4 Oct, The Spur, Arundel
To anyone who asked, Smashie was adamant that he was a perfectly normal human being – thankyou. Nevertheless, he volunteered to take the SHABI’s on a new ride without scoping the route first. He reckoned that gadgets recommended by the “Totally unnecessary accessories and Enhancements committee” would result in a fantastic ride for everyone. What could possible go wrong?
However, before we find out what happened on this epic ride, lets talk about the riders and this weeks in-depth profile is our very own Mrs Doyle. As you may be aware Mrs Doyle is 108 years young and there is nothing he likes more than to crack off a quick 157 mile road ride before breakfast, taking a bit of extreme downhill after lunch and a warm down ride before bedtime.
In-between this “light exercise” he can be found building theatre props, changing the gearbox on his Catering van and maybe doing a bit of light re-roofing. Sadly we must report that being 108 years young has taken its toll on his health despite his sedentary life style. He recently announced that he would be taking a 3 day break in Prague to have all his teeth taken out and replaced with diamond tipped tungsten replacements. He has a fear of being put on “soft foods” due to his advanced age and wants to head that one off at the pass.
No-one can be unaware that our Mrs D is a bit hard of hearing (probable cause - shouting a kids!) and we were all delighted to hear his announcement that he is going to India for a Cochlea transplant (as you may know that the spiral shaped cavity found in the inner ear). We obviously wish him well but sincerely hope the person he spoke to at the call centre has understood the procedure involved, as English was certainly not her first language. Lets hope they operate on the right Cochlea !!!
Speaking of matters health, Binky has been very encouraged by SHABI’s who have spoken out regarding their “men’s health issues”. For too long men have bottled the stress of poor health without telling anyone. We all know its bad. So in line with this new “men being open about their health” we can report on the free flowing conversations from the riders on this ride:
1. Slumpy is getting his hernia sorted out and has got the pre-op planned for shortly and is hoping to get a cancellation. We understand that previously he had a double hernia in the genital area but its been sorted out. Lets hope they worked on the correct ‘hernia’ and it is disturbing to find out that it was a vet specialising in castrating cattle that undertook the operation. He’ll be fine.
2. Smashie has had the metalwork removed from his shoulder. Our hero had a large bit of scaffolding inserted to stabilise his collar bone after fracturing it in seven places after a little tumble. He asked if he could keep the aforesaid scaffolding on removal to fashion into an Award for the SHABI gala dinner, but was told that all metalwork inserted by the NHS belongs to the NHS.
Our very own Nurse Brown immediately surmised that bourgeois elitist Surgeons are melting the metal down to supplement their already massive income (which oppressed the masses etc etc). Don’t worry he’s on it, and will make an example of any transgressors (no matter what pronoun they use!). It has been noted that the GRU, although created by Stalin, learnt all their “best” torturing techniques from the accountancy department at Guildford Hospital – they always get the results they want – guilty or not.
3. Faff – could have Covid …again
Anyway that is enough about health and it time to tell you about the ride.
It was a magnificent 10 bikeists that turned up to be led by Smashie including; Major Mech, Nurse Brown, The Faffinator, LBD, Strangely Brown, Tonka, Floodlight the Spot, Slumpy and Big Ring.
The first task was to order food and the Publican clearly thought we were a shifty lot and asked for payment up front. It fair to say the lead waitress has a “direct manner” and we were warned to turn up by 8:30 or else.
Next it was the fitting of the Quadlock handlebar mount for Smashie’s phone and LBD, new to the Totally unnecessary bike enhancements and accessories sub-committee, was on hand to ensure the correct application of torque to the fixing bolt.
Then selection of the DRM and Smashie chose Tonka who explained he no idea where we were going, where he had been, or the local terrain, or what day of the week it was. As I am sure you will agree – ideally suited for the job.
So we set off in good order going north along the A5194 Brighton to Belfast main road and then lurched left and through a gate onto the trail. Sadly, an immediate failure of the Quadlock so diligently attached by LBD – it turns out that he only used 1.34512 kNm instead of 1.34513 kNm – school boy error really, but no sooner had the correct Torque been applied and we were off.
Then a bit further on the RM studies his route on his gadget and called a “left” only for the route to come to a dead end in a small quarry. No matter “RETREAT” was called and we tried again but again the RM’s gadget failed and “RETREAT” was called once more.
The RM sensed that the Peleton was “getting restless” and were holding back in case another “RETREAT” was called. Indeed confidence was waning and Smashie was regretting taking advice from the “Totally unnecessary accessories and Enhancements committee” and their recommendations on gadgets.
However, as often is the case, fortune favours the bold and the next turn saw the Peleton swooping along a really lovely bit of singletrack, dry under tyre and just …. lovely. It went on and on and eventually we climb to the place know as Yew Tree Gate. Another false turning and another RETREAT but by now the Peleton were enjoying themselves so minimal grumbling.
Then over the A5194 Brighton to Belfast main road and into Houghton Forest. More single track and we pedal up to Glatting Beacon. This was the scene for the famous “Baby to Bognor” handover which was captured in slow motion:
Then along the trail and we note that our very own Nurse Brown was getting a bit “dewy eyed” and he confessed that just below us is the Bothy at Gumber Farm where he “lost his cherry”. Well that is what we think we heard him say as there were many mentions of “I was with my two best mates” and “we were lost” and “it was dark” and “no idea what do do” etc etc. Another example of men “sharing” and opening up about their experiences – we all say “well done Nursey for sharing”.
Then onto Dawtry’s Hooks (nope no idea either!) and a fantastic descent to the Romand Road. Maximum throttle for the usual headbangers and pretty timorous from the rest of us. Nevertheless, it went on and on. GREAT. We note that “Richard” lost his front floodlight during the descent so that it angled upwards blinding passing Jumbo Jet pilots. A good first attempt at being an “idiot” but frankly he will have to do much much better. He could take inspiration from one our founding members (Chuff) and crash into a stationary Wheelie bin or maybe Smash a glass pub table for example.
New SHABI RM Motto:
Next we traverse some field to the junction to the north of Northwood Cottages (of course! Doh) and then onto the base of Great Down, Drencher Wood and Little Wood.
Another minor RETREAT and before you knew is we were back at the pub safe and sound.
It has to be said that despite the “assertive” nature of the head Waitress the food and drink were excellent and this ride is worthy of a repeat and would work well in reverse maybe.
I love you all
BINKY BYKEKNUT – A Cycling legend answers your questions using Binkychat A&E™
In this feature, Binky will fearlessly tackle any personal or technical issues you might have (these can be submitted via the SHABI Whatsapp group using Artificial Intelligence
What Torque should I tighten the Quadlock clamp to?
Yours very concerned
LBD of Liss
Its 1.34513 kNm
Hope this helps