February Bike Hash - Ashtead
We'll be starting from The Woodman pub in Ashtead at 12pm, just a few minutes from the train station. Serves proper ales and food throughout the day, and the manager is expecting us. 238 Barnett Wood Lane, Ashtead.
London Waterloo 11:02 -> Ashtead 11:42 (40 mins)
London Victoria 11:08 -> Ashtead 11:55 (47 mins)
London Bridge 10:44 -> Ashtead 11:55 (71 mins)
The Woodman pub is closeby, we'll lay a flour trail from the station to the pub.
Ashtead is on the A24 and easily reached from the M25 (Leatherhead junction 9) or A3 (Tolworth roundabout, A240 Ewell bypass).
Trail will be 2.5 hours long (yes it will be half the distance of my last hash!). We now have Stuart co-haring to ensure the distance is suitable :)
When we reccied last week there was a lot of snow, but hopefully that's all gone now. We'll reccie again tomorrow to ensure a decent trail.
The last bash I'd attended was Menno's 5 hour marathon around Epsom last summer, so when he asked if I'd co-hare for the February bash I was initially a bit reticent as cycling a similar route twice in a day is probably beyond me!! However, it seems that I was actually there to moderate the ride to make sure it was more reasonable this time....this included being a guinea pig and going first down the steep off-road bits through the woods, the thinking being that if I can do it, then it's good for the bash. Despite just one puncture I luckily didn't come a cropper!!
First reccy in the snow was c-c-c-old and surprisingly hard work and finished in the dark without lights!!
Second reccy was in the drizzle but at least warmer, with a few last minute route changes when we found that tight, fun, windy, downhill bit through the trees (I hope no-one bumped their head on the low slung branch!!).
So, raceday.... Freezing cold at 7am but turned into a nice, sunny day in the end. Perfect weather!! Setting the route was a pleasure.
For the actual ride, Menno and I had agreed that he would stay near the front of the group and I would sweep up. However, after a brief ride with Headboy, a slight mix up at the first check-point and a mis-comunication by phone, meant that I had unknowingly sped to the front with Chris and Shaun. Then, having lost those two, I didn't see anyone else all day!! Thinking I was at the back still, I ate all my energy bars at once and tried to "catch up", kicking through a few check points on the way. It was only when I got back to the pub first that I realised what had happened. Twat.
Sounded like everyone enjoyed the ride though so all's well that ends well, and the pub food was awesome!!
Good to see some newbies who'd found us via Menno's new fancy website ("Blower", "Google4Porn", and a couple of others I didn't get a chance to talk to) and hope they return for future rides!!
Stuart (still awaiting official bash name from Rentboy)
Written from the persective of an experienced hasher who can't understand what part of hashing is bashing?
Beer and beer stops are decidedly lacking ..silly ideas and public humiliation such as drinking beer out of an inner tube as Menno conjured up would be entirely beneath this group of sophisticates!..they are real bike riders. There are no rude songs, no forced beer drinking, no silly names this is not really a hash - it's a BASH, it's better! I would have personally been awarded a major penalty for stupidly leaving the price label on my new bike if these were normal Hashers(DD).. but they aren't.. they are Bashers, those simple games discarded under their tyre treads a long time ago..
(DD) signifies times in the normal hash that would have for sure deserved down downs of beer..
What a spectacular day for a ride!
The sun was out in full force but just a tad deceptively chilly...
The ride set off just slightly late, kind enough to wait for a few stragglers.. the hare even gave out his number.. what a kind gesture!
There were ocassions later when I had wished I had jotted that down myself.
There were 3 newcomers and they were welcomed, told some very complicated sounding rules, the simpler one could have been to advise: just keep with the pack, you can always catch your breath at the checkpoints... they happily joined the merry throng. The newbies included a gorgeous young Swede who put us all through our paces.. and was glad to call in a puncture repair team who were tripping over themselves to help out a lady in distress.(DD). There was a techy sort of bloke who was tracking his mileage, heart rate and reporting his ranges along the way that added to the weirdness( DD). There was also a chap who looked like he was out for a Sunday jaunt with the kids maybe just ditched them and just joined us instead, no helmet brave chap,(DD) he kept up well.. poor kids..
Most of the checking was left up to the superhuman bike riders in the group, however when they were too far ahead there were a few lengthy checkmark breaks while people waited for some brave soul/ stupid arse to check the trail risking getting left behind in the middle of nowhere.. but to be fair that fear was unfounded, Menno was there.. Our official and sometimes misleading and sadistic hare however much reining in had been done since the last ridicuously long ride he had tortured us with. (DD) it was a delirious 5 hours. Rude comments were made aobut Gav like ' if he doesn't come back it must be the right way' because he wouldn't come back bringing his generous self up unneccesary hills.
The hare was supposed to be leading actually ended up sweeping and wondering where his co-hare sweeper was.. meanwhile for hours he Stuart, was at the front thinking he was at the back and wondering where everyone was!? It was a long tiring day for him.. maybe a little confusing?! He was extra confused when he was first back to the pub? (DD)
A great deal of pointing went on on trail that would have been penalized.. (DD)
and thinking - no one is supposed to ever employ the grey matter (DD)
Not to mention fancy bike gear and fancy like you know what you are doing equipment and clothes - huge fines... (DD)
Menno has a cycling top that looks so grunge it's like it's not a cycling top, he might have slipped through with that..
It was a fabulous choice of pub, loads of parking so we didn't have to feel guilty leaving cars there...some of the tastiest pub grub I have seen and tasted.. huge burgers, generous helpings.. even Wayne got so excited about biting into his ginormous burger he dropped ketchup all over his lap (DD) and people proceeded to dip their chunky chips in it.(DD) and Gav regaled stories of his new house with a room for his bikes and his Tardis, yes really ...we saw a picture.( DD) We are hoping to qualify for his seperate housewarming party dedicated to just 'ordinary people'.so as not to offend the posh ones (DD) if only just to get a glimpse of his extensive quiver of bikes in his dedicated bike room.. I had to stop myself drooling..
The trail was beautiful, a few hills, all new discovered places so beautiful and a few exhilirating downhills some technical sections of single track especially through trees, most with a wide path close by.. but peer pressure prevented any wimping out! These trails were just a bike wide, some not quite.. I made friends with a tree at one point (DD) also had to investigate an insect that went down my bra top, they said my weird face when looking at my breasts was disturbing (DD).
There were a few behind the saddle, heart pounding sections.. and at one point we got a birds eye view of a BMX park that made a few of the boys salivate... shame the mounds were all under wrapsl
The trail oh the whole was picturesque, beautiful ( the Swede came for scenery and countryside - it was delivered) add sun and it was a bit of paradise. There were fields, woods. not much mud, minimal tarmac and 'petrol' , lots of trees and views, just add lots of chalk disguising itself as trail..causing some consternation.. The trail was a bit hectic with checkmarks - but hey that gave us a break from time to time.. (DD)
But what occured to me was what fun we were having .. like... all the time ....for 3 lovely hours... of fresh air, exercise, exhilaration, new friends... can life get any better?
And it struck.me especially when we passed the fields of poor parked up parents trying to get excited about the overcowded farm visit for the kids where the kids are likely to catch their next cold or some horirilbe animal borne disease..instead we were so free! ... flying down hills and having such fun. high on energy!! just add the sun being out ..what a rarity- the sunshine makes everything better!
well done hares
well done London Bash - you guys rock!!!!!
I am coming back...
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