31 May, Green Dragon, Queen's Jubilee
Shabi's Jubilee ride. May 31st.
In the week that;
We enjoy 4 days Bank holiday as our Magesty wears her Crown for 70 years, and feels like a CWT, with the pressures of some of her younger dysfunctional/questionable children/family, resting on her head and shoulders! (1 CWT or 1 hundred weight is equivalent to 112lbs or 50.8 kg in foreign talk)
The trial of the dyfunctional acting world comes to an end, know as a "The Deep Turd" (Johnny Deep & Amber Turd), which will probably be made into Netflix special.
The eventual release of the sequal Top Gun movie is released, staring Tom Thumb AKA Maverick; when simultaneously, our very own Tom Tum AKA Smashie celebrate his birthday on a Shabi ride around Ludshott & Bramshott commons, on his quest to regain his former lung capacity & Adonis attributes.
...And our PM, who feels he hasn't been getting enough flack, announces the proposed reintroduction of imperial measurements in commemoration to our Queens longevity on the throne. Therefore all relevant references in this blog, are given according to the Weights & Measurements Act 1897.
So we begin ..... A complement of 8 Shabi's eventually assemble in the car park of the Green Dragon pub, by air, sea, foot or mtb bike, but definitely not by road, as East Hampshire Council's contribution to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations is to install a temporary & purposeless traffic light system between the two closest adjacent roundabouts in the country, to cause maximum gridlock in and around the Liphook area, which caused tail backs as far as Cardiff, Dover & Manchester, all in equal measure at 6.30pm
The Shabi peloton head down London road looking pretty smug, while the frustrated elderly drivers look on in envy, before our tyres leave the tarmac heading to St Mary's church, up past Ludshott Manor towards Ludshott Common and what is know colloquially as 'The Gingerbread house' (No, not Harry & Megans temporary residence this week).
After a gentle single track climb, we halt to witness Genghis self combust, as he disrobes an oil skin, duvet and chain mail. The sureal scene of plumes of smoke & steam rising into the sunny evening sky, is captured by LBD (and his very precious camera phone, that only he, & members of NASA's Hubble telescope engineers team are permitted to handle).
Upon rehydration, and safe stowage of garments, Iron Lungs etc, we trundle down into Waggoners Wells, around the ponds and up into Bramshott Common.
At this point the RM, mindful of the varying prowess of the mighty Shabi's, gives directions to a short cut, that reduces the overall distance of this 12 miles ride by 11 miles & 1759 yards (quite a feat really).
Consequently Smashie opts for the 1 furlong decent (on the proviso that we Do Not have to come back up the same hill) to meet at the junction below, while the rest of us tackle snake root hillside hairpin trail (Strava have still to adopt this name).
It's at this point a special mention must be made for the impeccable conduct of the DRM (Big Ring AKA Hulk) who never failed to holla GO! at the appropriate time (usually when we are bunched up in a huddle) irrespective of proximity to the RM, which was usually in his right ear, no more than 18 inches away.
It became clear that Genghis was worried about how he was getting home that evening, as he became very anxious of Smashie's whereabouts (both travel in the pikey van everywhere together), as at evey kink in the trail, we heard squeaks of "can you see him yet". Assurances were given, which is when Tonka thought, wouldn't it be a jolly jape to start riding up the hill that Smashie came down!. SB , whole heartedly agreed, and as RM would lead the way.
Of course, Smashie (after packing away his picnic basket & sleeping bag) and upon seeing SB start the climb, metamorphosed into a Marvel character, resembling Thor, and certainly had a look of thunder about him.
This naturally all changed when he realised we were playing a little prank, and just gave the look that can only be described as..... "Git". (That's for you Tonka)
We only had one more short ascent before taking the underpass under the A3 to the flats of Bramshott Common. A pootle around there and skirting, but not entering, Grumpy Campsite, we head to the Canadian war memorial for a photo.
Now, a very very very rare occurrence in the history of Shabi existence, happened....... (Dramatic pause).....
LBD relinquished control of his most beloved (no, not his mother in law). His Camera phone!!! SB was permitted to take a photo of the Shabi's. You will clearly see that LBD's bottom lip is considerably larger than everyone elses in the photo (you don't have to look hard). Of course, this all nearly didn't happen, as during hand over of equipment SB started juggling LBD's phone with a water bottle and a flaming torch.... LBD was not amused (again clearly expressed in the photo).
This photo has already been circulated on the WhatsApp group, and a very observant Faff Cheeks commented as follows:
"Good work chaps but note that Tarmac St John appears to be delivering a Naval salute whilst in a sitting position.
I’m sure the 383 Canadian Army casualties that gave their lives fighting for our freedom only to have their original memorial forcibly removed by other members of the road building community in order to make way for the widening of the A3 will appreciate that."
I'm sure TSJ feels suitably reprimanded, and won't sulk, or do it again.
We now approach the end of our journey of fiction, fact and japes, but we have one last hoorah on this ride, with a famous Strava decent to the A3 that involves skillful riding to get a good time. What you don't need is any navigation ability (apparently not so!). LBD leads the way, certain he'll smash the current record, and sets off with gusto followed by Genghis, 20 second intervals are given, but within 30 seconds LBD & Genghis end up off the track and intentionally go into a ditch.
This, of course, means they have to double back, which results in an M25 style concertina effect for the remainder of track.... Consequently no Strava records broken this time around.
Its the Shabi way!
Back through Bramshott and on to the pub, with all the traffic dispersed at this hour, all grumpy motorists are at home drinking sherry.
Ordinarily, that would be the end of the ride & Blog, however, Lootenant Dann, having had to abandon his car a considerable distance from the pub for reasons already given, decided that he needed to sprint the length of Liphook High Street a couple of time, for a bit more of a workout and perhaps wave his Union Jack, Jubilee styleeee! That's what we thought, but in actual fact, his car does not have a glove box in front of the passenger seat, like everyone else, but apparently it's on the roof, and clearly not a very good design feature. He drives to the pub, bike secure on the back, and gloves safely on the roof! Needless to say, this was why he was seen running back to collect his gloves from the road.
Now,...... it's Curry & a beer.
Scores on the Doors: