13th October 2019

It had been raining most of the week leading up to the C&F October ride and the forecast on the day looked much of the same - rain! A small but perfectly formed group of our riders appeared one by one, seventeen in total and that is the smallest ride number I can remember...

Les had opened up, got the brew on and supplied the breakfast nibbles when I got to 611 KR around 08.45. Dietmar Kohls was there already with his year 2000 Softail. Gates closed at 09.30, no one was late and the briefing was short and easy. We established no requirement for a fuel stop, and everyone knew how to get to the A3 through Putney High St so drops offs were not required until the A3 roundabout which Nigel Gaskin had gone ahead to mark. Off down the A3 and RC Ray had gone ahead to mark just before the exit at Ripley, effectively the group was all together.

After just over an hours ride following a planned detour to remove some rain/mud soaked single track roads (Farley Green) we arrived in Loxwood and the coffee break at the Onslow Arms which had opened early for us. We had previously stopped very briefly on the way to Loxwood (Albury) as a fairly sizeable branch must have just landed in the middle of the road from above. Two motorists stopped very kindly from either direction and quickly picked up the half a dozen pieces of clearly rotten tree and lobbed them in the bushes. Anyway, it was at the pub the rain appeared, reasonably heavy for a short while and we set off around 40 minutes later in that rain, fortunately it died down and mostly petered out leaving just wet roads. Around Billingshurst, then off towards Itchingfield ably marked in advance by Ray and Craig then heading south through Coolham on the way to Storrington which is where we had planned the now not required fuel stop. We were now at the bottom of our ride loop and heading to Pulborough, next Petworth before heading north to Godalming and the destination, the Red Lion approximately 95 miles in total.

Gary France had remarked that although a small group and wet roads it was however a flowing ride that finished ahead of schedule. Roast beef was the order of the day now, well it was for me!

My thanks to DoF for ‘last man’ duties, and RCs Ray, Fred and Andrew Eborn for marshalling duties. Thanks also to the riders including new to the group Peter (not new to riding) on a 69 plate Sport Glide. I’d managed to brief him ahead of the main morning prayers and he’d fitted right in. Until the next time.

Nick Deal - C&F Safety Officer