30 June, Emsworth, (6,12)
Emsworth to Kingley Vale
So the 6 riders lured by the promise of sunshine, fish and chips and seaside frolics were RM Fracker, Smashie, Faff Cheeks, Love Bus Driver Teach, Chuff, Tonka, Slumpy, Daisy, Slasher, BigRing and St. John of Tarmac, Slacker.
Joined by a never early Slacker in his annual Shabi pilgrimage, the merry band set off from the damp and dreary car park behind Tesco – the weather was fine it is the carpark that is damp and dreary, with the RM promise of dry terrain and no more rain, honest.
In usual fashion it took less than 500 metres for some of the peloton to get a bit lost, but soon we were back on track across fields towards Westbourne and Hollybank Woods.
On seemingly innocuous ground, St. John of Tarmac managed to impale himself with his bike and despite announcing that it ‘tis but a flesh wound’ was surrounded by 5 eager SHABIs desperate to apply some of their first aid kit – in a cunning ruse to reduce the weight they were carrying. Patched up and ready to go, it then became obvious that the RM was a little lost and the ‘ride’ turned into a ‘carry’ for a short while.
The group ascended to the Racton Ruin whereupon the RM gave a fully and historically accurate description of the beginnings, middle and end of said structure. Some riders were even taking notes knowing that there would be a test later….
Then on up towards the start of the Adsdean climb. Faff Cheeks’ level of incredulity that we should contemplate such an endeavour was only matched by Smashie’s enthusiasm to get to the top first. and video the rest of us puffing and sweating our miserables selves through sheer grit etc.to join him at the top.
With enthusiasm waning at the possibility of making a later descent down the slippy chalk hell, a route revision was enacted.
Still on we went through the slippy root woods, to the chalky summits and then down the bridlepath of swift descent, unluckily there were no brides en route this evening.
Then, although slightly moist, we chanced it through the spooky woods with associated spooky jumps for those of that inclination. No falls to report here……
RM decided it was nearly time for the seaside picnic and routed the group down the road to Walderton and up Postman’s Hill.
Tonka suffered a puncture with which his slime could not cope, and Slasher exhibited a degree of competence in replacing an inner tube hitherto unseen in the Shabi world.
Back in time for fish and chips by the sea – sheltered but dark: not the climate but rather Fracker’s persona this evening……..
Beer point for BigRing. Tonka puncture point.
T-Shirts - usual suspects. Meals (innovative mixture of fish and chips and picnic) for all.
Falls – St. John of Tarmac. Misdemeanours – hardly any.