17 Aug, Midhurst – The return of the Zombies

Dearest SHABI’s

It was the best of times, the worst of times and time to ride from Midhurst.

Before we can even get to talk about the riders your blogger must report a general absence due to “holidays”. Here are some of the excuses submitted;

1. Genghis – possible snow predicted so went on holiday to Greece for some slightly warmer weather

2. Whoops a Daisy – Butlins in Bognor – local; so he could pop home and sit in his “love bus” for peace and quiet and a chat with his imaginary friend.

3. Slumpy – Going to NZ in 2022 so getting “in the mood” by adopting NZ time zone – sleeps during the day and walks on his hands to get used to being on the other side of the world.

4. Tonka – not strictly on holiday – more like recovering for back surgery ie malingering.

5. Captain FrackBladder – Isle of Wight – well someone has to go there?

So attendees on the night were; Smashie (RM), Tarmac St John, Simon the Wheels, Mastic Man, Nurse Brown, Dobbie, Faff Cheeks and Big Ring.

Crisis for the RM before the start as the restaurant known as “La Calzone” is shut for August – WTF! So the RM desperately rings around and the first reserve is Pizza Hut but this has closed its Midhurst branch – the website helpfully suggests Haywards Heath as the nearest. So the White Horse in Easebourne steps forward with the offer of food till 9:00pm – whats not to like!

So rather than change the rendezvous point at the last minute, the RM leaves the instruction to gather in the carpark next to the drug dealers. The thought of lost SHABI’s driving around Midhurst like lost sheep (only with less intelligence) looking for the change in location was too big a risk.

So we set off through the Polo fields and arrive at the White Horse for “pre-ordering”. The RM suggests that all riders should “re-hydrate” with a local ale as we are about to climb up Bexley Hill. Not a single SHABI rider wishes to re-hydrate – not even Big Ring, who as we all know, is renowned to be enthusiastic on all matters re-hydration. The unforeseen consequences of Covid eh!

We order Pizzas as that is the only food offering on Tuesday and almost immediately there is an “incident” with Faff Cheeks. The conversation goes something like this:

· Faff “Can I have an egg on my Pizza?”

· Attractive barmaid “No”

· Faff “but a soft egg is a traditional topping..”

· Attractive barmaid “We don’t do eggs”

· Faff “I am sure you must have some eggs?”

· Attractive barmaid “No”

· Faff “but I want an egg on my Pizza”

· Attractive barmaid “No”

So the other riders felt that an intervention was necessary as the Attractive Barmaid looked pretty handy in the “life changing violence” department so Faff was advised to ..”stand away from the food counter”. Faff is wise, and knows when he is at risk of serious violence, so backs down. Crisis averted – phew! We finalise our order and mount our steeds for the false flat to come.

Now the ride is underway, and in time honoured tradition, let’s talk about the riders.