27 Oct – SHABI’s and the English Civil War - a ride from Cheriton (6, 14)
Anticipating the challenge of finding food at 8:30 the RM starts phoning around early and the results were not encouraging; Hinton Arms – we are closed on Tuesday; The Fox Bramdean – no food after 7:30; Meon Hut – just no! In desperation the RM tries the Flower Pots in Cheriton and the answer is Yes but you have to eat in the Marquee. Well any port in the storm so the RM signs up with further conditions; park in the recreation ground and pre-order and be back NO LATER than 8:30. How hard can it be?
So the Lord Points Master sends out the e-mails with the “What three Words” location and we gather in the recreation ground car park and ready ourselves. A covid compliant SIX riders as you would expect including; Smashie RM, Dobbie DRM, LBD, Faff Cheeks, TsJ, Slumpy and his carer Tonka, Big Ring and CFB Bah.
But before we get into the ride, lets talk about the riders and this week’s in depth biography is the lesser spotted Genghis:
The teenage years; when Mr and Mrs Genghis senior arrived back in the camp with Genghis “junior” they had big plans for him. By his first birthday he owned a mule, a mini meat cleaver and an angle grinder. The Genghis’ were so proud of their son and made great plans for world domination. Young Genghis continued to show promise so by the age of 12 he had a mule, full-size meat cleaver with spikes and belt fed minigun mounted in an attack helicopter.
Then on his thirteenth birthday it all started to go badly wrong and in particular Mr Genghis senior was worried. Genghis junior suddenly started listening to different types of music. No hanging around the campfire banging the bongos and chanting death to his enemies – he was down the night club listening to the latest “new romantic” music (think “soft Cell” and “Human League”). It didn’t stop there. Genghis cast off his bearskin loincloth and started wearing “jeans” with holes cut in them. Gone were the traditional masks made from the skulls of defeated enemies to be replaced by “women’s makeup” and ribbons.
Genghis’s parents were aghast and immediately sought counsel from the village “Wise Woman”. They were advised that a holiday to Ibiza would “help get it out of his system”. So off went Genghis Junior for a month of non-stop drug soaked clubbing. In the end he stayed for a year and the results were the opposite of what his parents had hoped.
Genghis pulling an 'all-nighter:'
His first appearance at the war council camp fire dressed in an outfit suggesting some mental confusion over his sexuality caused uproar. His suggestion that the Huns should “sing songs” to pacify their enemies did not go down well either.
So in desperation Genghis Junior was sent to work in his local bike shop to work for a chap called Trevor to toughen him up. The unending streams of “members of the public” wanting this and that fixed on their crappy bikes leaving Genghis Junior to search through piles of randomly stacked accessories, finally put the ruthless sadistic mass murderer back into him. Finally he snapped and acquired a cattle prod to use on annoying punters and started to really enjoy inflicting extreme pain on some random idiot wanting his jockey wheels oiled or somesuch. Before you knew it he was recruited by the Local Drug Lords who he quickly usurped. Then on the eve of his twentieth birthday, Genghis junior topped it all by applying the cattle prod to the genitals of the Imperial Roman Emperor Julius Caesar when he brought his bike in for some shiny streamers to put on the end of the handlebars. So that's how the Imperial Roman Empire came to be at war with the Huns and that's how Genghis became the most feared scourge of civilisation
Back to the ride, and first off to the pub to pre-order but the staff take soooo long and the RM becomes agitated. The RM has a sense of foreboding but finally the food is ordered. ZOOOM we all set off at maximum speed desperate to start the ride. A fairly conventional route was selected by the RM on the grounds of “if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it”. We head up to the South Downs Way and along the Winchester Hill bit known as Gander Down. Tonka keeps the RM company up front and whilst stopped for a breather we observe two partridges just sitting on the ground less than a yard away in the full blaze of the front lights. Clearly not long for this world either succumbing to Mr Fox or some local gent and his shotgun. Whatever.
We cross the Paris to Roubaix dual carriage way and scare the motorists with our lights before plunging through Little Hampage wood. Then through the cow field pasture complete with electric fence. Everyone expects a lecture from the Health and Safety Officer but he stays silent – perhaps there is something in his past we would rather not know about.
Right at Avington Manor Farm and we enter Hampage wood proper. The RM tries to tackle a 1” blue MDPE water pipe and falls off whilst stationary. Surprisingly painful for our hero and there is blood. We then traverse Hampage Wood and it’s a slippy slidey roller coaster but we make it to the road safely.
We blast through Ovingdon and the outskirts of Alresford. Onwards and through the Alresford Golf Course and many take elicit pleasure riding over those manicured fairways. These courses could be put to much better use as MTB trail centres but at least Golf Courses keep all the men in Rupert bear trousers safely in one place.
We go past the Alresford Sewage Works and Slumpy is blamed unfairy for the smell and we start the Oxdrove tracks for the final stretch home. The RM realises that time is running out and its Hammer time to meet the 8:30 deadline. Its pain all around but we make it back to the pub in time.
Then a bit of a shambles as we get changed and head for the pub Marquee. Food eventually arrives and we scoff it down before it gets cold. Faff cheeks notes that there is plenty of room in the pub itself. No matter how many times the waitress asks “… is everything alright for you ..” and we chorus back “ ..its lovely..” its all a bit unsatisfactory.
Faffy Demonstrates his methodology for Bike Cleaning:
Anyway - here are the scores on the doors;
I love you all