30 Mar, Liphook, (6,14)
Updated: Apr 7
30th March, Inaugural SHABI ride of 2021 (post Covid lockup) with a New member, New encounter, New Appointment, all in the New Year of our Association of Biking Idiots.
Strangely Brown (RM)
Nigel (New recruit, AKA Ian)
Tarmac St. John
Love Bus Driver
We all gathered in the Midhurst Rd Carpark in Liphook, all raring to go on our first ride of 2021, with polished bikes and chomping at the bit for the pedal off at 6.30pm. The sun was shining, the temperature was perfect, what was there not to like?
It was clear from the off, that the R.M. was so keen to get going, he had forgotten all about the after ride grub up, so Smashie reminded us of the following: A member of SHABI is free to introduce more detailed rules provided they: a. do not conflict in any way with the official SHABI Laws of MTB, and b. are limited to the territory of the association concerned, and c. are not valid for any previous SHABI ride or event, or for a Shabi members title or rating enforced the, not so often rule. Clear? (in other words, decide on the way back).
We headed off to Bramshott Common on an initial leisurely downhill stretch of road (to allow for those who have not straddled their steed during the winter months, and instead allowed increased waistlines opposed to Quad’s to develop) to engage their finely tuned memory muscle fibres, on how to pedal again. The steely Shabi’s are no S.A.S (Saggy Arse SHABI), and more akin to the familiar Delboy motto “Who Dares Wins”, or in our case “Spins”, and we were off for what was going to be an eventful evening.
Through Bramshott military cemetery, and onwards to Ludshott Common.
Apparently, we had a couple of steeds kick off their riders, or they just fell off? Reports suggest that Daisy is pushing hard for another trophy this year in this department, with Fracker making sure he doesn’t have a clear run at the title at Christmas.
Our new recruit Nigel, is no novice to MTB’ing and certainly knows the pitfalls of being noticed in a group and being a newbie, as he also pedals with OTHERS! Nigel kept a low profile while keeping in the mix of the well hardened SHABI pack. It won’t take long for him to be broken in, to the banal banter, we are all akin to.
I think we should anonymise some more controversial bits – it’s the snowflakes you know
We had a short testing incline out of Waggons Wells, which didn’t thwart the mighty Shabi’s after the extended break, and arrived in Bramshott Common once again, for a lovely flowing, and technical descent. A Shabi first, and all negotiated well, as the unmistakable blinding dazzle of the DRM’s illuminations as he arrived at the bottom of the hill, that gave us all a migraine.
We soldiered on towards the underpass under the A3, and had another little tester of an incline. Along this section we learnt of the trials and tribulations of our illustrious leader travails, with his Brother-in-Law. Now, I think you would all agree that Smashie is a very articulated and well-spoken chap, and you’d be hard pushed to think that his blood would boil, and would never hear an expletive of any kind pass his lips (unlike most who are in his profession!)…… All I can say, is Smashie has endured a lot over the past 5 years, and finally has a resolution to a big niggle, and after letting off a mountain of steam, pumping his steed (pedalling, that is), he is a much relieved man, as of March 30th 2021, a deal has been done and dusted ……. Little did we know what was to follow later on, in the ride, and earn the RM a newly appointed title.
We ambled through the open flats of the north side of the Common of nowhere, and took a left turn into the land that time forgot. I do not want to dwell on the matter for long, as the most pleasant Campsite Owner greeted the lost flock of SHABI’s. The event is best explained by LBD’s accurate recollection, as follows:
“Basically, we took a wrong turn and ended up a bit lost. The kindly campsite owner happily redirected us and we were on our way again. The redirection went on for some time with a lengthy explanation of where and how we had got lost.
Consequently, this event, is of course ‘gold dust’ for the Shabi committee to come up with all sorts of acronyms, as follows:
CHLOE – Campsite Host Liaison Officer – Europe
We finally leave the happy campsite owner and his happy advice and complete our ride, travelling through Liphook Golf Club, (and nifty short cut, thanks to Mastic Man) and onto the Pizza Restaurant near Liphook Station.
We only had 6 stay for food, to be eaten in the carpark, as Tarmac St John ensured that he wouldn’t be marked down for not wearing his T-Shirt (which he didn’t), and is clearly showing his colours to be a keen top point scorer in 2021. As for Slumpy, he has fallen at the first hurdle, trying to bowl a fast one by claiming to be wearing a genuine and official SHABI T-Shirt, when in fact, it was a cheap Hong Kong knock off (many points deducted!). The remaining riders claimed to be ‘not very hungry’, but in truth were probably keen to get home and update their Facebook posts with the evenings drama’s.
A great start to the year, with a fabulous turnout.
SB / CHLOE