Cometh the hour cometh the man. Unable to find a hostelry prepared to host the SHABI X-mas Prize giving celebrity Gala dinner, desperation was setting in. Would the burger van in Liphook do an outside meal? The prospects were looking grave. Binky Bykeknut’s agent was calling incessantly wanting assurances that his celebrity speaker would not be addressing some drunken covid infested louts in a car park in Midhurst. So it was Tonka who delivered with an inspired choice of the Duke of Cambridge making the calls, grooming the Maitre D and putting hard cash on the table.
Meanwhile in another part of town and all over Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey and the world, SHABI riders were spending minutes crafting and enhancing their awards from 2019. The Lord Points Master, was beavering away on his spreadsheet checking and rechecking his numbers to ensure a faithful recording of everything that transpired in 2020 – not a wheel rotated, or a rider sneeze (prior to falling off whilst stationary) went unobserved or unrecorded.
So we meet at the appointed hour and seated in a Covid compliant heated tent we settled down in groups of six in a properly distanced manner. Strangely and the Health and Safety officer immediately got into a difference of opinion (fight) as the tent had the “flaps raised” to ensure Covid compliance. Strangely was on the receiving end of a continuous blast of cold air in the nethers so wanted “flaps down” to keep warm. The Health and Safety Officer was having none of it.
So the Duke of Cambridge served the Christmas meal – and it was fantastic – yes absolutely lovely food. Washed down with beer, spirits, wine and Slumpy’s signature drink; Guinness port and Pernod.
Before pudding was served it was prize giving, and Binky Bykeknut officiated dressed in a freshly washed string vest – what a legend he is!. First some amazing statistics:
* Since the SHABI’s started in 2007 the riders have covered 41,927 miles
NB - It's ONLY 24,901 miles AROUND THE EQUATOR!
* The total number of individual rides is 3,034
NB - This is nearly as many rides as Big Ring completed solo during lockdown!
* We eaten 2,694 meals at £17 totalling £45,798 spent on food – that is astonishingly bad.
NB - Here's what we could have bought instead for that amount:
In 2020 SHABI riders have;
* completed 5098 miles – the second highest on record
NB - That's the equivalent of Cycling Lands End to John O Groats over 5 TIMES!
* Ridden an average of 14.98 miles per ride – the highest on record since 2008
NB - That's very nearly 15 miles!
* Eaten the second highest number of meals apart from last year – excellent dedication during Covid Lockdowns
NB - SHABIS love their food!
Then onto the prize giving and many emotional scenes captured below.
Then it was pudding and the final presentations.
Tonka presented Smashie with a special tribute for being Mr SHABI Organiser and our Smash got a bit bottom lip wobbly – it was very emotional for our hero.
So then in true SHABI tradition it the evening fell apart and we got talking about the highlights of 2020 including:
* Baby to Bognor.
* Baby back from Bognor
* The Marlborough mud bath
* Big Rings amazing RM skills
* Absent friends
* Unnecessary bike accessories
* Skills training
So what for 2021?
* First ride is next week on 22nd December – instructions to follow.
* January 2021 – ride in the wilderness between Andover and Marlborough – Faff and Smash to RM
Wales in March / April
Summer Solstace all day and night ride – breakfast at pub 1, lunch at pub 2, supper at pub 3 – finish riding midnight.
Trip to FRANCE – Morzine – long weekend around 17/18 July.
So to all SHABI’s - have a happy Christmas and we hope to see you all out in 2021 ready for another action packed year of idiocy on Mountain bikes.
Its not about who came first – but who had the most fun!
I love you all