15th Jan, The Barleymow, Walderton (9,13) The two peak challenge.
The recent spell of dry weather meant that the usually slippy chalk and impenetrable mud of the area just south of the South Downs was actually rideable. This gave Fracker an idea of what might be possible on a cold Tuesday evening in January……. little did he know.
Kingley Vale – as the name suggests is an imposing lump with impressive views of Bognor,
Chichester, Chichester Harbour and the Isle of Wight. Well when it is light that is.
Nine - yes better than last week – optimistic Shabis gathered in the car park of The Barleymow. Almost promptly but better than last week.
No food at the inn declared the hosteller – little did he know – after some haggling and persuasion – there was food at the inn after all – as long as we were back on time. Not a problem. Sir Fallalot claimed to be ready - but little did he know – he decided to use lights as opposed to the Force this week.
The first peak of the two peak challenge was Kingley Vale – we took the easy route up. But little did we know – not that easy from a cold start. Still everyone warmed up by the summit and listened to Fracker describe the views that would be visible in the light. About half the group then decided that they knew the way and set off directly north-east. Little did they know. The route went back south-west to find some lovely single track which everyone enjoyed.
Broad bridleways and a bit of road – and a genuine fall for Corky - took us to the foot of the climb to the Trundle – peak no. 2. With a careful eye on the watch - and the need for a prompt arrival for dinner, Fracker announced that it would all be fine to attempt the second peak. Little did he know. There then ensured a game of calls for the lead riders to stop and turn around to be thoroughly ignored. And we climbed to about the equivalent of an advanced camp – just below the summit – and punctuality won the day. The pub was calling, fast descent down the wall to West Dean, Followed by what Daisy was told was just a small climb - little did he know. Via Chilgrove and the climb up the back of Kingley Vale, then fast descent through the woods to Stoughton and back on the road.
Time elapsed 2:00:22.
Thanks for the great turnout – Fracker, Dobbie, Old/Young Nick, Slumpy II, Sir Fallalot, Chuff, Daisy, Smashie, Corky.
So a tough 14 miles – yes better than last week - , meals for all but Old/Young Nick, Fall point for Corky, Disobedience points for Smashie and Chuff (Votes of no-confidence being all the rage) . T- Shirt points for Fracker, Smashie, Daisy, Dobbie, Chuff – I think. And the warmest welcome from the pub staff – of the year. Well it was better than last week.