Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Ride 2008

With Maalie arriving at dawn and John, Mrs John, and Billy-Bob turning up at Al and Tee's straight after work it was an early start for the most anticipated ride of the year. Tea and shop-bought buns would not suffice on such an auspicious occasion and it was out with the (almost as eagerly anticipated) bottles of Santa's Sleigh Stopper which Al had brewed especially for the event. Maalie had baked a veritably array of cakes to accompany the beer including 'sub-prime' Welsh cakes, mince pies and snickerdoodles. As each guest arrived Al issued the wager that he had cooked something for dinner that all assembled would have heard of but yet never have consumed. Cue a variety of ridiculous suggestions ranging from partridge to rook pie!

Jon arrived shortly afterwards and refused to rush his beer and cake as the others fettled equipment enthusiastically. Billy-Bob and Al felt that the festive occasion merited use of the tandem (and also helmet fairy lights) while John had bedecked his bicycle in truly spectacular fashion - with a fully-functional Christmas tree, baubles and fairy lights! Jon had also gone to town on the tinsel and fairy lights in customary fashion, although it was like waiting for Christmas (as usual) for him to make the final adjustments to his running gear.

With Maalie complaining as usual that he wasn't sufficiently 'warmed up', and the tandem boys making an early dismount, we struggled up Cam's Hill. However, there followed an easy coast to the Horse and Jockey where 5 pints of Hardys & Hansen's Rocking Rudolph Ale were ordered. Jon and Maalie soon got stuck in to 'bird talk', while Billy-Bob and Al turned to their usual comparative critique of nappies and puke; John was feeling a little bit out in the cold.

Birders at the Bar

The Horse & Jockey had spared no
on this year's Christmas Tree

There was a mile or so of re-traced steps as the boys headed for the Traveler's Rest and another 5 pints of beer at a long table in the comfy bar. The bottles of 'Triple S' (as Al's home brew had affectionately become known), the cold air and exercise were starting to lubricate the conversation by now.. although Maalie and Jon were still sat in the corner discussing their various twitches.

The Drinks Start to Kick in
at the Traveler's Rest

Having once again made hearty toasts to Absent Friends, and wishing the punters and staff a hearty Merry Christmas, the TCA made for the door. We had a relatively long stretch to the next watering hole therefore a full check was made to fairy lights and baubles before the off.

Deck the bikes with bells and baubles
fa-la-la laaa, la-la-la laaaaaaa...

The White Lion was uncharacteristically quiet - in fact the landlord confessed he was in two minds whether to keep the place open. There was a solitary pair of middle-aged women enjoying a quiet drink. Having all ordered various pints of the obligatory Bowman's ale Maalie set about chatting up the ladies in the bar on the pretense of explaining the culinary riddle set by the host. Needless to say the pair left almost immediately!

Finishing their beers the group slogged up the hill from Soberton before enjoying the leisurely and somewhat merry ride to Hambledon. They were soon back at base enjoying more Triple S beer, a turkey curry and, for the finale, a genuine figgy pudding.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
(Left to right: John, Jon, Al, Maalie, Billy-Bob)

(Posted by: Al)

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At 8:22 pm, December 30, 2008, Blogger Maalie said...

A memorable event indeed!

A Happy New Year to all from Vienna.

At 4:53 pm, January 02, 2009, Anonymous spm said...

Happy New Year to TCA members including those not available for this particular event.

At 11:13 pm, January 03, 2009, Blogger simon said...

Yes Happy New year all! Fabulous post I might say! the home brew sounds fatastic


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