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10 Nov, King Edward Sanitorium, (10,10)

Blog 10 November 2021 – The King Edward Sanitorium and the decent of certain death

Dearest SHABI’s

SHOCK. We start this blog with shocking news – Genghis – for it was he, decided that the weather was suitable for his attendance on Tuesday night after he had undertaken an exhaustive analysis of the weather forecast, and after examining hedgehog entrails.

After using his new toys, Genghis was confident tonight's conditions might be ok

So joining Genghis were a further dozen riders including; Lootenant Dan, Lecky Lee, Slumpy and his carer Tonka, Strangely, Faff, Slash, Daisy, Dobbs, TsJ, Big Ring and RM Smash.


CONTROVERSY. We meet the Midhurst Manor Gang in the car park….worse still…they claim to have recruited not one, but TWO regular Lady riders. Slumpy is aghast, and asks if we can share ….. but luckily his carer steps in and no-one is offended.


FOOD – we order pizza before we set off and await the arrival of Big Ring who is a tad late – but we love him so all is forgiven.


PREAMBLE – Before the ride starts, its usual to talk about the riders but this week your blogger has decided to reveal some of the mysterious inner workings of the SHABI Association. There are many committees staffed by hard working SHABI volunteers all contributing the overall excellence of everything. So this week your blogger will concentrate on the workings of the “Totally Unnecessary Accessories and Bike Enhancements” sub-committee chaired jointly by Faff and Smash. As you may recall the sub-committee previously considered “colour” and has decided in the light of the current controversy about everything, that “colour” is not important and that “black” is not a colour and anyway is far too controversial these days. So the committee co-chairpersons decided to co-opt LBD and head for Wales to test out some new accessories for the benefit of other riders.

Accessory #1 – Energy bars – Faff declared halfway around Cwm Carn that he was hungrier than an Ethiopian peasant on a diet and needed immediate sustenance. Thus we deployed every single bit of food we were carrying to keep our hero on the trail. Rating 10/10

Accessory #2 – Air – used to inflate the tyres on your bike. Smash had a very serious sense of humour failure dealing with a rock garden in Coed y Brenin. He claims his tyres were not inflated correctly. Equally the committee recall Genghis running his tyres with only a few atoms of air in the tube. Our feeling is that air in the tyre is overemphasised in some magazines. Rating 5/10

Accessory #3 – A good phone camera. Despite significant support from Faff, Smash and LBD agree the Samsung range is better than Apple. Samsung rating 8/10, Apple 4/10.

Accessory #4 – Good map reading software on your phone. OMN on Smash’s phone was a winner here. Rating 9/10

Accessory #5 – Bike cleaning kit by Muc-off back at base camp (Hafod y Cwm). Agreed that everything was dandy except for the lighting (couldn’t see the bikes) and poor waterflow. Rating 5/10.

Oh and by the way, although the primary purpose of the trip to Wales was to test some new accessories …we had a great time riding the trails. The “Totally Unnecessary Accessories and Bike Enhancements” sub-committee will be convening another trip to Wales soon, and maybe some might to join in the arduous SHABI Accessory Testing programme and suggest some new accessories to test. Can’t wait.


So, onto the ride, and up to base camp on Bexley Hill. We overtake, and are then overtaken, by the Midhurst manor Gang. All is well with Strangely doing a grand job bringing up the rear as DRM.

Despite much pre-ride lobbying for a “gentle” ride, the RM was having none of it and we head towards, and past, the King Edward VI Sanitorium as it was known. Now of course an extensive development of houses in a gated community with prices starting at £2M. They may have the money, but the whole place lacks soul and feels really unfriendly.

Smashie thinking about starting a cycling group, circa 1907

We get to the end of the road and we stop for micturition and the RM gathers his thoughts. “Hmmm shall I stop the punishment, or keep dishing it out?” You know the answer.

We descend a vertiginous bit of single track that could easily be classed as …er um a Black run at yer local bike park …oh crumbs did I say black? Anyway, whilst your blogger self-flagellates over the use of the word Black, Tonka announces that he would not be falling off his bike and of course, promptly did so. Dobbs also put in a bid for worst crash whilst stationary Award. Luckily no injuries.

I really don't know what's happening in this picture

Everyone recovers and we head for the descent of certain death. Yes it is that steep, and we enjoy zipping in and out of the trees so much so that Smash has his head torch removed from his helmet by a passing branch.

Again, I can't explain what's heppening here

Onto the road and we head down various tracks past the old private school (now in liquidation) and head towards Stedham. Over the A272222 and onto Iping Common. More serious singletrack until we emerge into the central metropolis of Bepton.

All a bit chaotic in Bepton, best avoided on busy Tues eves

Then past the fire station and some urban riding past the duck pond to Midhurst Castle. Then past the Midhurst ruin and, avoiding “Smashie’s post of humiliation”, head through the polo fields and back to the pub.

A great meal of Pizza and beverage, the service was a bit slow, but on the other hand the pizzas are very good and fair value at £20 per head.


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)

Dear Binky,

I like my Lycra bib shorts and they were very expensive. I particularly like wearing them at night.

Unfortunately, some other riders claim that when they ride behind me with their full-strength lights on, they can see right up my arse crack. Apparently, this is not a pretty sight and they can even see some “children” waiting to come out to play.

What can I do? I was thinking of taking them all to court and accusing them of bullying and discrimination. What do you think?

Your sincerely

T of Nyewood

Dear T,

It’s a good point you raise and I can confirm I have received reports that other riders have the same issue (threadbare shorts revealing much more than usual).

You can look at it a number of ways:

  1. No-one is going to follow you too closely as an inadvertent “backfire” and consequential failure of the lycra is likely to see one of your “children” (as you so delicately put it) hitting them in the face. No-one wants that when they have their mouth open and struggling for breath up a steep hill. If they keep back, no one can be offended by what they can’t see.

  2. There is also the possibility of romance, and you might get some admirers who try and become very “familiar” having had sight of your exposed rear end. Apparently this is all the rage these days. You might consider wearing a string vest in summer to further enhance your appeal to this type of person.

  3. You could place a suitable “bung” in place to keep your “children” from annoying the neighbours. Perhaps paint a smiley face on your arse cheeks to make people feel happy.

  4. You could even buy some new shorts. That should be a last resort.

I hope that helps.


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