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25 Aug, Midhurst, (6,6)

Dear Shabi’s

25th August 2020 – the Madness of Midhurst

Well what a change a fortnight makes. From 36°C to what felt like near freezing in the rain swept car park of the Trooper Inn. The Landlord presents the menu, handwritten on the back of an envelope – oh its not looking good.

Six riders (yes that’s a COVID compliant SIX!) riders including; Big Ring, Slumpy and his carer Tonka, Genghis, Dobby, Tarmac St John, Strangely, Faff Cheeks, Whoops-a-Daisy and Smashie as RM get changed and shiver in the rain.

Usually before we discuss the ride it would be time to talk about the riders, but another pending court case means that Solicitors Messrs Wright and Doolittle (acting for this blogger) are in dispute with various parties on a matter of defamation.

So with the inauspicious weather all were in fear of what is now known as “Slumpy’s ride” over predominantly “narrow Bridleways” and the field of sewage.

Nevertheless, our plucky SIX riders set off and traversed a number of fields in a biting cross wind before we came across green lane where we experienced a new phenomenon known as mud and holes filled with water known as puddles.

First stop is the place here BIG RING got his nickname but he kept quiet and he is still known as BIG RING. Then some upper body strength work as we negotiation the first of many many stiles and fences.

Tonka meantime may have to start multitasking with Whoops-a-Daisy displaying disturbing signs of paranoia in a field of Sunflowers where he spotted a “killer rabbit” and attacked aforesaid bunny with a sunflower. Tonka may have to divide his duties as a “carer” between Slumpy and now WAD. I’d rather not go into the details, but it was well that we know WAD is head injured and we could all be more supportive and caring than usual.

We reach the railway and the RM gets a tad lost but no significant time is lost. Then down to the road and we gather around the grave of the unknown gnome who died of an unknown cause. We pay our respects.

Then along the road and up the narrow bridleway of much effort and then along the narrow rock garden where Faff has an involuntary dismount into the Shrubbery causing him to gain a point for a fall and a lot of nettle stings.

Then we get to the first “kissing gate”

Sing along time now to Madness …. “oh what fun we had … but did it really turn out bad …” well actually YES IT DID. How do you get SIX SHABI’s through a kissing gate …well not in a hurry. Some tried carrying, some tried wheeling along the back wheel, some tried throwing….. chaos. Its why we are called IDIOTS.

Then along a nice green lane until we get to another lake sized puddle and there is much pussy footing around so as not to get our feet wet.

Then onto some more narrow bridleway and in anticipation of going past an occupied domestic residence Dobbie is requested to go into “stealth” mode but ignored the command saying he can’t disconnect his rear light. Wrong answer and a misdemeanour point for our Dobbs.

We reach another kissing gate and with everyone (except Dobbie) in stealth mode another comedy ensues. Suddenly Faff cheeks “loses it” and declares that he knows exactly what to do…. having computed in his own mind the known unknowns, and the unknown unknowns, using finite element analysis, the exact way to wheel an MTB through a kissing gate with minimal effort.

Well five minutes later and with his bike firmly stuck and in the gathering gloom the RM, in desperation, permits the use of lights to enable the extraction of FC’s Bird from the kissing gate. Five, yes five, more minutes passed and finally the bike was free.

So onwards and the RM is aware that late arrival for the meal would result in Chuff’s law being applied and so it was “Hammer time”.

We traversed roads and lanes and more fields in a blur until we arrived at the “Field of Sewage” ……. We sniffed the air…we gently tested the ground with a long stick BUT NO SEWAGE – yippee …but Slumpy is inconsolable. Tonka is going to have a long night settling him down to sleep (he tells me drugs and the overzealous use of cattle prod work well)

So a blast back to the pub mostly uphill. Everyone is on the limit.

Then in for the meal and the limited selection available was “edible” …just but a welcome return of the “tower on Onion Rings” to the menu

I love you all

Smashie ♥

Scores on the doors

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