5 Nov, Hinton Arms, (9,14)

5th November – Slumpy’s trip to Cheriton

It was bonfire night and Slumpy was adamant that we should ride from The Hinton Arms and it would be dry and warm and we would be able to watch the fireworks from the vista offered by the south downs way. Genghis thought it would be too sunny and therefore stayed at home to polish his helmet ready for next week.

Meanwhile in another part of town Fraker’s bike was in total mechanical meltdown after the trip to Wales with the drive train broken and the dropper post not functional, so he borrows Smashie’s Bird.

The faithful gathered and it was; Smashie as RM, Chuffy as DRM, Dobbie, Big Ring, Slumpy and his carer Tonka, LBD, Faff Cheeks and of course Fracker.

We set off for the south downs way roughly on time and progress was good, and although the going was wet, it was not impassable. We get to the first gate and all is well and we head off over the fields which is surprisingly hard going as much power from the rear wheel is absorbed into the soft grass. There is much grumbling.

Then we smell the classic odour of Eau de Slumpy Mademoiselle which was being piped onto the fields as “fertilizer”. It got muddier and smellier and Slumpy got happier and started singing “glorious mud, glorious mud, there’s nothing quite like glorious mud etc!”. His carer, Tonka, struggles to keep everything “under control”.

We are now riding on pure slime but the skill of the SHABI’s shines through and we get to the A86203 and we cross scaring motorists with our lights. Then into the woods and some great single-track followed by the electric fence field traverse which was accomplished without anyone electrocuting themselves (or if they did, they didn’t notice it).

Slumpy has an argument with a bramble before his carer can intervene and Slumpers comes off very much the worst in the altercation – there is blood.

We are still travelling towards Alresford and we still haven’t seen any fireworks but Slumpy is as cheerful as ever, especially when we hit more mud and Fracker has a lie down in a puddle (well there was some water in the puddle before he fell into it …but not afterwards). There are allegations that he was pushed ….. and although there is a very senior Law Enforcement Operative on hand it would seem he is the person who had done the pushing…. So “nothing to see here …just move along now unless want to be tazered in the genitals etc”

Then onto the BIG roundabout and a short sharp descent under the A86203 which was surprisingly fun having some challenging corners to negotiate at speed.

We see some fireworks – 3 of them – each one lasts 0.001 seconds - celebrations all round.

This was similar to what we saw

Then over the golf course and the RM gets a bit lost and we spend more time on the golf course than anticipated. However the RM finds himself and the route home via the sewage works (Slumpy is orgasmic and his carer has to step in to calm it all down). Then some slippy chalk and we enter the land of the oxdrove tracks. The DRM tells everyone to hurry up as time is running out.

Finally, we head through the Cheriton City Centre and arrive on the dot of 8:30 after a very full 14 miles. Faff Cheeks Spots an opportunity for some additional faffing