16 Jul, Oxdrove tracks, Alresford, (5,20)

Dear Shabi’s

16th July 2019 – Oxdrove tracks from Alresford

One of our longer rides in the West and requiring perfect weather to make it round in time before darkness. Smashie (RM) duly issued advice to all riders to bring lights and nettle protection which may have reduced the number of riders to a paltry five including;

(Pictured below)

Chuffy, Big Ring, Fracker, Slumpy, and of course Smashie as RM

Before we get into the ride let’s talk about the riders;

This week’s in-depth interview is with Chuffy:

Chuffy first joined Hampshire Constabulary in 1953

As you may know Chuffy is a very senior Law Enforcement Operative with the Hampshire Statutory Enforcement Agency and this gives him immense power when he is in uniform. To give you a small idea of his seniority; he is able to deploy and arrange traffic cones without referring to a higher authority. He is able to escort children across a pedestrian crossing and tazer any teenager in the genitals, repeatedly, as he sees fit. Wow!

But Our Chuff has made it to this level of seniority the hard way, so he served his apprenticeship doing all the unglamorous things that junior law enforcement Operatives do, such as organising major anti-terrorism operations; campaigns against knife crime and organising resources for major incidents (wouldn’t want this important shit done by senior officers FFS!). Before this he has had a number of jobs including; managing a fish farm and mobile disco DJ.

I understand that his spell as a DJ means that he can throw some pretty sophisticated shapes on the dance floor – Michael Jackson – rank amateur in comparison. It is hoped that one day he will be able to translate the moves on the Dance floor to the “big air” he regularly achieves on the bike. Sadly its only when he crashes that we see a glimpse of his dancing prowess. Those of us lucky enough to witness the “wheelie bin incident” have never forgotten the “innovative interpretative dance routine” that was disguised as a “crash into to a stationary wheelie bin”. It was awesome.

Pleading anonymity in order to testify, the bin entered the Witness Protection Scheme, and is said to be very happy now at an undisclosed location. In a statement released by his Solicitor, he said that he just want's to get on with his life, and would like to add that he recommends counselling for anyone else who may have come in to contact with Chuff on a SHABI ride

Now onto the ride.

Ignore the nettles

We set off in excellent order and soon are zipping along the Ox-drove tracks which are dry and firm but a tad dusty. Many brambles are enjoying the hot and humid weather and are reaching across the tracks but no blood is drawn from our heroes at this early stage. Simply the most fantastic riding as we bimble along (at a reasonable pace it must be said) and talk amongst ourselves and put the world to rights. We reach the mast at the top and start the first road section. Outrageously a car interrupts a free wheel face-off but it is not really a suitable bit of road for a freewheel face-off, and the finely-honed skills of the SHABi’s, so we “back off” and carry on. Then onto more ox-drove tracks and a tremendous section in the woods. Slumpy follows Chuffy into a wheel rut so deep it is impossible to pedal and there is a chat about “skills” (other riders have wisely and skilfully remained on the ridge between the wheel ruts).

We then traverse a superb downhill section through the trees with the dark under the trees and bright sunshine making visibility “interesting”. At the bottom Chuff discovers he has a large insect in his eye and asks for assistance in removing aforesaid insect. Given the miniscule size of the insect, and the delicacy of Chuff’s eye, and the desire to save the life of the poor insect, the SHABI peleton searched around for a suitable “surgical instrument”. Pumps, chain breaking tools, 6mm Allen keys were all proffered along with Sl