Hough amply demonstrates his two-wheeled versatility in the London Cyclo-Cross League event

Group photo taken after the Tourist Trial. Picture by Brett Davis
Group photo taken after the Tourist Trial. Picture by Brett Davis

Not content with his second place in the previous Sunday’s hill climb up the tarmac ascent of Ditchling Beacon Lewes Wanderer’s Patrick Hough amply demonstrated his two-wheeled versatility when competing in the London Cyclo-Cross League event held at Penshurst Off-Road Cycling in Kent on Sunday 8th November and promoted by Addiscombe CC.

Having not raced in any of the previous 7 rounds Patrick was unseeded and so forced to start in the middle of the bunch of 78 riders eager for the off in mild, but cloudy conditions.

After a furious first lap on a very muddy and technical course he had made it up to sixth place. His ability to ride fast was, however, not matched by his ability to fully control his machine on such a slippery surface and on lap two he somersaulted through some brambles on a hairpin bend to land headfirst on the path below.

Commendably he picked himself up, quickly remounted, regained his bearings and worked his way back to sixth place after lap 4. Despite three more crashes on what was becoming a very rutted and treacherous course, Patrick used his climbing prowess to good advantage when picking his way past two more riders and avoiding other, now lapped, riders to gain back lost time lap-after-lap.

As such from being over a minute down after going over the handlebars on lap two the Lewes man crossed the finish line barely 10 seconds behind the second placed rider.

Club-mate Stephen Burgess was also back in action finishing 75th out of 126 in his race.

Meanwhile back amongst the leafy lanes of Sussex a motley crew of Lewes Wanderers amused themselves with round 1 of the club’s Reg Porter Competition. The traditional curtain-raiser is known as the Tourist Trail and last year’s overall winner of this tripartite challenge Paul Gibbons had devised a suitably devious test to divine his successor. Each competitor was issued with a set of directions that would lead them on a circuitous tour up hill and down dale past, but not into, a succession of the Weald’s finest hostelries. At each of which they would have to stop to look for the answer to at least one question; as if this wasn’t sufficient exercise for body and mind some of these relied on a small amount of general or even local knowledge, making this something between a pub quiz and a pub crawl, only without the beer.

Fastest to complete the 27 or so mile course that ultimately led to the rendezvous cafe in Hurst Green was your correspondent, albeit at the expense of stopping long enough to ensure correct answers were provided in place of educated guesses. Top scorer in this wild guess chase was Michael Turner who arrived shortly afterwards along with Ian McGuckin who was only one mark shy of your correspondent.

While this is supposed to be a competition there is nothing within the rules prohibiting collaboration so whether by design or happenstance Ali Brockhurst, Dave Hodgson, Dom Lowden and Simon Yates ended up with identical scores to Ian even if they all rolled in together a few minutes later. Strangely due to a quirk of the rules none of these entrants was the winner as Chris Martin, realising come Cade Street that he was running late, decided to cut his losses, avoid the prescribed route via Dallington and Robertsbridge and make a bee-line down an A-road in order to reach the finish before even the organiser. With penalty points for lateness and other competitors Lisa and Brett Davis, Aidan McConville and Dan Street providing even fewer answers having ridden even less of the course due to mechanical issues or poor navigation Chris was duly proclaimed the surprise victor.

For more info on all club activities see www.leweswanderers.co.uk

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