14 May, Jolly Drover, (12,18)
Braving a potential Aston Martin Club meeting, 12 chipper SHABIs assembled at the Jolly Drover, Hill Brow for a rather unusual outing - Genghis was sort of, going to, kind of RM – and that is a very rare thing indeed.
Dave the P had just celebrated 60 years ‘in the saddle’ and Daisy was back after a bout of laziness. Ming showed up for the second time this year to show us all ‘how it is really done’ and Tonka made it out after wading through D&V at home. Add to that many SHABI faithfuls - Dobbie, Chuff, Fkr, Algie, Big Ring, Slumpy 2 and Simon P (yet to be named), the squadron assembled. Notably no Fish Pie or Smashie!
Genghis had forgotten his shoes but made it home and back just in time and so off we set, the 12 of us - the jury, the months of the year, signs of the zodiac, the disciples, lunations in a solar year etc. This was to be celestial ‘gold’ on a beautiful spring evening.
Genghis, like all fine leaders, snatched an early RM lead off Chuff, who was determined to stick to old trails. Nearly running over a Russian couple and their child, off we set into Durford Wood. Only this was a new Durford Wood, now missing much wood and the trails were no longer where they were supposed to be. Nor were the trees.
Genghis takes a sharp right down a steep escarpment. Big Ring takes a tumble. Oh! where was Fish Pie / SFAL to show us how to do it in style?
Then back on the trails and a bugger of an uphill that reminded the ‘Welsh contingent’ what they had just gone through 3 days before. A comedy off for Genghis after hitting a rut and trying to put his foot down in a pothole. Zero points!
More fun weaving through the ‘woods’, passed the legendary C2C7 ‘incident drop off’ and, noting a few trails we ‘should have gone down rather than up’ for next time, we landed back on the road north out of Rogate.
Up to the top and, despite several SHABIs keen to try out their newly learned bike-park skills, the copper in Chuff pointed out that none of us had paid and so we might get duffed up if we tried to ‘break and enter’ the Rogate Downhill.
So off to Fyning/Terwick Common instead and some super-fast zipping through the trails.
At this point Chuff decides to take control of the situation and takes the Peleton back and forth attempting to find the legendary north passage through Rondle Wood. Back and forth maybe 4 times before concluding it had been swallowed up by nature and so down to Fyning Hill Farm.
Chuff continues in charge of the situation guiding us all to Hammer Wood and then, what should have been Milland. But no, following a freewheel face off with Fkr convinced we were actually going to Milland and overshooting, Chuff then takes us right toward Queens Corner.
At 8.20 we emerged the wrong side of Milland and so there was an urgent scramble back along the Milland Road straight back to the Jolly D, passed 2 yoofs in clouds of ganga.
Quite a tough end to the ride with Algie losing his chain a couple of times (not a euphaemism).
‘Best liver & bacon in the world’ for Dobby and a good 18 miles. Meal points for all but Ming, who had to shoot off. T shirt points for all but Slumpy, Simon P, Dave the P, Ming and Big Ring. Fall for Big Ring and a mechanical for Algie (who has ordered a new green narrow wide, whatever that means)