29 June 21 – Oxdrove tracks Alresford
Smashie is back!!!
However, in time honoured tradition, before we talk about the ride, lets talk about the riders. Probably good place to start is our very own Smashie. After having a “funny turn” he was admitted to hospital with a “suspected Stroke”. Franky having a “funny turn” is fairly normal for our Smash, so no news there. After many tests, and more tests, no diagnosis was possible other than a bold statement along the lines of “we have found a working heart and a brain, but we are not sure if the brain is working at all”.
Then came a more “good news and bad news”:
The good news; performance enhancing drugs on prescription.
The bad news; banned from driving for a month and a diet.
Now whilst the effects of taking drugs wears off, and our Smashie is once again terrorising other road users in the Travelling Community van….. the diet is causing much consternation. The target he has been set is a reduction from 15 and a bit stone to a weight beginning with 13 stone. Smashie reports diets are miserable. It seems the first rule of dieting is to identify everything you like eating and then stop eating it.
However - some progress is evident:
As you can imagine the SHABI peleton have been very supportive, and during the evening meal on a Tuesday, have been seen waving chips under Smashie’s nose to see if he will “break”. One can only wonder what psychological side effects all this is going to have on a man with a history of “funny turns”. It is understood that Smashie is currently very keen on learning how to “get big air” on his bike. This can only end badly.
So anyway, on with the ride
As the faithful gather in the Alresford car park we welcome once again new rider Lee aka Lecky Lee. He rides a new-fangled electric Specialized full carbon battery powered mean machine.
Also ready for the off were; Slasher Giles, Slumpy, LBD, Genghis, CFB, C2C7 (making a very welcome return after many months of arresting people for offending other people), Chuff DRM, Strangely and Big Ring and Smashie as RM.
The peleton set off in good order noting that the ENGLAND vs GERMANY footy was on during the ride and regular score updates were required.
It was notably wetter under tyre than usual and the brambles, with so much rain, have gone berserk. Note to all SHABI riders, it may be summer but leg and forearm protection is required often as not.
So at the first stop it was 0-0 and we gather around to enjoy beautiful Hampshire countryside. Everyone bimbles along and chats away, like we do. Then a bit of road and we expect to enter the deep tractor rut section but lo, it has been resurfaced so not much of challenge there.
Then Lord Love Bus Driver has a rear derailleur cage problem. The angle of dangle was okay but the tensioning spring had lost its spring. After much moving the cage back and forth Slasher noted that the clutch was activated and on disengaging it, the spring bounced back into action. However, it has to be said the spring does seem a bit weak so more problems predicted here for our LBD.
We speed on and with the drugs really kicking in for the RM he builds up a bit of a lead from the main body of the peleton only to face plant into a corn field when he mistakenly engages his brain. Luckily a quick recovery means no-one can witness the humiliation of a face in the dirt and the arse up in the air.
Time is now running short and so its Hammer time and ignoring the brambles tearing at the forearms, the peleton race to the “European Championship Freewheel face off course”. It was another fiercely contested fight with many failing to head the warnings about not to “turn right at the bottom” (Schoolboy error). CFB, returning to the form he showed in the 1923 championship was the winner – again
We stop for a score update to be told it was 2-0. We all assume it was 2 goals to Germany and 0 to England but NO. England have beaten Germany. It was suggested that if they said Covid for another 18 months being the price to beat Germany – most agreed that would be a fair trade. Celebrations all around.
We then head for the Fish n Chips and dine out in SHABI style in the car park – hero points for Slash for bringing extra cider – what a boy he is.
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)
On the last ride I went on, the RM sadistically took the peleton through some nettles and brambles and back and forth as he got lost.
I complained as my legs got stung and it hurt.
Now everyone thinks I’m a wuss and are calling me names – that is bullying. What can I do to stop this?
FC of Cranbury Sauce
We all know that nettles and brambles are part of summer riding but your treatment is harsh and unwarranted.
The first step is to find out what Facebook page the nettles are using a set about trolling them. Ditto for the brambles. Abusive posts are bound to make them think twice.
Alternatively, I have seen riders don a suit of armour but that can have disadvantages. Should you suffer from a violent spasm of wind, the backdraft can cause temporary unconsciousness whilst riding, and if you are near a naked flame, a small explosion in the undercracker area. Not nice.
So good luck and I hope that helps.
Please Leave a comment below in the comments section with your favourite comment for this pic (supplied by SB) of Mr Slumps enjoynig a post ride snack: