26 Feb, Midhurst, (6,18)
After last week’s mud bath in Alice Holt woods it was decided to give Midhurst another go and it was a diminished peleton with Smashie as RM, Chuffy, Algernon, Corkey, Slumpy and Sir Fallalot.
Smashie decided that is was to be a “pain and suffering” ride being warm and balmy conditions but before we go into the details of the ride …lets talk about the riders.
Firstly a quick update from Daisy. Such is the demand for “ready-mix” fibre reinforced concrete that our Daisy has had to look further afield for the essential ingredients (you may recall Daisy is dealing with Brexiteers and Remoaners by slicing and dicing them and putting the result into ready-mix concrete). Thus anyone who “looks a bit funny” or is a bit of a “nuisance” is quickly dealt with by one of Her Majesty’s fleet of 30,000 tonne dredgers. One Dredger (HMS Sandygravel got a bit stuck in Oxford Street on its way to the Serpentine in Hyde Park but our Daisy pops into Buck House and gets our Queenie to put her shoulder to the wheel and everything is sorted out).
Genghis is in the wars having been on the Spanner “how to jump” course and on Saturday was following the usual suspects when he took a terrific tumble and consequently has a bit of a bruise on his coccyx (well that’s what I thought he said anyway) . With such a severe injury he is staying home so Mrs Genghis can give him her full attention with baby oil and jelly applied in a compress.
Slumpy has been tackling the latest problem on his bike which is worn brake pads. Having fitted new shiny ones he was disappointed to find that they rubbed the disks so severely it was like riding with the brakes on. So riding from Liphook to Portsmouth was a tad exhausting for our hero. So using his “thinking” methodology, which he is now making his own, he has sanded down the pads so they don’t rub the disks – now that’s both clever and depressing. You buy new brake pads and the first thing to be done is sand them down to make them fit, hence shortening their life considerably.
Chuffy has had to put his Bid in for a service and was riding his “old unfaithful” which now has so many new parts its probably only the frame that is original. Much setting of low expectations by our Chuff resplendent in shorts and bare legs.
Corkey is taking up chainsaw juggling – he has gone from basic “throw the chainsaw in the air and catch it” and has moved up a grade to “start the chainsaw and then throw it up in the air and catch it”. He tells me he is a natural and is looking forward to moving up a class to “two chainsaws”. Sadly the instructor has been injured demonstrating a “4 saw” back flip on a tightrope manoeuvre and apparently the injury is one of a “life changing” variety, so I will report progress as it occurs.
Young Nick/Samantha was not around for this ride but I understand he works in “plastic moulding”. It all sounds very advanced but he is reluctant to specify “exactly” what sort of plastic things he is making. He did mention supplying the “adult entertainment” industry and I am not sure what that means but I understand Genghis has recently placed a significant order for the “more advanced” model. Suggested nickname PLASTIC MAN – please comment on the website after this blog.
Dobbie has been undergoing a bit of an identity crisis and has joined a local choir. Sadly the choir already have a surfeit of male base/baritone/tennor singers so he is considering becoming a Castrato (being a good Catholic boy) and proposes using the money he was saving for a new bike to have the “operation” to transform him into a man with a high voice. Some have suggested that if he rode his bike for a while without a saddle, the effect would largely be same, and he would save a ton of cash – which as we know is a subject close to his heart.
So now for the ride. We set off in good order and polite young lady opened the gate allowing the SHABI’s to speed onto towards Midhurst ruins. Sir Fallalot had to be restrained from rescuing her, but she had run off and the dragon had gone home, so he didn’t even have time to unsheathe his sword. It has to be said that Sir Fallalot boiled with frustration and he cut a grim and determined Knight of the realm as we sped through the suburbs of Midhurst.
Onwards and upwards over Bexley Hill and down the Finning Farm descent. Maximum speed at maximum terror levels for all the riders but no falls or other mishaps. Then onwards to Lodsworth and down the high street to the Pooh stick bridge. We do not stop to play, but in summer we definitely WILL be playing (Westminster rules with the no swimming clause active in rule 23).
Then we traverse the slope of catastrophe and Sir Fallalot has a bit if a fall nearly going down the embankment. The brave Knight is now even more grim-faced than before.
Then onto the Tilington “world championship” freewheel faceoff course of which regular riders will be familiar. This is where Fracker established his world dominance in the face off arena. The course starts at the top junction and then heads into Upper Tilington with the sharp left and then right chicane between the parked cars before the Cricket field straight and the final sprint past the pub and church down to the A272. About a 4 minute downhill descent requiring courage and skill and Fracker is the man to beat.
Sadly with no Fracker (I believe he has had another incident with his new colouring crayons and “inappropriate” behaviour with a Friesian cow – more PTSD counselling for the cow and this is getting expensive) – it was all to play for. Chuff on the “old unfaithful” immediately fell behind and it was Smashie with Sir Fallalot and Corkey in hot pursuit as the leaders entered the sharp left and then right. With old age and treachery on his side, Smashie slows to take the tricky left past the parked cars and Sir Fallalot and Corkey sail past down the dead end which is straight on. Smashie is now unopposed with Chuff dawdling at the back. Corkey quickly realises his mistake and bellows to Sir Fallalot that they need to retrace … but Sir Fallalot is a man with a mission having failed to rescue the scantily clad runner mentioned previously (and we also now suspect in dispute with his dragon over working hours).
Anyway we all gather by the A272 and unsurprisingly there is no Sir Fallalot, and we wait and wait some more.
Finally, Sir Fallalot calls in and we guide him back to the Peleton after about 10 minutes. We now head down the valley of Death and great fun it is too, with the trail even more gnarly than usual caused by the rain washing the path away.
Now short of time we blast along through the woods and trails before making the fateful decision to go through Cowpat Farmyard. It did not fail to disappoint, with everyone liberally splattered with cow dung. Did it cling and did it pong? – yes it did!
No time to whinge as we were running very late and we sprint for the carpark and pile into the Italian Restaurant. Excellent food and the Farmyard aroma emanating from the Pelton certainly cleared the other diners out in quick order.
Points as set out below.