23 Aug, Battlefield Tour of Cheriton
Blog 23 August 2022 – Battlefield Tour of Cheriton
WARNING – this blog is not suitable for persons under the age of 23
So it was a lonely five riders who assembled in the Hinton Arms car Park. Perhaps the curse of Daisy has once again reared its ugly head at this excellent location. Perhaps Daisy is a Witch? More on this later and if you are sensitive person please stop reading this blog now otherwise you will get nightmares. It’s a tough job writing blogs but someone has to do it.
Before we describe the ride, and in time honoured fashion, lets talk about the riders, and this weeks in depth profile is Lootenant Dan. Although profiled in depth previously in the blog 16 November 2021 its time for an update. If I may briefly summarise the 2021 blog it might help with what is to follow:
1. Born 1903 to Mr and Mrs Dan – legendary Goat breeders
2. Went off the rails as a young lad being a drug pusher for “Billy Goat Gruffalo”.
3. Found himself in the RAF servicing fighter jets
4. Accidentally wiped out the squadron mess facilities with a heat seeking missile
5. Went to work as a “law enforcement operative” for the SPG – “Special protection for
guinea pigs” in a “Client facing role”.
6. Been there ever since but now works with Owls.
So you will be pleased to know that the latest developments in Lootenant Dan’s career are very promising. The work with Owls has won him acclaim far and wide and recently a senior Law Enforcement Chief asked if he would like any more equipment to assist with tracking down vagrant Owls. Well our man was “cock-a-hoop” and immediately asked if you have a drone to help with “interaction with the Owl community in an inclusive and non-binary Client facing scenario”. Well with all those up to the minute “buzz words” the answer had to be a big fat YES.
Being completely unaware of the mishap with the guided missile and the RAF canteen they have given him a very large “semi-autonomous, self-guiding, multi – rotor drone with an advanced payload capability”. I understand he is still “in training” and hasn’t got past page 1 of the manual but it won’t be long before or hero will be striking fear into the hearts of most air travellers, the RAF, the public at large and of course Owls.
So onto the ride and a prompt departure with no DRM as Smashie can count to five on one hand. Straight into the battlefield area and Smashie was in full “tour guide of the battlefield” mode with accurate insights into the civil ware battle with nuggets like “I think one lot came along here and the other lot went over there”. It was riveting stuff and we stop in Cheriton Wood to soak up the battle atmosphere with the dead and dying still all around.
We then get onto the subject of gruesome deaths. It was agreed that the “hung drawn and quartered” was a particularly gruesome way to go, but despite the pain and suffering dished out, this form of torture was hugely popular with the peasantry. Here’s a description from someone more knowledgeable:
On 3 October, Dafydd was drawn through the streets of Shrewsbury to his place of execution, attached to a horse's tail. There he was hanged alive, for killing English noblemen. Dafydd was then revived and disembowelled, eviscerated and made to watch as his entrails burned before him for "sacrilege in committing his crimes in the week of Christ's passion" (Easter).
Finally, Dafydd's body was cut into quarters "for plotting the king's death" and the parts were sent to different parts of his realm; the right arm to York, the left to Bristol, the right leg to Northampton and the left leg to Hereford. The head was bound with iron and set on a spear at the Tower of London.
This brought onto the subject of Witches and it was pointed out that when they were burnt at the stake you could bribe the executioner to tie a bag of gunpowder to your ankles to speed the process up a bit. Pretty tough if you were in the front row of the audience but all part of the fun.
We have decided to put Daisy on trial for being a Witch and intend to use the tried and tested methods pioneered in the Monty Python Holy Grail film:
So on with the ride and we arrive at the tin church. Much debate as to the age of the building so here we are:
It took just five days to build this mission church in 1883. The great sheets of corrugated iron and timber frame would have been carted in and the whole constructed with missionary joy and zeal. We are uncertain what the base would have been constructed from but a small flight of steps brings you to the doorway. Above it the church bell sits in its turret and an iron steeple points skywards, topped with a weather vane.
Then the RM got a bit lost and we veered off the true path into the land of mortals. It was dry but tough riding and as Big Ring exclaimed “its like riding in treacle”. We then proceed to the airfield but are diverted as there is a tractor ploughing up the footpath. Its down to the bottom and back up again ……. on Tarmac – very frustrating.
Then a great bit of downhill to the A272 although there is much blood from the brambles – but we laugh in the face of pain and blood – we could be hung drawn and quartered and suffered less. We stop to rest, and TsJ realises his front wheel has come to rest in a pile of poo – yes human poo. Someone has had a dump on the side of the road – yuk. TsJ has to ride around the cornfield to cleanse his wheel.
Then more brambles and a few hills as we head home. Smashie’s chain falls off due to a botanical but its all good after a few minutes. Then we dive down a green lane with massive ruts and … this is the bit where you may want to look away …there was mud. Yes small patches of sticky “mud of colour” (can’t call it black mud or yellow mud anymore – by order to the Inclusion, equality and diversity officer).
The RM keeps going but fails to realise that Lootenant Dan has a puncture. A quick retrace and our hero is trying to make it work on the deflating tyre but no, a change is needed. All done in Formula 1 speed and we are on our way. Great teamwork.
Getting quite dark now and lights are needed for the final blast to the pub past Hinton Ampner House.
A great meal in the pub and really good banter.
I love you all ♥
Scores on the doors
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)
I ride with a group of Mountain bikers and we have all been given a T-shirt at Christmas by some sad person who thinks I actually care what I look like. We all have to wear the T-shirt at dinner after the ride and frankly its all a bit pathetic but I am “trying to be a team player” and all that guff.
However, I was caught out the other night when one rider decided to wear his T-shirt back to front as a kind of protest thing (although he claimed it was purely accidental).
With the plunging back line and label sticking out of the front I was struck by the incredible fashion statement this, otherwise very ugly, chap was making.
Do you think I should also wear my T shirt as a fashion statement and if so, how should I wear it?
TSJ of Petersfield (they)
Fashion is important whoever you are, wherever you are, and whatever you are doing. Indeed, as you observed, it is a true meritocratic statement of personal enlightenment.
However, you have a problem, you have to wear the T-shirt for dinner, but if this ugly bloke is making a fashion statement by wearing a T-shirt backwards, you certainly cannot copy as that would be a) plagiarism and b) really sad.
Thus I recommend you go “freestyle” and wear the T-shirt as a turban or loin cloth maybe. I am sure you can come up with something a bit more imaginative than wearing the T-shirt backwards.
Hope this helps