2 Jul, Bat & Ball, (9,16)
Pilgrimage to Slumpy’s Slurry Pond
More than one pilgrimage, infact. The first was to the home of “organised” cricket – the pitch next to the Bat and Ball, is where the Hambledon Cricket Club set up in 1750. Tonka believes that this is where the arcane rules of cricket first evolved, even if it is not the oldest club in the land. Strange that they settled on such an uneven piece of land – balls travel extra far towards the boundary.
Anyhow, enough of all that cultural stuff. There’s always much excitement in the car park before a SHABI ride. Nice and quiet until Slumpy 2 arrived 10 minutes after Chuff who’s tailgated him through Peef, somehow he’d taken himself to a housing estate called Bat and Ball at the far end of Pompey. At least he parked in a less “innovative” fashion than last week.
Dobbie was on bail and so particularly gung-ho following pizzagate, where he’d broken the SHABI “Subsidies to other SHABI riders” Law (1844). Chuff had the handcuffs ready just in case. His statement “not many hills on this ride” belied his happy if unrealistic frame of mind.
And so to the top of Mercury with many fine views and bleating sheep, then the long flowing and surprisingly technical descent towards East Meon.
Up and down and up and finally down via Winchester Old Hill. Sergio has (another) brushing with a herd of bullocks, the same ones that upset him all those years ago. At least he did not command them to stop and put their hands in the air.
And up the hanger in Hambledon. Some gasps from Genghis.
The second pilgrimage has been a long time coming. Back in the annals of time, honourable Man Mike from NZ had received the SHABI title of “Slumpy” for peddling hard into a huge puddle of slurry laid as a trap by the RM. Slumpy 2 seemed happy to make a repeat, even if no trap was laid this time. (You’ve got a surprisingly clean bike though, Slumpy!)
1. Miles for Chuff, Big Ring, Daisy, Sergio, Dobbie (RM), Slumpy 2, Tonka, Simon Wheels and Genghis.
2. T-shirt points for Chuff, Daisy, Sergio, Dobbie, Slumpy, Tonka and Genghis. Big Ring allowed one too for wearing an “approximate” T-shirt.
3. Meals points for Chuff, Big Ring, Sergio, Dobbie, Slumpy and Tonka.