15 June, Nick's Ride, (11,16)
Updated: Jul 13
Tues ride was the 2nd annual memorial ride for Nick Olliffe
18 June 2019, on a SHABI ride from the Links, our good friend Nick Olliffe (aka Sir Fall A lot), sadly collapsed and died during the ride, of heart complications. This obviously shook everyone, whether present on the ride or not. For those who were there and played their part to try and save Nick, they were hugely impacted by what happened, and often reflect on that night - and more broadly on how fragile life really is.
So cometh the hour, cometh the Social Worker in a uniform, yes it was Chuff who took the lead to RM the SHABI’s on the 5 Peaks Challenge. For those who don’t know, Chuff has recently had a socially enforced job role change at work, now accountable to the unelected ‘Twitter and Facebook anonymous moderators branch’, where he is responsible for pretending to investigate evidence of anything anyone has ever said or done, or thought about at any point in their lives. Then pretend to try and find a match with someone could potentially claim to be offended by it, in the here and now.
So good is Chuff at pretending to investigate crimes against feelings, that his theoretical arrest rate has already broken all previous actual arrest records. However, with zero actual arrests to date, he narrowly missed out on being nominated for The Queen's Woke Medal (QWM) for policing morality.
“So what is his reward?” - I can almost imagine you asking. Well thanks for asking, Chuff now has a new hat (see below) and permission to daub his social worker uniform with anything that signals his allegiance with any group of his choosing. If anyone has a spare pin/badge Chuff will be delighted to add it to his collection. Chuff we salute you, (in a strictly non-patriarchal dominance hierarchy type way)
On that note, if anyone has any knowledge of the whereabouts of ‘Brian Conway’ last seen calling LBD a ‘Scouser’ in the playground C.1981, please contact Chuff immediately, as LBD (Yorkshire) is expecting to be awarded damages for historical ‘Identity Ignorance’.
NB. do not approach Brian – leave it to the professionals. During lockdown, Chuff attended a 90 min Zoom call and is now an expert on pretending to re-open cold case files of ‘Non-Crime Hate Incidents’.
As for the SHABIS – trying to decide if being offensive is an actual offence, (in Law), requires so much thinking that most of the SHABI’s have given up trying. Luckily for everyone, we all continue to talk boll*ks, and take it in turns to choose not to be offended. If we ever find ourselves contemplating taking offence, we simply remember that if it wasn’t for the SHABIS, we’d barely leave the house.
Don’t forget we are also in the privileged position of having our very own H+S / Risk Assessment Officer, who has checked with his legal team in their Sydney office in New Zealand. They have been advised not to give out any advice just in case they offend anyone in 2044. Thankfully our H+S Officer regularly ignores this advice.
Speaking of 'people pleasers', it was Big Ring’s turn to display his own ‘Preference Falsification’ to anyone who was looking in the car park. None of the SHABIS noticed, they were too busy trying to remember if it was bin night, and if so, which bin?
Relief for all, as the audience of Gen Z’s in the beer garden did notice BR, and gave an approving nod to what he was doing, although they weren’t 100% certain if he was ‘taking the knee’, or simply adjusting his rainbow laces before the ride. Either way, an important box had been ticked, so with LBD and Faffy as self-appointed DRM’s, we were off!
The actual ride:
You will be reassured to hear that Liphook Golf Course have invested their furlough money very wisely and fenced off our usual route out of the car park (where it is safest to cross the road), so we took our chances on the unusual camber angle racing section of the old Portsmouth Road. We made it across - so far so SHABI, until we find a second newly erected gate, padlocked shut. So we used the kissing gate at the side which is of course, specifically designed for bikes - obvs.
Several pedal strokes later, Chuff remembered that it was turn left before the old man sat on a fallen tree, not after. So, most of us doubled back and dutifully followed our RM on his short cut through nettle valley, while others ignored and carried on. Eventually we caught up with the dissident SHABI’s who went the long boring nettle-free but still long and boring way round. When they woke up from their power nap while waiting for us, we were able to continue as one group.
Along the up and up, then the fast down and up, then the fast corner with the tree that catches everyone out, along the gravel, by the field of sheep and crops, past the bench of forgotten dreams, through the 2 gates of inconvenience, down the gulley of uncertain outcome, and we find ourselves yet again taking a huge risk trying to cross another busy road, this time on a blind bend.
Although this road has a massive mirror on the other side of the road, this is no time to check if your helmet is on straight, so we all tumble across the road, desperately trying to block out the noises emitting from the H+S officer, which all sounded like ‘Go! No! Oh! Yō! Ho! Doh!’
So onwards to what has affectionately been called ‘Rupert’s Hill’ (at least once by at least one SHABI). It’s from the ride where new SHABI Rupert (Real name, not SHABI name) struggled to get to the top of an exceedingly difficult hill. It was his first ride and he lived in the house directly at the top of the hill, so he asked for permission to go home. Being the caring SHABIs that we are, Smashie insisted that he stay with us and complete the remainder of the 5 peaks challenge. We haven’t seen Rupert since.
So, with ‘Rupert’s Hill’ under our belt, we pootled along to the temple of the bad winds in Blackdown. While LBD faffed about with the timer on his camera, (I don’t know why I’ve gone into the third person, but it feels ok so I’ll stick with it) the SHABI’s, with their combined attention span in single figures, made it feel like he was on a school trip with the ‘intervention group.’
Remembering one of the SHABI mottos ‘adapt or die’, LBD managed to snap 2 unusable dark shadowy photos, where you can’t tell who anyone is. So, he got one more, without himself in, and below is something that vaguely resembles a photo:
With the photo done, 2 of the SHABI’s decided to try to find their outlet valve, as they had been drinking a lot of performance enhancing water. Anyone who identifies as male will know that 1 hr of bike riding equals extra time needed to prepare to go for a number one: rush at your peril.
So, you can imagine Faff's laughter when, mid flow, Chuff announced how many minutes were left, as he rode off. How many minutes left for what exactly? No time to ask, as all the bikes sped away and flew down the other side of the hill. And while LBD was trying to make a tandem bike out of his and Slumpy’s bikes, (Sorry about that Slumpy, we were both stuck in the same rut) Faffy decided this was the perfect place to practice a bike move I like to call ‘Tokyo Drift’ - best performed in loose over hard pack, downhill, at speed and preferably on the wrong side of control. Fortunately, everyone made it to the gate in one piece, and no sign of the killer cows that usually block that path.
A few forgettable miles later and we were on the climb that was to be Nick Olliffes final climb just 2 years ago. At the top, the SHABIS dismounted, and each spent a few moments reflecting, on how Nick’s passing affects their own outlook on life. For me personally, there is rarely a day (never a week) that goes by where I don’t think about it.
It’s not that I dwell on the events of that night in a morbid way, rather I think about what it means to me, for the life of a 49-Year-old friend to end so suddenly, without warning. Leaving behind a full life with a wife and 2 teenage children, 3 brothers and their families, 2 parents and all the love that comes with large families and good friends that you attract and keep, after 49 years of being a big hearted, genuine person.
The cycle back to the Links was downhill all the way, apart from the bits that were uphill, and Chuff said farewell at the outskirts of Liphook, as the rest of the SHABIS followed Mastic Man along a ‘back of the houses’ way home.
Waiting for us outside the Links was Tonka, who is recovering from a penis reduction operation, finally after all these years he will be able to fit into those lycra cycle shorts.
Finally, when I made the SHABI round up video of 2019 - it pretty much became an unofficial tribute to Nick Olliffe, and I'm grateful that it did.
So it seems appropriate to share it again here:
One life, Live it well
Scores on the Doors