Thursday, November 26, 2009

Billy-Bob Wipe Out

It was a dark and stormy night and Billy-Bob and Al briefly contemplated a night in front of the telly. In a bizarre episode of history repeating itself Jimmy spotted the holes in Billy-Bob's socks and insisted on replacing them with a pair of Dad's. [If there are any friends/relations of Billy-Bob or Jon reading please take note - Christmas is round the corner and they could both do with socks, Ed.] A cup of tea and a mince pie later they had shaken off their lethargy and started to get ready.

Jon arrived a little later than usual but was fully geared up and ready to go. Soon all three were ready, Billy-Bob sporting a brand new cycling jacket, bikes were fettled and they set off up Cams Hill bound for Dundridge. Thankfully the rain had eased and the sky was clear and star-lit. The ride up to the Hampshire Bowman was uneventful and Jon had soon procured three pints of lovely beer. The Boys sat at their usual table and discussed the rather depressing topic of work.

Jon gets the beers in at the
Hampshire Bowman

Leaving the TCA favorite watering hole the trio descended Sheep Pond Lane and were soon back in the pub in front of the fire at the White Lion supping Bowman's Wallop's Wood. All too soon the ale was finished and the Boys started the short trip back over the hill to Hambledon.

Hats off by the fire

With 500 yards to go Jon and Billy-Bob accelerated towards the vicious descent of Cams Hill. Al followed and got a spectacular and nearly all-to-close view of Billy-Bob wiping out on the slick road as he applied the brakes too hastily and the rear of the bike slid from under him. While Billy-Bob was clearly in pain he seemed most vexed about the holes in the sleeve of his new jacket.

Eventually the riders were home and enjoyed pasta with meat sauce and Billy-Bob and Al enjoyed a bottle of chianti... for medicinal purposes of course.

(Posted by: Al)

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Return of The Orange Beast

Thursday ride was a bit hit and miss with Jon's bike just back from repairs and Al having to send his apologies. John H was apparently entertaining a Chinese girl... Billy Bob turned up with no bike but with clothes that had seen better days. His excuse was that he had chucked his wet clothes from his last ride, a long time ago, into a corner and had forgotten about them. His yellow mack was turning green with mould and the rest of his clothes were not much better either.

After a quick cup of tea and some puff pastry mince pies Billy-Bob mounted the Orange Beast, (Jon's ancient Halfords Apollo) while Jon rode his mended Scott. As normal, the Canal track was strewn with dodgy occurrences and people: We noticed a supicious hoodie youth clambering a wall to a house. Riding at steady pace, taking account of Billy-Bob's lack of fitness and more pertinently the heavy Orange Beast, we got to Chichester Marina where the front wheel of the Beast unfortunately fell off going over the sluice gate bridge. Jon almost did himself an injury trying to right the bike because of its weight but managed to fix the loose bolts with a huge wrench from his back pack.

At the Crown and Anchor we enjoyed a couple of pints of Tribute and then decided to cycle up to the Earl of March at East Lavant. This took us about half an hour where we tucked into crisps and pints of Harveys Best Bitter. A short trip back resulted in serving of Spaghetti Bolognese and Sticky Toffee pudding.

Sadly no photos as Jon forgot to charge his camera.

(Posted by: Jon)

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Guy Fawkes Night

The evening started in usual fashion with tea and cakes... but these were not just any old cakes these were hand-baked Welsh cakes which had been freshly made in the afternoon by Maalie. The evening then took a bizarre twist when Jimmy took exception to the holes in Jon's socks. He insisted on climbing the stairs and digging a pair of his Dad's out to furnish 'Other Jon' with a new set.... and supervised the donning of said socks.

Jimmy supervises Jon's sock change

Tonight the TCA had the honour of entertaining regular visiting rider Maalie who would be on Al's spare bike - Jon donated his old lights while John and Al relished the rare opportunity to give their road bikes an airing - this would be a road ride to TCA favorite 'The Hampshire Bowman' at Dundridge.

Unused to his son's spare bike and insistent on chatting to Jon about his recent birding exploits Maalie lagged behind. Still, the TCA is always keen to accommodate visitors of any ability and regrouped at intervals throughout the ride. As the ride wended is way across the A31 and up hill towards Soberton the two Jo(h)ns became inpatient and pulled ahead and Maalie and Al enjoyed a chat.

It was with some surprise therefore that Maalie and Al found they had reached the pub first. Both plumped for a pint of Bowman's Nutz and settled down to continue there discussion. Some minutes later the back markers caught up and ordered their beers too. The the route was dissected until the point where the digression was made was uncovered, by which time beers were supped and it was time to move on.

Next stop Soberton, after the descent of Sheep Pond Lane of course. More Bowman's beers and an impromptu appearance by The Sloppy Porridge Maker. He was quickly forgiven for turning up in his 4x4 when he bought another round of Bowman's! All too soon it was time to head straight over the hill and back to base.

Dinner consisted of spag. bol. and home made apple pie (courtesy of Maalie again).

Freshly Baked, by Maalie

(Posted by: Al)

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