday. Thanks to Graham and Matt K for the local intelligence there. We welcomed Paul and Simon for their first club rides and hope to see them again soon. With a cold dry day forecast thirteen riders arrived at the start suitably attired so it was decided to set off in two pelotons. Serial sadist Barry had planned a ride heading northwards to Whitsbury so the first ninety minutes or so were into a bracing northerly headwind.
|The roads were predictably wet and flooded in places where we had never seen flooding before and that’s despite us riding two days after the peak. Much care was needed and a few diversions around fords and large puddles was required. Whilst near the stud farm at Whitsbury the usual comfort break was taken by the riders with the smallest bladders. It has previously been noted here that this display leaves the mares unimpressed and the stallions unintimidated but this time the riders were making the somewhat valid excuse that it was very cold! The rides progressed steadily as planned until Alderholt. The second group, generally populated by the older and wiser members thought that Harbridge might be flooded so diverted via Fordingbridge. The first group, generally youthful and impetuous ploughed on regardless. By this time, they had been joined by club stalwart Peter W which conveniently levelled up the average age of both groups at a stroke.
|Group one faced the flood at Harbridge and contemplated the next course of action. Despite having a champion triathlete in the group, Natalie, there was no volunteer to swim across the flood to test it. Peter volunteered to take one for the team and try it and later regretted his decision. He manfully made it across but after watching his heroics the remainder of the group decided to double back and say adios to Peter who had learned enough not to attempt the return journey. So, for the first time it’s Peter’s turn in the barrel this week.
|Group two were not without issue. The ride had been planned as a non-stop ride with no coffee stop. Being one of the Whitsbury Waterers, Graham now had an empty bladder and plans for a long ride. He initiated a mutiny within the peloton, so an impromptu coffee stop was made at Hockey’s. The rides continued searching for the higher ground and there was another headwind test across Ocknell’s Plain to Roger Penny Way and back which gave us the opportunity for some Through and Off practice. All made it back OK and just a single puncture across both groups was a good result for such conditions. Forecast looks dry this week so hopefully see the return of the club’s hydrophobic members next week!
Sunday Club Ride
Sunday morning was cold and a little windy but after the tempestuous recent weeks it was nice to be dry. 12 made the start line, one or two by the skin of their teeth and we set out on quiet roads in one very tidy and well behaved group. By the time we had climbed Mt Bolderwood, a couple more had joined making it 14 and we had naturally become spread out so we split into two groups and faced into the headwind out to Nomansland. It didn’t feel like a day for heroics and everyone seemed happy with a steady pace until we went up the dreaded Col de Pipers Wait when some of the young guns gave it the beans. I was too far behind at this point to see who had claimed the spotted jersey but I suspect it was one of the three James’s in the group. Come to think about it James Mason was never seen again so maybe it was the start of his breakaway to victory. Due to the group leaders brilliant planning (ahem) we had a lovely tailwind for most of the return leg back to the cafe. The second group made it back a little while later in dribs and drabs, apparently having disintegrated as a coherent unit at some point. Setley ridge offered its usual high standard of cakeage and coffee. All in all, a classic winter club ride.
Wessex CX 23/24: Rd.11 – Andover
Another week, another Wessex league event. This Sunday the racing returned to Andover – find out how Team NFCC got on and how many Puncture Matt Knight achieved this week by CLICKING HERE.
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 email@example.com.