11 Aug Midhurst Madness, (11,19)
Updated: Apr 7
11th August 2020 – the Madness of Midhurst
It was 36°C according to the dashboard of the van as Smashie rolled into the dodgy car park behind the bus station in Midhurst High Street. After careering around the corner scattering OAP’s in all directions it was a welcome sight of another five SHABI’s waiting to ride; Chuffy, C2C7, Captn FrackBladder (Bah), Tonka, Strangely Brown, Faff Cheeks, Big Ring, Dobby, Whoops-a-Daisy and Tarmac St John.
First it was noted that there were many new bikes acquired before lockdown and having their first outing including;
· Dobbie on another Orange Bird (that adds to the fleet of Faff’s and CFB’s Orange Birds)– accessorised with a blue headset and other matching parts – Faff Cheeks is super jealous and is now to be seen scouring the internet for blue parts to add to his bike. How about a blue Four4th “Holy Mosses” front light?
· C2C7 on a Pace 529 – nope never heard of it either but it looked the business. Our C2C7 seemed very at home with it and to be fair, it looked very smart with the slim steel frame tubes and grey finish.
· Captn Frackbladder (Bah) on his black and white YT Jeffsey – “ …but he’s had that bike for ages..” I hear you say. Ah technically yes ….you would be right …… but this is bike number 1 in a fleet of three bikes and has been extensively rebuilt from scratch (under warranty I understand) so that the only original parts are 2 No bolts holding on the front disk. The other two bikes are failed and non-operational (Faff will give you the technical term) but to us mortals they are “flucked”.
So already to go but before we talk about the ride ….. lets talk about the riders and this weeks in depth expose is new rider Tarmac St John.
Tarmac St John is a Travelling Community Tarmaccadam legend. Most Travelling Community Operatives working in the Tarmaccadam and roadway surface dressings business, concentrate on the elderly generation and carrying out completely needless Tarmaccadam resurfacing at exorbitant cost usually involving frog marching some old granny down to the cashpoint to withdraw her life savings.
TsJ was the first to bring automation into the business to improve productivity increasing revenue at point of delivery driving an improved customer experience and a sharp increase in revenue on a cost per job basis. No more turning up with a 5 tonne load and raking it about a bit – he purchased (acquired when no-one was looking) a AP655F 129 Kw 15.584 metric Tonne Caterpillar Asphalt Paving machine. The Travelling Community Operatives Tarmaccadam Association were so impressed they canonised him on the spot – hence the St John bit of his name.
Not many old grannys were resistant to his charms when one of these machines was manoeuvred into the driveway I can tell you. A few mobility scooters, including rider, were swallowed up by the machine whilst they were learning to use it, but that is all in the past now.
Tarmac St John seen here manoeuvring the AP655F 129 Kw 15.584 metric Tonne Caterpillar Asphalt Paving machine into Mrs Treillis’ front driveway (note the dodgy tash TsJ was wearing - always good to disguise one’s fame)
So with profits skyrocketing and his reputation in the Tarmaccadam Travelling Community Operatives Association at an all time high he decided to “quit whilst he was ahead”. There was much sorrow in the Local trading standards departments throughout the land.
Not wanting to waste his expertise he then moved abroad and whilst holidaying in Belarus met up with another family of Tarmaccadam Travelling Community Operatives led by the now President of Belarus … Alexander Lukashenko – note the similarity of the dodgy tash – pity about the comb over but I understand it’s a Belarus thing.
Anyway with his mate Alexander they set about Tarmaccadaming most of Eastern Europe but legitimately this time, using funding from the EU and the World Bank. So the next time you are cruising on a beautiful road in rural Romania or Uganda or anywhere really …thank Tarmac St John. Any chance he could do something with the roads in the UK? No fluck off!
So on with the ride. Using the new prescribed form LT67-23 issued by the Upper House Terrain Committee it was put to a vote – go East or go west? The majority voted for west so we went east (Tarmac St John has learnt a lot from his mate Alexander).
As we cruise through the Polo fields we are passed by the Midhurst Manor gang on a mission. They wave and smile …seem nice chaps but clearly not idiots like wot we are.
First up was heart attack hill to the masts – the going was firm with a bit of dust but the heat – oh the heat was horrible. We stop in the shade rather than in the open to admire the view. We press on with Chuff as DRM bringing up the rear chatting Law Enforcement Bollocks with C2C7. Tarmac St. john asks if there is any downhill on this ride. The RM tries to encourage him with a confirmatory negative response. He seemed happy or was it a grimace? – not sure.
Then we complete the Vining Farm descent – oh just brilliant with Strangely really putting the hammer down whilst the rest dawdle and get lost at the bottom going straight on instead of right. Captn Frackbladder (bah) is seen encouraging desertion and will be Court Martialled. Captn Frackbladder (bah) also has a fall and he claims it was because he was using “good technique” – note to self, never take any riding tips from Captn Frackbladder (bah). He suffers a twisted saddle and a bent gear hanger – lets hope bike no.2 or bike no.3 are back in service soon.
Eventually Tonka calls in and we head for Pooh Sticks bridge and up the other side – which caused much pain and suffering. Past the vineyards and Faff wanted to stop and make some wine. He’ll have the first vintage ready in 2024. Then along the precipice of the apocalypse and Captn Frackbladder (bah) is attacked by a holly bush for his second fall. Faff has a rock strike to the underside of his Bird – he weeps silently …or was it just sweat. Whoops-a-Daisy also has a fall - he can’t help himself these days but I understand that it was in fact Dobbie who pushed him off despite being some way down the trail. A bit more improvement is Daisy’s eyesight required after his mega smash-up at Longmore.
Then the Tillington World Championship Freewheel face-off course was attacked with gusto with 11 SHABI’s taking up the entire road try to out-cheat each other. An epic race to the bottom which was won by Tonka (mainly because all the riders behind were distracted trying to cheat and lost momentum).
Then in to the Valley of death and meeting an old grandfather at the bottom, learn that this valley used to be the main Chichester to London Road and Highwaymen used to rob passers by until they were caught and hung by the neck until they were very very dead. Fantastically low re-offending numbers in those days – Law Enforcement Operatives – take note. Its called Hungars Lane but known the SHABI’s as the valley of Death. Same difference.
Then with time running short we head for home as quickly as possible regrettably with much road riding. In his haste Faff has another rock strike – more weeping.
So we reach La Piazetta Restaurant and got ordering. Faff goes for the Fiorentina with extra Spinach and a SOFT egg ..did you get that …..a SOFT egg is what was required. Well you can image the kafuffle when the egg turned up with a consistency similar to the rocks that were battering his bike all evening. He WAS NOT HAPPY in fact its one of his pet hates. To make matters worse Strangely Brown’s egg was PERFECT. Strangely is always discrete in these circumstances and so loudly proclaimed to the entire restaurant that HIS EGG was lovely and soft. At this point we were nearly thrown out.
SERIOUS TIME NOW - At this point during the meal, Daisy gave a heart felt thanks to everyone who helped to deliver the various bits of his body safely to A&E so he could be sewn back together. Apparently, it was on his notes that his comrades “did good job” caring for him under the circumstances. So, learnings for us all:
1. Always bring your recommended first aid kit – we needed two thermal blankets in the end as he was suffering from shock. Read the flucking website my darlings if you haven’t already.
2. A helmet with MIPS is REALLY STRONGLY RECOMMENDED
3. What Three Words is essential put it on your phone now.
4. Make sure your next of kin is on your lock screen – it was lucky Smashie has his relatives’ number – this it the area we ALL MUST IMPROVE ON
Lecture over – thank you for listening.
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)
I had a bit of a tumble the other day and can’t see out of one eye and it’s a bit fuzzy in the other. Should I continue to ride?
Yours Ms WD Duke from Bognor
Dear Ms WD40
You certainly should continue to ride as if nothing was wrong.
Think of it this way. Not being able to see where you are going has some great advantages:
1. You won’t know if you are lost
2. You won’t see that tree until you hit it so it will be a nice surprise instead of agonising anticipation.
3. You won’t see who has pushed you off your bike so won’t hold any grudges against other riders
4. You won’t realise your Fiorentina Pizza has been delivered with a SOFT egg
So all in all – get on that bike and keep riding.
Hope this helps
To make sure I am always prepared for a Tuesday night ride, I always have three bikes to choose form. However, I only seem to have one available at any one time …and that’s broken.
What am I doing wrong?
Yours Field Marshal Bah from Emsworth
Dear Field Marshal Bah,
This is a problem that has perplexed the experts for decades until now.
After minutes of researching various porn sites I have concluded that it is all in your TECHNIQUE – its too good!
I know this is a controversial finding as you indicate in other correspondence that you are a “regular faller” therefore statistically suggesting your technique is really a bit shit.
However, I beg to differ as you are clearly an expert rider who is “pushing the envelope” which obviously sometimes results in a calamitous crash.
Clearly you need to take new approach to your riding technique and try and avoid those large gap jumps. Imitating Danny MacaSkill is not clever or funny – its stupid. Just ride like the “ordinary chaps” in your club and you’ll find all your bikes stay in tip-top condition.
Also, get Paul Garner to show you how to clean your bike – a happy bike means a happy rider.
Hope this helps
Scores on the doors….
I love you all