Imagine the bucolic country scene of quiet tranquillity on a sunny, but cloudy, spring day and the all-conquering, mass murdering, military strongman Genghis Khan steps outside his back door in his pink bunny rabbit onesy to check the weather using his tried and tested methodology.
First he checks the wind direction, then how erect the daffodil stems, then which direction the cows are lying, and then the final determinant – look at his Apple phone. Yep – its going to be a heatwave and worried that his camelback cannot carry sufficient fluid decides not to ride – just this once.
So Smashie was all alone in the Travelling Community van with a spare wheel for Faff who had suffered a pall spring failure. First a wheel swap in a windswept car park on the top of the Deveils punchbowl and then RV in a dodgy car park in Grayshitt – its Strangely Brown’s manor so all were afraid – very afraid.
A brilliant six riders assembled including; Tarmac St J, Capt FB, LBD, Daisy, Strangely, Tonka, Slumpy, Faff, Slasher and RM Smashie. We set off in rather chilly conditions and Strangely is tasked with taking us from Grayshitt to Hindhead but by an off-road route. It all started so well with great downhill and a technical uphill section. We emerge in Old folk care home land and take a tour of the expensive house driveways. Some suspect Strangely was “looking for trouble” but none was found and it started to snow – quite a blizzard in fact. CFB had quite an accumulation on his helmet.
Anyway after a lot of messing about we get to Hindhead and Smash takes over as RM. It’s downhill all the way and what a blast it was – this why we go mountain biking – smiles all around.
Faff is generally dismissive of “hard tail” bikes and so CFB and Smash, both on Bird Hardtails, vow to never let Faff borrow one.
Then its onto Hitlers Bunker via Hankley Common and there are tales of the films that have been produced form this location; Gladiator the opening battle scene with the romans vs the Germans (another one of Dobbie’s translation mishaps – “we come in peace” got translated as “kill the bastards” and it all went pete tong from there) , Dr No - the beach scene with Ursula Andress, Skyfall with James Bond and M gets a bit stabbed, etc etc
We then head on towards the golf course and Slumpy gets a puncture. Now put down your food and drink – this next bit is horrible. Image a small plastic bag full of slugs. Then imagine the slugs have been squashed but are still half alive. Now imagine putting your hand into the bag of half dead slugs to detect a thorn that might be the cause of the puncture.
Slumpy was faffing about and giving faffers everywhere a bad name, so knowing that time was passing by, Smash gets stuck in. The slime tube had leaked everywhere and it was disgusting. Meanwhile Slumpers was checking out his “new” inner tube and it was plainly still punctured from the last time – his other “new” tube had about 13 previous punctures mostly repaired with Sellotape. Luckily TSJ has a new tube – hero points for TSJ. Further hero points for CFB for offering Smash a wet wipe to restore his hands before using his gloves.
So we get going and the mood changes from the previous; bimble and chat .. and chat some more …to hammer time. We reach the boardwalk and ignore the signage but the boardwalk has not yet been restored – sigh – have they got something else to do in lockdown then?
Then up through Thursley and the Peleton has stopped talking now – the pressure is on to get back. Then, just when everyone was on the limit, the final climb up the path of small tennis ball sized rocks. Oh my goodness this was tough. Faff looses control and rides into a bush. Many others spin out or crash. We reach the top and CFB is so hot he looks like he has caught fire.
Then more climbing to Gibbett Hill and a decent in Grayshitt. Oh my that was cold. Soaked with perspiration the cold air from the speedy descent froze everyone to the core. No-one can ever remember being that cold ever before.
Anyway a triumph. A brave few tested Strangely’s local kebab and as far as I know CFB, Faff, Strangely and Smash are £7.50 poorer but still alive.
Scores on the Doors:
BINKY BYKEKNUT – A Cycling legend answers your questions
In this feature, Binky will fearlessly tackle any personal or technical issues you might have (these can be submitted via the SHABI Whatsapp group)
I am the Health and Safety Officer for my Local Cycling Group and I have scientifically proved that wearing pink baggies when cycling is guaranteed to reduce the chances or hitting a stationary wheelie bin.
The statistics are still being worked on by experts, but I sincerely believe that at least one wheelie bin would be alive today if the rider had been wearing pink.
My fellow riders think I am overreacting and making a “mountain out of a molehill”. Furthermore, they think that “pink” is “just wrong”. How can I convince my fellow riders to adopt this simple safety measure?
NZ of Liphook
We all know that saving any Wheelie bin from unwarranted assault with a deadly Mountain Bike is a is a matter of consciousness. Everyone should fully support what you are trying to achieve. What you don’t say from your heartfelt letter is how you are wearing the pink baggies? Are they in the usual place and secured around the waist .. or on your head? If you have gone for the “over the head” option is there not a risk of blocking the view of the trail causing more accidents?
Nevertheless, your research is vital and suggest that you win over your comrades in progressive steps:
1. Always wear as much pink as possible to lead by example.
2. Suggest that your comrades wear pink undergarments to start with to get used to the idea (ladies “pink big pants” are great starting point)
3. Never give up – Wheelie bins need you
Hope this helps