14 Sept, Bordonia, (10,16)

Ten brave souls (40% of them called Simon), seduced by the promise of an inaugural loop from a new venue with a rookie RM leading, set off on Tuesday 14th September from ‘The Shed’ in Bordon. I’ll elaborate on ‘The Shed’ later – it was, after all, the undisputed star of the ride – and, in a controversial departure from SHABI tradition, is not a pub! It had been raining all day but as we gathered in the carpark, the skies cleared leaving just a few threatening storm clouds but not a drop of rain. And so off we peddled through what will very soon be an enormous housing development (Bordonia, according to LBD!)

The obligatory 'waiting for the off...'

We were very quickly off of the main roads and into the lovely flowing woodland paths of Deadwater Valley Nature Reserve (slightly morbidly named, if you ask me. Oh, you didn’t…)

And then, still with fresh legs, we emerged at the Jubilee Park pump track.

SHABI - 90's Album cover

Ah, talking of which, Strangely Brown was first to venture onto the track and promptly took a chunk out of one of his fresh legs when he slipped off of the pedals attempting something that, presumably, would have been very impressive indeed.

T'is but a scratch! (Literally)

He’s okay, but if you’ve ever seen his popular Wednesday afternoon Bowlhead Green Methodist Hall Burleque routine, you’ll know he’s going to have to tone it down a bit. By the way, if I neglect to mention anything of note from Tuesday’s ride, you should know that SB helpfully provided a running commentary of things worthy of blog inclusion. So, any omissions or errors are entirely my fault.

Pump track done with just one casualty and onto a newly-built forest trail through, um, some forest. Fairly uneventful really other than the trail being closed and my leadership responsibilities put to the test. I failed spectacularly whilst Nurse Mick raced off on an alternative path and Dobbie bulldozed through the orange plastic netting bearing the ‘Trail Closed’ notice. I’d scoped this loop twice already and, because Bordon is somewhere that typically should be avoided, I do not know the area well.

Who's putting the 'I' in SHABI...

Certainly not well enough to divert from the little black dotted line that my Garmin watch urged me to follow. Anyway, after some pitiful leadership indecisiveness, we took the ‘Nurse Mick’ route and were very promptly back on the little dotted line towards Walldown Road and back into familiar territory for most.