16 Nov, Tilford, (12,14)
Hitlers Bunker and the Atlantic wall – in reversy percyThe King Edward Sanitorium and the decent of certain death
It was decided, after consultation with our Healthy Eating and Diet Committee represented by Lecky Lee, that the Duke of Cambridge was the best pub to circumnavigate the Thursley Common region.
MIRACLE. So it was by sheer chance that 12 SHABI’s alighted from their vehicles in the car park including; Chuff, TsJ, Dobbs, Slumpy and his carer Tonka, Slash, Strangely, Faff, LBD, Lootenant Dan, Captn Frackbladder and Smashie as RM.
Faff managed to blag us a table for 12 and we readied for departure. Tonka was observed wondering around the carpark looking for his new glasses and complaining he couldn’t find them. With his glasses costing £783.39 plus VAT we feel his pain.
However, before we get into the ride lets talk about the riders, and this week’s in depth profile is new boy Lootenant Dan. Born in 1903 to Mr and Mrs Dan in Swindon, it was fervently hoped that young Dan would continue the family business in goat breeding. In fact, Mrs Dan was world famous for her work with the goat community and could pick a goat up by its nethers and throw it 867.8 ft without injury to the goat (or anyone else!) – a world record that has stood unbeaten for 107 years.
However, goats are not very obedient and Dan Junior’s early years were tormented by frequent disciplinary “run ins” with the head goat “Billy Goat Gruffalo”. It turned out that “Billy”, as he was known, was a dealer and so Dan left home to find his fortune elsewhere with a view of doing anything but goats.
First, he tried electronic warfare and worked on the Royal Air Force’s fleet of Tornado and Buccaneer ground attack aircraft. This new career path did not end well as he accidentally wired up a Tornado so that when the pilot hit the “afterburn and get the fuck out of here” button, the aircraft instead released a precision munition straight into the RAF canteen and in the process killed the Squadron mascot which by unhappy coincidence, happened to be a goat.
To avoid a lengthy jail term our hero claimed he was possessed by demons and was discharged straight into the Central London Law Enforcement Operatives – SPG division. It was felt that with our Hero’s love of animals, the best place to put him was into a unit dealing in a front line “Client” facing role and the SPG was exactly right. If you didn’t already know, SPG stands for Special Protection for Guineapigs.
So, our hero was soon on the front-line finding Guinea pigs that had become “involuntarily displaced” in the residential family house scenario. The unit was led by Tonka’s soon to be boss “The Guvnor”, and their methods were highly successful albeit a tad controversial. On receiving a call-out from the mother of a distressed 5-year girl that had just lost “Brian” the Guineapig, it was the route one entry procedure and take the front door off the hinges with a battering ram. Then in with the tear gas grenade, maybe two grenades if they looked like a upper middle class elite family to make absolutely sure (hell - they pay taxes, so got to demonstrate value for money).
Then storm around the house in hobnailed boots and smash up the furniture to ensure “Brian” is not in “hiding”. Any other pets or grannies are automatically removed from the investigation with a swift tazer in the head. Invariably these tactics proved wildly successful, so much so, that after a few rescue missions absolutely no-one called for Police assistance with a missing Guinea Pig. So the SPG - Special Protection for Guineapigs (London and home counties) unit was disbanded and the highly skilled officers dispersed to other forces. Lootenant Dan is now working in the community with Owls. He doesn’t talk about it much, and suggest other riders don’t mention; Goats, Guinea Pigs or Owls in his presence.
Now back to the ride and Smashie, for it was he, was RM and got pretty lost leading the Peleton out of the car park with various riders heading off in different directions. It set the tone for the ride and everyone knew with a display of incontinence like this, finding the pub again would be “challenging”.
Nevertheless everyone regrouped and headed out on the usual route but in reverse. That is to say riding in the forwards direction but in the reverse of the usual route. So the first major section took in Stockbridge pond, skirted Yagden Hill before our first rest stop prior to Elstead Pond.
Then we decided to tackle the boardwalks on Thursley Common and once again our Health and Safety Officer saved the day averting certain disaster as we avoid drowning in Podmore Ponds. Then onto Ockley Common and Royal Common where the RM gets a little lost and calls a retreat a number of times. Luckily the dry flowing singletrack means that the Peleton were happy enough as we sped on towards Thursley nature reserve.
We admire the “concrete pipe drop off” where our Chuff had an unfortunate coming together between two sensitive parts of his anatomy and his cross bar. His voice was an octave higher for some time afterwards. Although this incident was some time ago, we never like to forget these things and remind everyone of the details repeatedly.
Then up the hill to Foldsdown in reasonably deep sand which left everyone on the red line. Then some super single track towards the road. We usually cycle up this bit, so going down was GREAT. More bumbling and chatting and we ride along Kettlebury Hill and reach Hitlers Bunker.
Spot the Difference time:
Answers on twitter - search for the # 'no1cares'
Faff ascertains that Hitler has gone out for Pizza and we should proceed immediately to the Replica Atlantic wall built for the Canadians to practice for D-day. It’s a massive structure and we can only admire the courage of those soldiers who charged up that Normandy beach in the face of barbed wire, mines, constant fire and then had to get over a 25ft hight concrete wall.
Sobered by this sight, we head for the Dule of Cambridge paying homage to Sir Fallalot who threw himself to the ground when we met a group of female mountain bikers. Nope, still no regular female riders …. surprisingly.
We arrive in the carpark in good order and head straight in for food. Great food as predicted by Lecky Lee. A bit of a bromance is starting between TSJ and Strangely Brown – it all got a bit emotional over the Venison pie and curry. Watch this space.
Only three weeks to the SHABI Christmas Gala Dinner and the Points and Prizes committee are glad to receive the return of prizes for recycling. Please note the Committee expect serious enhancement of each prize before its return.
SHABI Awards Dinner 2021 - Trophy Enhancing and Returning time:
Every Trophy tells a story...
I love you all ♥
Scores on the Doors
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)
Can you please settle a little argument between me and my Cycling buddies.
On a recent ride we visited “Hitlers” Bunker on the Hankley Common army ranges.
I thought Hitler died in his bunker in Berlin so how can he have a bunker in the south of England. Is this the CIA up to their usual tricks?
T of Nyewood
Happy to settle this small misunderstanding.
Hitler did die in his bunker in Berlin and thank goodness for that. What a horrible man.
However, Adolf Hitler had quite a few relatives, and can you imagine how hard that was to have a surname like that. Great Britain gave food and shelter to those unfortunate relatives, something we are still doing today.
The bunker you referred to was in fact occupied by Eddie Hitler, pat time-odd job man and there is a programme on telly about him. He was a very nice chap and has now gone into a home to live out his final day.
I hope that helps.