6 Oct – Midhurst Madness
Updated: Oct 25
6th October 2020 – the Madness of Midhurst
A Covid compliant SIX riders were present and correct in the dodgy car park behind the bus station lavatories including; Smashie as RM, Whoops-a-Daisy, Faff Cheeks, Slumpy as H&S Officer and his carer Tonka, Bigus Ringus, Love Bus Driver, Slasher Giles, Simon the Wheels, Captain Frackbladder Bah and Dobbie.
Last minute excuses from Strangely Brown and Tarmac and St John. Strangely has another little infection and TsJ is having trouble reversing his new 35 tonne scraper into his drive. He recently selected full scraper mode and accidently demolished three adjoining properties and injured a number of gnomes hiding in the wheelie bin for protection. I believe that Law Enforcement operatives are involved … oh dear.
However, in time honoured tradition, before we get onto the ride, lets talk about the riders. This weeks in depth profile is our very own Dobbie.
Our Dobbs was born in 1923 to Mr and Mrs Dobbie making him one of the younger riders in the SHABI peleton. He was the eldest of 23 children and so money was tight right from the get go … and if he did have any money, it would usually be stolen by his siblings.
This shortage of the readies has left its mark on Dobbs and informed so many of his life choices. To gain an insight as to just how “careful” our Dobbs is with the money you have to observe his behaviour in a manner that would make David Attenborough be proud.
The pub is not his natural habitat (just as paying for things isn’t either) and the time honoured SHABI tradition of splitting the bill that always mysteriously comes to £17 (higher now with Covid inflation) can be a challenge to his natural instinct of only paying the minimum. The usual method by which the SHABI’s reach the £17 figure is to divide the bill by the number of people eating and round up to give a “tip”. However, some pub till systems can only deal in the exact amount meaning everyone pays £17 but the LAST person only pays the balance ie £16.95. Next time at pay up time in the pub – see how Dobbie quietly holds back trying to be the last to pay and save that all important 5 pence.
However it has been noticed in the recent past that he has been “splashing the cash” so much so that he has even purchased a new bike (the old one is now in a museum where the curator is still scraping off 67 years of grime as Dobbie doesn’t waste water on cleaning his bike either).
So the lesson from todays character assassination is that “take care of the pennies and you might save up enough for a new bike!” Even if it takes you 67 years.
So onto the ride and we head through Midhurst keeping a regulation 2.0 meters apart and in groups of six (Rule 32 subsection B Additional measures to be taken under Covid Conditions part ii) and as directed by the new Health and Safety Officer (with guidance from his Carer).
Then left and up to the playground and we head for the first technical descent but on arriving at the bottom realise that at least ¾ of the Peleton are missing. Luckily the DRM (in this case the Health and Safety Officer) had gathered the lost sheep together and called for assistance. So the RM retraced his tracks and we are all united once again. Clearly the 2.0m distancing will require additional Risk Assessments and method statements going forward (oh this Management bollocks is getting very boring ed)
So then onto Iping Common and in the gloom no-one notices we are heading for the South Downs. Through a farmyard and then along a track very well used by horses. The bikes and riders are plastered in mud. For those of you not familiar with the concept of mud it is where earth and water (usually from precipitation) are mixed together to form a viscous liquid with adhesive qualities which when ridden over at speed, splatter over every part of bike and rider. A bit of cow pat greatly increases the adhesive qualities of the mud and adds flavour to any that gets accidentally ingested.
Then Faff Cheeks (for it is he) declares that he not sure of the RM’s parentage and that the RM was conceived out of wedlock along with a few other “Anglo Saxon” terms that your blogger (and probably reader) is unfamiliar with. He does have a potty mouth, when he wants does our Faff Cheeks.
Anyway the RM was found out, whilst ploughing through the mud the Peleton has not noticed the impending wall of death that is the South Downs at Didling approached from the north…that is apart from Faff.
So finally it dawns on the Peleton what is in store and its fair to say that hill is a b@astard.
Even Tonka had to walk – it was that bad!!
Anyway after a lot of huffing and puffing we reconvene a the trig point on the top. Faff notices a strange marking on the monument and goes into a very detailed description …but frankly we all lost interest when he got onto the thread gauge of the screws holding the plaque onto the stone, so we all head off down the hill to Cocking. My goodness gracious me that was scary – actually not the words I used at the time, but this is a family blog. Over the main Paris to Istanbul road and up the other side before a sharp left down a rutted track of slippy chalk. Much tentative riding.
Then it was a matter of following the trail from the Baby to Bognor extravaganza earlier in the year to get back to the car park in good order. The Last 3 miles were done at emergency speed as we were running late. Is being late for food really an emergency I hear you ask …YES it is!!
So a great meal and here are the scores on the doors.
I love you all