18 Sept - Coach and Horses, Compton
Well a great turnout for the Tuesday ‘Frogmarch'. Good weather too.
6 unwitting SHABIS (Polly, Armada, Surgio, Daisy, Chuff and Genghis) turned up at the Coach and Horses (AKA The Grumpy Landlord) for Dobbie’s 'Boot Camp' training for his forthcoming Velo South slog.
Dobbie was in full training gear and we were all simply told to 'follow his disappearing rear light' off up the hill.
And what marvellous and painful hills he managed to find, including what is well known, I am told, and well named, ‘Cardiac Hill’ - similar to Hamburger Hill. Dobbie disappeared to the top to view, hands on hips and legs astride, the less fortunate peloton still somewhere near the bottom with YT getting off and pushing and poor Surgio sounding like the hill had been named after him. Genghis was trying to remember, amid the panting, what we had learned in first aid, but it was not coming back.
At last, atop a Kingley Vale tumilus, Armada took a snap before we were once again frogmarched on our way, barely pausing for breath.
At least we were about to enjoy some of that wonderful downhill section with berms and table tops etc. But no! Dobbie sidetracked all that for some firetrack downhill ‘to get the miles in’, whilst Smashie was away smashing up Wales.
Ending up in Chilgrove and getting mildly lost (err I mean scoping a new route) we headed off up to near Harting Down when lo, 2 SHABI’s went AWOL - Chuff and Surgio. 1 point deducted to the RM, Dobbie, who then set off back down the hill to find them (although we all thought he probably just hid in a bush round the corner for 10 minutes), as we never leave a SHABI behind. 1 extra point for literally going the extra mile! Chuff meanwhile having, as usual, devised his own route back to the pub.
Overall a good ride, firm underfoot.
All retired to the 'Grumpy Landlord' and actually found a quite hospitable barman in his place, and a fuller than normal pub. Quite a surprise! Meal point for all, T shirt points for Surgio, Chuff, Dobbie and Genghis and an RM point for Dobbie. Supposedly a mechanical for Chuff, so a point there too. 16 miles.
Needless to say Dobbie has managed to regain much of his supreme fitness, leaving some of us poorer wretches way behind in his old ‘lead from the front’ Dobbie routine we have come to love.
A much less painful ride next week led by Chuff.
Next week The Jolly Drover, Hill Brow GU33 7QL.