Grayshott, 4 May, (6,3,16)
Fox & Pelican, Grayshott
Tonka - Tee Shirt
Slumpy - DRM
Tarmac - Tee Shirt
Big ring - Tee Shirt (No food)
Dobbie - Tee Shirt
Love Bus Driver
Strangely Brown - Tee Shirt -RM
When Dobbie and SB gathered in the assigned car park at 6.30pm as per the ‘official’ map instruction (W3W), thinking, ‘Crikey if Smashies’ having a sabbatical, are we all going to fall apart without our leader to corral us all!’, this was not the case. The remainder of the Shabi’s were congregating in another Car Park (the pub’s) like lost sheep. Of course, When the RM went into Collie mode, search-find-gather, he was promptly reminded by Tonka of yet another unwritten Shabi rule, ‘You only read the vaguest of WhatsApp messages for the rendezvous point, opposed to the instructions! Of Course!
So, with a slight delay, everyone is ready for the off, with Slumpy appointed as DRM. This meant that with this last-minute appointment, Slumpy had a momentary surge of endorphins, and found the need to find, and accost, a random stranger in the car park and start talking about the chap’s car and how excited he was to be a SHABI member, and that he should join the group of Idiots! (incomprehensively, the man declined).
So, with the further delay we finely set off on a long downhill route away from Grayshott towards Churt, comprising of a bit of road, a flowing descent through woods, a bit more road and an opportunity to get the Shabi’s tyres wet along a short stretch of stream.
Onwards into Frensham, past the pond and through the fast-flowing stretch to ‘swirling cat wier’ in Dockenfield. All Shabi’s present and correct and no mechanicals etc. All good.
A long ascent towards the Bluebell pub provided views of many sheep and their playful offspring on the sunny pastures of East Hampshire. As Faff Cheeks marvelled at the happy lambs, he started questioning his choice of after ride dinner “should I have ordered the fish and chips instead!”.
Once at the top, and on the edge of Alice Holt, we all had a little breather (not for the local hound though, who was giving it full throttle, with his barking at the multi coloured attire of the MTB’ers). This was happening because we waited for the DRM to fulfil his duties, which took longer than expected.
Well, loosely speaking. “Where’s Dobbie? I’ve left him behind! but shouldn’t I be at the back?”, at which point Slumpy did an about turn to go look for him. Unbeknown to our diligent DRM and health & safety officer, Dobbie was with everyone else……. Up ahead.
Consequently Slumpy managed to rack up a few more pedal strokes (no pun intended Smashie 😊 ) than the rest of us.
Another downhill dash to the ford, for a good splashing, was almost thwarted, as we all screeched to a halt half way down the hill, as Slash’s water bottle detached itself from the long cross member of his steed, not once, but twice! As if we haven’t got enough to contend with at warp speed descents over rocks, dead animal, walkers, but a rolling water bottle as well!
A short road section to Broxwood common which gave us all another of nature’s treats, as a deer and her fawn pranced across the open field. Through to Arford common with a final short steep ascent, then across Ludshott common for a few sunset snaps and back to the Fox & Pelican along the Headley Road, drinks and grub.
Bit of a chilly dinner, as no heaters outside, but soon we’ll be back inside to eat, and a scorching summer awaits.