31st Oct – SHABIs do Marlborough

Updated: Apr 8

Dearest SHABIs

Well the best laid plans of men and mice. It had long been planned for a SHABI trip to Wales and the guide had been booked and there was much excitement. LBD had even been insured to drive the van and Big Ring had booked himself into the Penhros Hotel. The locals were aghast.

Then Covid occurred and the trip was cancelled. There was crying and gnashing of teeth. However, cometh the hour, cometh an alternative suggestion to ride from Marlborough.

The planned route issued by Smashie required extensive use of mapping gadgets and both Faff Cheeks and Captn Frackbladder Bah stepped forward to assist. In true SHABI tradition, Captn Frackbladder’s gadget just said “NO” and Faff Cheek’s gadget said “Yes” but only for 20 minutes due to a small battery. From this point you can tell it was only going to end in triumph but not in the way anyone expected.

So the RV was Marlborough Town Hall at 10:00am. In true SHABI tradition there was delay and lateness as the certain members of the Peleton topped up their Cholesterol levels in the local café.

'Fuelling up' - These SHABI's enjoy a pre-ride gluten free organic almond croissant and ionised cucumber water served at room temperature

So we gather outside the posh Estate Agents by the Town Hall sheltering from the driving torrential rain (described as “Heavy Dew” by the ever optimistic Smashie who was RM).

A quick roll call revealed Covid compliant SIX riders including; Smashie RM, TsJ, Slumpy and his carer Tonka, Whoops a Daisy, LBD, Dobbie, Captn Frackbladder Bah, Slasher Giles and Faff Cheeks as DRM.

Riders ready? Pedals Ready?

Then as we are about to set off, something occurred that will warm the hearts of any SHABI rider who things are getting a bit “sensible” these days. Slasher Giles decided to put the “i” in idiot by undertaking a pre-ride Risk Assessment and Health and Safety bike check before departure using the “kick the tyres” methodology pioneered by Faff Cheeks in his contract with HM Armed forces. However in “kicking the tyres” our hero kicked the inflation valve which promptly snapped off leading to near instant deflation of the rear tyre.

Now imagine you a posh Estate Agent hoping for a bit of passing trade on a wet, but busy, Saturday morning and all you can see out of the shop window is the fat lycra clad arses of Smashie and Slasher fixing a tubeless mountain bike tyre pouring sealing fluid over the pavement and generally causing consternation to the barber waxed jacket pedestrians. The Health and Safety officer has to get involved and it nearly kicked off but luckily the tyre was fixed and we head off in some very heavy dew.

Smashie could barely contain his delight and excitement at Slasher's shenanigans!

Despite the heavy dew which is falling even more heavily now, with rivers running down the road, we head up to Marlborough Hospital and into the Savernake Forest.

This is what it's all about...