What a balmy ‘summer’ evening!
Full sunlight, blue skies, dry weather, dusty trails, warm evening – it’s what the SHABIs were built for. At least that is what 13 riders all thought when they turned up at the Crossways Café, Arundel, taking care to park roadside because of the early closing café car park. And they were only partly wrong. The car park was open when they returned refreshed from their ride!
Then the arguments started. I thought you were RMing tonight? No, you are etc, etc. Ming (should I say RMing?!) bravely stepped into the fray (or was pushed) and offered. And the SHABIs were not disappointed.
While Chuff panicked ordering food for 6 at 8.35 (or 8.35 at 6?) at the George & Dragon over the phone, Ming, 2 Slumpy, Tonka, Smashie, SFAL, Daisy, Big Ring, Dobbie, Algernon, Fracker, Dave the P and Genghis fettled with trembling anticipation.
This is a great ride, requiring skill, attention and much laffs.
Immediately off into the wood via some lovely little bumps and drops and then for the big climb up to the top of the woods. Prepped with a prior warning from Ming about the ‘invisible until you are top of it’ hidden tree stump drop down, we hit our first super trails. No one hurt and all exhilarated we climbed back up to our usual descent only to be taken on 2 new trails with technical stuff to sort the ‘men’ from the ‘boys’. Apparently, Genghis obscured the ‘boy’s’ route over one massive drop off, causing Fracker to ‘stumble’, and a point deduction for Genghis was duly requested.
As mostly ‘boys’, we then walked the bikes back to the top of the hill for a different go and then set down the ‘Anu descent of death’ (where handlebars get snatched by tree elves as you pass by – as Anu will attest).
No fatalities and then a very super loop up to the very top of the hill near Bignor and a ride along what is now the South Downs way but must once have been a Roman Road, with Genghis and Ming imagining 10,000 centurions marching and slaughtering their way out of Chichester along it.
A fantastic top speed descent back to the woods, Chuff struggling with his chain, hitting the SHABI usual trail. Nasty face plant reported for Sir Fall a Lot and back to the motors for a short drive to the George and Dragon - home of the infamous table smashing incident by one SHABI and then being grassed up on a later occasion by another, both who shall not be named … well actually they are.
Ming, SFAL, Dave the P and Daisy had to zip home and meal points for the rest.
Mutterings from Dobbie about smashed tables as we enter the pub. T shirt point for all who were there and have them – except Smashie who brought the wrong one. Not good enough.
Free chips and a very satisfactory evening.
Great ride Ming!