09 Apr, The White Horse, aka, The Pub with no name, aka Slumpy's Ride, (14,8)
Updated: Apr 17, 2019
Blog for 9th April 2019 – Slumpy’s ride:
Once again its time to focus our attention on one of our number and who better than the Ladies favourite from the antipodes, Slumpy.
Born in 1798, the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Slumpy, originally from Lambeth before the family were transported to the colonies for the heinous crime of loitering with intent to use a pedestrian crossing.
Anyway Slumpers grew up in a loving household which worked mainly with sheep (some sort of counselling service I think, but Slumpy is a bit vague on this point). However, it was not long before the Motherland called our hero away from the land of Sheep, and duly, he turned up in Blighty with his usual “can do” attitude. Being skilled at many things he has worked with the high and mighty but he is no-one’s patsy. In one celebrated incident, he was invited by the Estate Manager to refer to Lord Privilegedbutstillstupid as “your Lordship” and when our Slumpers addressed him as “Sir” promptly got the sack. This only goes to show how principled and high minded our man is, in fact he is a HERO.
Having read this far, I am sure you are full of expectation for news of a SHABI ride named after this very person, indeed you might even be regretting that you had to stay at home to deal with that tricky nasal hair problem.
This ride was dreamt up by Slumpy, lobbied for with the Lord Points Master by Slumpy who also convinced the rest of the Peleton to ride from the Trooper Inn Nr Petersfield.
What could go wrong?
Well firstly the RM (Smashie) called the Trooper Inn to check if food was served up to 8.45. The answer machine response (spoken in a faux Thai accent) went “…you want know what time open? Read website. …. Leave message” perhaps he should have added “….and fluck off”. Genghis also tried, but also failed, so the ride began from the White Horse aka the pub with no name who were more than accommodating on the food – more of this later.
Cometh the hour and cometh; Slumpy, Tonka, Plastic Man, Chuffy, Sir Fallalot, Smashie (RM), Genghis and all were ready but no Algy – he screams into the carpark sending riders leaping for cover 5 minutes after the 6:30 “ready for pedal off” deadline – there will be misdemeanour points.
So we set off with Smashie in the RM position using a satnav application on his phone, and although many were sceptical, progress was good if a little halting. Disaster, Plastic Man, having retired after 100m of the last ride, has another drive train failure. He had a slightly mad expression on his face saying he had been promised by the bike shop his bike had been fully tested. Yet here he was, with a failed drive train and with the rest of the Peleton looking on with pity. If looks could kill the local bike shop is in trouble.
Never mind, Smashie to the rescue telling Plastic Man to ride the remainder of the route on the Big Ring – sorted in more ways than one. Not only did his bike now work perfectly but
Plastic Man is now to be known as BIG RING (PS he turned his nose up at this new nickname – so it’s the right one!).
So we press on and along the old railway track with Tonka worried that his Hi-viz jacket would make good target practice since he alleges we were riding almost exclusively on Footpaths. This is completely untrue of course….as if a responsible RM like Smashie would ever consider such a thought …tut tut.
Over the A324456 London to Aberdeen road and we turn left up a hill, which although rideable to start, turns into a ploughed field. The mud is so thick the wheels do not go around like they should with full-sus bikes particularly badly bogged down. Unbelievable amounts of energy required to move the bike just a few feet. We plough on (fnarr fnarr) and finally reach a stretch of road that is pretty much like a rock garden but worse with builders rubble strewn everywhere. Good skills to pass over this section unharmed and the Peleton manage … just about. More superhuman efforts and finally we hit a bit of green lane only for Big Ring to have a puncture.
NOTE there are still two riders who have yet to go tubeless – you know who you are!
All fixed and we move off in good order through some beautiful rolling countryside resplendent in the dusk:
However, before we get into the next part of the ride I would like to remind you of the well-known legislation which, just as Brexit is today, was on everybody’s mind back in 1990 – namely The Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations 1989 Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990. Now to make this information accessible for our younger readers this is a story about:
'The adventures of Mr Ploppy'
Mr Ploppy came into this world and started life by being flushed down the toilet and then, via a maze of sewage pipes, arrives in a modern computer controlled Effluent treatment plant. Within minutes Mr Ploppy has been macerated and left in a large settling tank along with many tonnes of Mr Ploppy’s relatives. What’s left of Mr Ploppy is then tuned into either Liquid anaerobically digested sludge OR de-watered sludge cake. No happy ending for Mr Ploppy then.
But not all is lost, if you apply dewatered sludge cake to farmland, the organic content can improve the water-retaining capacity and structure of soil. Not forgetting that Liquid anaerobically digested sludge releases ammonia nitrogen which is easily taken up by plants and benefits grassland. So Mr Ploppy didn’t die a horrible death in vain.
Remembering that this ride is first and foremost Slumpy’s ride, your RM took a gamble with bit of single-track which unfortunately led through a field that had been recently visited by the farmer with the remains of the anaerobically digested Mr Ploppy spread all over with a topping of straw.
The result was a complete assault on the senses; the stench was indescribably bad with many riders gagging with the overpowering odour de Mr Ploppy. The the anaerobically digested Mr Ploppy and straw combo also stopped everything moving with; wheels jammed against suspension, cranks stuck in manure spilling over the frame, chainwheels disappeared into the mire, and many chains became detached from their cogs. Nobody moved whilst stuck in the limbo of hell.
Riders resorted to desperate measure to get underway and escape the overpowering smell .. it was every man for himself. Some riders had to scoop bits of Mr Ploppy out of their forks, chainsets, wheels etc with their bare hands. In case you were wondering, Mr Ploppy had the consistency of very thick slimy black grease, which combined the straw, made removal only possible by hand … oh that was horrible, and the sensation will haunt most riders till they die. The situation was such that some called out for their mummies. Even Slumpy got a bit bottom lip wobbly.
After what seemed like a month, the peleton emerge onto the road in a state of Post Traumatic Shock and suddenly we realise Algy is missing in action. OMG is he still out there? Has he been overcome? Has he got any good bits on his bike we can have? To our great disappointment Algy emerges from the field of poop with a major tyre failure and he, his bike and the tyre are covered in Mr Ploppy.
Tonka comes to the rescue with a can “auto-inflating of sealant”. Hoping for a miracle (and not having to change the tire covered in poop) we attached the device and pray. White gooey stuff sprays everywhere covering Smashie and Algy in white sticky foam, however the tyre remains resolutely flat. There are murderous thoughts as we realise we are going to miss the food being very delayed and with one rider immobile.
So Smashie and a team of the brave go for the van whilst Algy and Big Ring try to fix the puncture. Misdemeanor point for Algy for failing to bring a spare tube.
Smashie and Tonka kill themselves getting back to the van in record time and just as Smashie sets off in the style reminiscent of Thunderbirds and International Rescue, Algy calls in and is on his way back to the pub with Big Ring.
So off with the stinky clothes and into the pub. God bless em – they had cooked our food and it was all waiting for us – well done White Horse – we love you. It was now that we discovered that despite changing clothes and thoroughly washing hands that we all smelt very strongly of Mr Ploppy, and thoughts turned to how this was going to be received at home.
Many adventurous schemes were devised including; stripping naked and getting straight into bed with amorous intent (guaranteed to put one’s partner into a deep sleep), Join the dog in the kennel (discounted due to animal cruelty) or sleep in the garden. I will report on the success, or not, in the next blog.
Finally I must pay tribute to all riders who survived this ride and it was testament to the fantastic team spirit that Slumpy has not been lynched. Can we still exile deserving reprobates to the penal colonies?
Footnote – many riders, aware of the seriously corrosive properties of anaerobically digested sludge, cleaned their bikes when they got home. It was an awful job and just when you though the bike was clean …some more would become apparent. I can report that the following morning the neighbourhood of Nyewood had a certain aroma and I left the house before the washing machine cycle had finished.
Scores on the doors.
I LOVE YOU ALL