5 Bells, 29 Mar
Events kicked off from the Five bell-ends, Buriton. According to my copious notes I was there and so was Nurse Brown, Strangely Brown, Tiger Tony, LBD, Slumpy, Dobbie, Chuff, Kate, Big Ring, and somewhat surprisingly, Smashie. Why am I surprised I hear you ask, well there was a photo circulating on social media which indicated that Smashie was grossly under weight, the only evidence of any subsidence passing his lips was a partially digested centipede which was still wedged in his chest. I was therefore pleased to know that Smashie was at the bell-end pub to eat, hip hip hurrah I hear you all chant.
Where were the other regulars? I had a couple of sick notes, Slash was on a boat somewhere, rumour has it that it is in Plymouth, Portugal, Cardiff or Majorca. Anyhow he wasn’t where he should be so nuff said. Also absent was Slumpy’s carer. Somewhat worryingly Slumpy was out and about without any social support and guidance. Where was his carer? In the land that time forgot apparently, that’s north of Watford to you and me. What was he doing there? Who cares, he wasn’t where he should be so misdemeanour point required. Faff was also awol. However, according to Strava he was out scoping new Shabi routes with 8500m elevation of climbing, think I might stay in and wash my smalls when Faff leads that one. Oh, nearly forgot Genghis, there was weather predicted on Tuesday so not surprisingly Genghis cried off. Am I missing others, probably, I am getting on a bit so I apologise in advance to those I have inadvertently missed off the roll call.
Oh, did I mention this was the first ride of summer 2022? This was the first ride of summer 2022. Easy Tiger (Tiger Tony to us, Easy after a couple of shandies apparently), put his paw up and volunteered to be DRM so formalities complete and we were ready for the off. Hold on, what’s LBD sitting on? That’s not his bird, oh my word Smashie, as a result malnutrition and losing his marbles, is letting LBD out for the night with his bird. Common sense, learnt from school, was to never share your bird, especially to someone as handsome as LBD, oh dear this will end in tears.
Out of the pub car park, hang a right and off in search of hills. We were still on tarmac but as part of tradition, once the first hill had been breached the event was celebrated by a group slash (no offence Rob). In the absence of Faff, Dobbie took up the mantle and completed a costume change. All happy with our attire and empty bladders we entered the royal park of QE.
As we are advanced idiots it’s the advanced MTB track for us. For those not in the know I’m talking red, which translates as ‘mainly uphill’. As feared at kick off, LBD is abusing Smashie’s bird, which let out a whimp and refused to continue. Luckily we had Kate the Marriage Counsellor with us. On his bended knee he found the sweet spot (that’s the b-screw to the uninitiated), a couple of twiddles and the bird was happy to continue. SB was eager to learn what a b-screw was, and indeed how to work it, so much so that his face was pressed against the bottom bracket. LBD issued a warning about small children and moving parts and SB was prized away, phew! BTW, as it was Smashie’s bird causing all the commotion that’s a misdemeanour point to Smashie, Lord Point Master.
Onwards and upwards and the reason for our jaunt became clear. A gleaming CAT 5230 with optional furry dice and leopard skin upholstery was staring down at us from the top of the hill. Even more exciting was the sight of the military grade Daf 33 variomatic with bucket shovel fore and aft. TsJ could not control himself and climbed into the bucket and made himself at home, even though it smelt of p*ss and someone had previously had a dump in there.
The sight of caterpillar tracks also stirred the loins of our very own Chuff who reminded us of is recent mission in a Chieftain tank which led to the demise of half a dozen spliffs which has been reported as one the most successful drug busts in the whole of Hampshire. Chief Inspector Dan (known as Lootenat to us because he’s a modest man) could only listen in ore and wonder because the Surrey force has only managed to bag a packet of 10 Players No6 in their biggest raid to date.
After many unscheduled stops and chats about drugs and birds darkness was upon us. The initial plan which was scribbled on a back of a fag packet, was binned and option B was initiated. Off to Head Down was next. Nurse Brown, named such because he is nursing the biggest lungs ever, used them to full effect. That resulted in the Nurse reciting an account of all his family holidays whilst mounting the >20% hills of Head Down without taking a breath – respect!
I think we are almost home. Spotted the obligatory deer on the South Downs Way, satisfied, we headed down the Milky Way towards the pub. Waiting for the group to reappear at the end of the track it was apparent all was not well. Easy Tiger appeared from the back of the ranks and reported all was not well with Slumpy. The second mechanical was upon us. Slumpy reported malfunctioning jockey wheels. Another trip to Trevor the bike magician beckons, so named because he can make all of Slumpy’s hard earned cash disappear!
At last we arrive at the Five Bells. Our very own Smashie is on is 8th Pina Colada and very much without a care in the world. A good time to break bad news. LBD, with his gently gently approach immediately recounts how he rode Smashies bird into a whisper of its life before finding the b-spot, or the b-screw, which resulted in no further grinding from the bird, and a satisfied rider.
Big Ring listened on intently and spoke out in support, “more veg here” he shouted out aloud, which as those in the Liphook posse know, means, I want more veg. I think this helped to take Smashie’s mind off his poor bird. Meanwhile Slumpy drowned his sorrows with two helpings of mushy peas and cold chips from various other plates. Once the bill from Trevor arrives for the supply and install of two new jockey wheels there will be no more hot dinners in the Slumpy household for 2 weeks.
Bill settled, car park left, onto the next adventure next week!
Note: No meal or Shandy for Easy Tiger Tony. T-shirts and meals for all other attendees including Smashie. - See WhatsApp screenshot from LBD for breakdown of points
Your Loyal servant - TSJ