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20 Oct, Duke of Thursley, (6,16)

Dearest SHABI’s

To: Three Horseshoes Thursley – sorry chaps but if you don’t want our business – no problem – we have found a better place to go now.

So we went to the Dule of Cambridge and from Smashie’s initial tentative Covid compliant booking of two tables of six riders ….. right through to the end when they gave us a £60 discount …. we had a great time. Even the car park was fully lit, which to be fair did put some other diners off a bit when we were changing.

We even managed a bike ride as well.

So the plan was to do the Thursley ride but starting from the Duke of Cambridge and as we gathered a Covid compliant SIX riders were present and correct including; Smashie as RM, Faff Cheeks, Slumpy as H&S Officer and his carer Tonka, Bigus Ringus, Love Bus Driver, Simon the Wheels, Captain Frackbladder Bah, Tarmac St John, Strangley Brown, and new rider Trolly Dolly.

Bigus Ringus was “volunteered” to be DRM and as luck would have it – a very good choice as you will see.

New rider Trolly Dolly has ridden with us once before but it was at least a month or two ago so no-one could remember who he was. Now that Dobbie has saved up and bought a new bike it was Tonka who provided a spare bike for Trolly. Trolly is now is a hot contender for the rider with the “bike that’s shite” 2020 Award. In an early legal ruling, the Technical Committee Chairman ruled that although the bike was Tonka’s, Trolly should be blamed for riding it. Seems totally unfair but I am sure Trolly will take it like a man.

Meanwhile the group of finely honed athletes, that constitute the SHABI’s, were preparing in the car park; stretching, taking performance enhancing drugs and so on, one of our number suffered a serious injury. Captain Frackbladder Bah dropped a lace handkerchief that he keeps about his person for cleaning his hands in the event of a mechanical, and whilst bending down to pick it up, suffered a slight twinge in his back. Being the finely tuned athlete he is, he decided to pray to the Gods to see if that would solve the problem. Sadly, God has been rushed of his feet with Covid and all that, so after a short while after starting out, he had to turn from home abandoned by God altogether. Your blogger understands that he has now visited hell and he has already made a complete recovery.

So a man down already, we head off onto Hankley Common. We reach Hitlers Bunker and take a lot of photos while we look out for baby dinosaurs.

Tarmac St-John really embracing historical significance of the moment - Well Done TSJ!

Then onwards and onwards as we traverse the Land that Time forgot ie the RM got a bit lost but with the wonders of modern tech, was able to navigate to the best single track in Surrey. This windy path takes us all the way to the boardwalk and disaster…

The RM is about to jump over the barrier and enter the boardwalks proper … phew … just in time … the Health and Safety Officer steps in and prevents what would have been a tragedy. During the hot dry summer the bog that surrounds the boardwalk caught fire and consequently the boardwalk itself is missing in many places. Now in the depth of winter that means swimming to get to the other side.

Slumpy summarises EU Directive 414.8a for us, "We Better Keep the fuck out, fellas"

Many have said that Slumpy’s appointment to this role was a mistake but you are so wrong … he is really doing his stuff and a valued member of the SHABI team. Who knows what would have happened if he had not stepped in.. lucky escape!

Then we are riding along past Eltead lake and FLASH an electric unicycle goes past as if we are standing still. The RM tries to follow but no chance – that thing was going so fast. In fact so fast hardly anyone actually saw it so watch this video and see what I am talking about.

What a machine:

Then to add to the surreal nature of this ride we see many many little frogs on the road – lets hope this weird weather has not caused them to come out of hibernation too soon. Anyway the SHABI’s take great care not run them over and all is well.

Then we are back onto Hankley Common and no real drama until, during a micturition break, we note Trolly Dolly and Big Ring are missing. The RM retraces the route to find Big Ring fitting a chain link to Tonka’s bike – Trolly Dolly is a bit of a gorilla and doesn’t know his own strength. Not only had he broken the chain but had fallen into a gorse bush as well…and the gorse bush came off second best. Its all reassuringly idiotic – he will fit in well. However Big Ring had it fixed in a trice and we head back to the Duke.

Then excellent food and entertainment with TsJ showing off his newly acquired SHABI T-shirt awarded by the Awards and Honours sub-committee.

Overall a good ride somewhat overshadowed by dear CFB Bah getting such a bad injury.

Get well soon!

We Also received a coded message from a SHABI who has gone SOLO - can anyone decode this message of blurry lights?

I love you all

Smashie ♥


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)

Dear Binky,

I ride regularly every week and in 2020 the conditions are mostly awful with deep mud, sand and clay. What can I do to keep my bike in tip-top condition over winter at the minimum cost? My mate Dobbie would also like to know.

Please help as I only have one bike and I don’t want to miss a ride.

Many thanks

FC of Crondal

Dear FC,

I think winter 2020 / 2021 will be very wet and muddy putting maximum pressure on bike components.

Cleanliness is next to godliness when it comes to making your bike components last longer. However, as in everything, its your technique that really counts when cleaning the bike. Not using a jet wash is an obvious starter. Invest in the Mucoff system or Fenwicks or similar to really get deep down clean and use a soft brush for the front fork suspension etc. Wash down with a gentle garden spray fitting – even a garden spray on jet setting at mains pressure is inadvisable.

Dry the bike afterwards with a micropore cloth. This is a chance to get intimate with your bike. Run your hands lovingly over the frame parts and caress the hydroformed shape. Get your fingers into the suspension parts and dry the chain. Remember lubrication; oil the chain with either the Mucoff Dry lube or Finish Line ceramic wax. Apply to the internal links only. Sounding slightly pervy? Running your hands over the bike and a good inspection is a useful check to see if anything is broken or bent

Then the main area to concentrate on the drive train. Get a good chain checker.

Not all Chain Checkers are equal

Figure 1 – top - Pedro’s three point chain checker, Park Tools CC-2 and Park Tools CC-3

Binky recommends the Park Tools CC-2 because;

1. It gives you an actual reading from 0 to 1.0%

2. Not all chains follow the rules of replace at 0.75% (note to SRAM Eagle users)

3. Some 12 speed chains are too narrow for the CC-3 and Pedros chain checker.

4. Binky recommends the CC-2, then Pedros and then the CC-3

Jockey wheels also suffer in the bad weather and in particular the bearings fail. You can tell because the jockey wheels move from side to side and don’t go round smoothly. Another tell-tale sign is that the gears don’t change smoothly. Top tip; buy the metal replacement jockey wheels from either Superstar or Uberbike. At the same time, buy replacement bearings. So when the bearings fail on your shiny new metal jockey wheels, push out the old bearings and replace with new. Excellent savings leaving more money available to buy other bling parts.

You will know when to replace the front chain ring because the chain teeth are so sharp they will stick into the back of your leg if you are unlucky enough to bring the two together OR the chain lifts off the front cog in the 3 O’clock position.

TOP TIP – If you do it right - you will replace three chains before you have to replace the block and front cog. Leave out the chain replacement and you get to replace all three at the same time.

Hope this helps


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