22 Dec, Crondall, (16,10)

Crondall to Caesars Camp: 12.08 miles, 781 ft Ascent, 2 falls (Dolly). 1 early bath. No mechanicals.

The lost blog is a bit like the discovery of a lost Alf Garnet episode of ''Till Death Us Do Part" or finding out about the love child you never knew you had from a forgotten relationship with a Middle Eastern Transvestite whilst working in Dubai as an Air Hostess in the 1980s - both strangely satisfying, yet something you really would like to keep to yourself. More of that later.

The SHABI Christmas Story starts with a reading from the book of Ghengis, Chapter 2, Verse 69:

"....and lo, a bright star (probably a satellite) shall guide you unto a 3x3m square close to the town of Crondall (just off the A327) where a baby called "Baby of Lockdown" doth reside. 3 Kings, 4 Shepherds an Angel too (6 in total) appeareth to celebrate the birth of another one, called "Faffer with the Cheeks of a Pig". And the Lord (Pointsmaster) did say unto them "He's not the Messiah, he's 3 days early and he's a very naughty boy"""".

Loosely translated this meant, just another SHABI Tues ride which just happened to fall on the same day as Faff's 5th and 1st birthday and which also happened to fall immediately prior to Christmas. Any other similarities with the Christmas story are entirely deliberate.

This Christmas blog has started badly though - the only paper record in existence being the victim of a 60 degree wash in the laundry at Faffy Towers which means that the precise number of Shabis is unknown but is believed to include: Slasher, Smashie, Strangely Brown, Trollied Dolly, Slumpy and his carer Tonka, Big Ring, King Daisy (who had travelled far) and Faff Cheeks. 6 in total.

But not started as badly as the start of the ride itself. Dolly had been assigned as RM and, taking his social responsibilities seriously, had decided to show solidarity with the UKs Homeless population over this difficult Christmas period by drinking alcoholic beverages from breakfast time right throughout the day.

Realising this had the potential to affect his performance on the SHABI ride, Dolly had also taken the wise precaution of keeping his fitness levels up by throwing in a trip to the local Rugby Club and a round of Golf, accompanied by one Club and 9 Hip Flasks. Strangely Brown immediately realised this would render Dolly 'excessively fit' and offered Faffy the opportunity to take over RM duties as the only 'local' present with a retained mental capacity for navigation and the ability to provide directions using actual speech whilst operating machinery with opposable thumbs.

Dolly arrived prepared, at the 6.30pm Pedal off

King Smashie had brought some Frankincense flavoured mince pies which were washed down with copious quantities of a nice malt from Faffy's cellar. Almost enough to breach the tiny mince pie foil containers. Dolly, who was getting cold by this point and said he would have preferred some "feckin' anti freeze", was installed on ' the Bird festooned with Gold' and off they went, with a feint whiff of what could only be described as Myhrrh, following behind.

The ride headed South towards the old Castle at Barley Pound with the Shabis enjoying the slimy mud (slightly incompatible with the gradient) and Dolly declaring this so enjoyable that he literally decided to get off half way up for a good roll around in it.

Then it happened, the ghost of Christmas past, or rather Summer past. On reaching the Well Road, King Daisy turned to Faff and said "Isn't this part of the the ride we did here before in August?" Faffy had been rumbled - you've heard of 'The Pub With No Name'', well this was 'The Ride With No Blog'. Click Here for the Ride with No BLOG

Unfortunately there was no time to discuss this as having reached Tarmac, Dolly had sped off with renewed vigour. A pause at the top of a dangerous switchback for a safety briefing by a now mildly-concerned Faffy got a stiff ignoring. Dolly decided it was slightly colder than he'd anticipated and, by 'cycling' with a relaxed approach to longitudinal awareness managed to simultaneously give himself a facial on the Tarmac, rearrange his head torch to provide additional heating between his eyes and insulate the gaps in his cycling helmet with a surprisingly thermally-efficient combination of mud and grass.

He also hurt his knee - poor little soldier.