10 May 22, Hinton Arms
Blog 10 May 2022 – The Hinton Arms – the Prodigal Route Master returneth from oblivion
It is well known that any group of dedicated Mountain Bikers is in want of a Route Master. And so it was that the RM known as Smashie was wheeled out to lead the group known as the “Sussex and Hampshire Association of Biking Idiots” known as the SHABI’s for short.
Dear Reader, although I am sure you want to hear all about the details of the route and the excellent trails in central Hampshire, first of all we must talk about the riders.
Although traditional to go through an in-depth profile of a particular “featured” rider to give colour to the otherwise anodyne character sitting on the bike, this week a general round up of all relevant news is chosen by this blogger after an absence due to a little tumble.
So what have they all been up to?
· Whoops-a-Daisy – Our Daiz has been in recovery after being pushed off his bike by a fellow rider. It is alleged that Daiz was in the red zone and his assailant was “trying to help”.
There are also allegations that Daiz threw himself off his bike deliberately to “gain sympathy” and cover up his lack of effort. Who knows where the truth lies in these days of fake news.
· Tonka – is now rivalling the “Potter Independent Traders” and is into selling all forms of genuine antiques (old tat to you and me) in the various Car Boot sales around the country. He travels there on his new 950cc moped (surely not?) and looks like one of those chaps from the Indian sub-continent travelling to market. Law Enforcement Operatives leave well alone because if he falls off his moped the road would be blocked for a week. I understand he is making “good money”
· Chuffy – Our very own Law Enforcement Operative is facing a serious work crisis as he is being asked to use “initiative” and has ben remarkably successful in deploying these skills, so much so that his local “operational headquarters” has actually been able to detain some miscreants for allegedly breaking the law. Its amazing what you can do with a fresh supply of paperclips and pencil sharpener. Sadly, as you will see later on, our Chuffy is having difficulty separating his “home life” and “work life” – it happens to the best of us.
· Slumpy – our very own Health and Safety officer is living life to the full. As Window Cleaner to the stars he is also branching out into fence repairs which is a natural extension of his business empire. He has recently been on a motorbike based road trip on his 750cc moped to Wales and I understand everything went well and no locals were injured physically. The mental scars will take time.
· Love Bus Driver – A prime suspect in the case of the “missing timber” case currently being investigated by various forces throughout the land. It is alleged that our hero has been purloining freshly fallen trees in the dead of night and chopping them up and storing the results in his front garden. He is adopting the “travelling community” defence in so much that “it was left lying around so I thought no one wanted it”. The case is ongoing.
· Genghis – New drugs = new man. Making full use of the SHABI rules on Performance Enhancing drugs and that they are permitted use at all times, our Genghis is now a dedicated fitness fanatic and will apparently come out in all weathers. Fliipin heck – I want what he’s on.
· Nurse Brown – Our very own political antichrist who supports every political party as long as they are “bankers” – that’s what I thought I heard him say.
· Strangely – Another participant in the road trip to Wales on a 1100cc Moped where he enjoyed the local hospitality with Slumpy. Either he managed to top up his permatan or he hasn’t washed since his return.
· Tarmac St John – currently designing roads for the Ukraine National Army. It involved digging a bloody big hole and putting up a sign that says “Russian tanks this way” (obviously in Russian!)
· Slash – Doing his thang in the flesh spots of Majorca which he disguises as part of his day job in aerial photography of luxury boats. I understand the brand of boats he particularly interested in is the “princess” range – who would have thought hob knobbing with royalty.
· Big Rig – Currently acting as a stand in stunt double for Hulk Hogan – I have a feeling this will not end well.
· Tony the Tiger – an irrepressible 97 years old next week and planning to cycle to the north pole wearing his budgie smugglers and water wings for the swimming bits – good luck our Tony
· Faff Cheeks – Covid or maybe a cold or maybe the flue or maybe measles – tests continue
· Major Meccano – work shit in Manchester
So onto the rider and we welcome new rider Fiona who has been given a temporary nickname of Argy Bargy.
We are given a warm welcome from the Hinton Arms and they are super organised and happy to accommodate the new SHABI food ordering and paying methodology (updated rule 82 part C subsection ii)
We set off and it’s a hesitant start as very few SHABI’s can actually count to 14 so we are not sure who is with us and who isn’t; The DRM is TsJ and he counts 14 so that is good enough for the Rm. Attendees include: New rider Argy, Smashie RM, TsJ DRM, Daisy, Slumpy and his carer Tonka, Chuff, LBD, Genghis, Nurse Brown, Strangely, Slash, Big Ring and Tony the Tiger. Phew that’s a lot of riders.
Along the Alresford Road and we turn up the hill towards Gander Down and come across some other riders who the RM actually knew from a previous business deal. Much chatting and micturition and we set off again along Allan King Way. Obviously, the name stems from the former publicity officer of the Ramblers Association who was instrumental in setting out this long-distance route. Personally, I find honouring the “ordinary folk” a bit tedious when it could be named after something more interesting like; The seven horses of the Apocalypse way.
We cross the A31 Stranraer to Miami main road and enjoy the beautiful bluebells on the other side in Little Hampage wood. Then the unfortunate incident with Chuffy and “work life balance”. Seeing an opportunity at Avington Manor Farm to take a shortcut, our hero thought nothing of it as he was demonstrating the type of initiative that he has been so highly praised for at work. OH NO! that’s not the SHABI way unless you are RM and there was consternation throughout the peloton. Its all in good humour and we set off towards Big Hampage wood and some gnarly single track which fair terrified our Smashie who has little lie down to rest his brain.
Then through Bushy Close and into the central metropolis of Ovington. Up St Swithuns way and many riders are given misdemeanour points for overtaking the RM and putting him in the red zone. Notable for his courteous behaviour was our Chuffy suitably chastened from his “initiative” experience.
Avoiding the Golf course because it has hills and Smashie is not quite the full ticket at the moment, we head towards the Oxdrove tracks and home. We meet a chap in a Hyudai Atoz fully tooled up with various guns who tells us to be aware of other “shooters” in the woods. He also tells us there is a missing dog but not to approach it. We can’t make up our minds after the encounter; Helpful chap or escapee from Broadmore.
Past the burnt-out car of doom and it was not possible to identify the make or model without Faff so we move on!
Back to the pub and everything is well and we settle down to a great meal and its very social. Top marks to the Hinton arms for seamlessly organising the food and the payment of the bills. Why can’t all pubs be like this?
I love you all ♥
Scores on the doors
BINKY BYKEKNUT – A Cycling legend answers your questions
In this feature, Binky will fearlessly tackle any personal or technical issues you might have (these can be submitted via the SHABI Whatsapp group)
Gone on holiday – back soon with more answers to your questions.