Grounds today - Portsmouth
Guildford to Winchester
The last 24 hrs of our journey have been a little bizarre, to say the least. You couldn’t even write this stuff! If a stranger told to this in a pub, you would think he was the village loony!
I, Daz, will start at the beginning and hope to make as much sense as I possibly can.
The blame has to lie quite heavily with the visit of David, Tanya and Phil. David and Tanya (friends of the Howe clan) ensured that the troops were suitable watered, for which we thank you. Phil (best mate of Brad) ensured that the troops were suitably fed, to which we also thank.
Now, as we all know, the mixture of a few beers combined with a few nibbles leads to full-on munchie attack. Sir Bhab had the answer to our prayers! A midnight car park fry-up of bacon sandwiches outside the Holiday Inn entrance and a quick scoot down the driveway on Colin’s skateboard brought back boyhood fun, games and scraped knees.
This caused a little concern to hotel security as SClub7 belted out “Don’t Stop Moving”! One of the slightly inebriated guest from the wedding reception that was taking part at our hotel could smell the bacon and was more than intrigued with the goings on. He approached us with the intention of paying for a bacon buttie but Jamie’s gift of the gab highlighted that all that was required was a modest donation to Christies. £50 English pounds! Yes! 5,000 new pence for a bacon buttie!
We headed of to bed in high spirits - all 6 of us (remember, Colin has joined us of a day or so!) in the same room - a Junior Suite!
If you have ever seen the film Blazing Saddles where they are all feasting on beans by the fire side, you might have some idea of the dawn chorus that we woke ourselves up to! Funnily enough we were up and out to breakfast in double quick time.
We left Guilford at around 0930, the sky was grey and overcast and our first experience of rain was ahead! Cycling over the South Downs was tough, the road surface was absolutely shocking. Hampshire and West Sussex county councils really do have some answering to do!
The trek to Portsmouth really was a bore apart from Brad’s two punctures caused by over 1000 miles on the same tyres wearing thin, the weather was pooh and the area was, how should we say, pooh! The ground was a generally a pooh affair and deserted, so no chance of a pitch side photo! We had a wee and left as soon as we had arrived only to be confronted with some Hampshire chav knob with heads out in their knob chaved up Ford Focus. Deciding to turn left in front of 4 muscle machines at full pelt and causing us to loose momentum could have proved detrimental to their health. Lucky that we are far too old and wise for such shenanigans but a few choice words were exchanged!
Not far after leaving from Pompey and heading north we met up with Colin and Bob for an absolute feast consisting of large fan tailed prawns fried in chilli for appetiser, followed by fresh poached cod served with boiled potatoes and green beans. Custard doughnuts and sweet tea to follow.
Only 25 miles to Winchester and who could have envisaged the events ahead!?
We were overtaken by a rather nice Bentley along a bog standard country road, almost straight away we heard a rather expensive scraping noise. In “Good Samaritan” mode and smelling a cash donation we stopped to lend our collective engineering expertise. The lower front valance had snapped and was rubbing on the tarmac. Jamie promptly seized my Leatherman (a macho multi-tool for the uninitiated) and began removing the offending valance so our new friends could continue their journey. Learning from Jamie’s silver tongue I worked on the “charity bike ride” story. The scene of bikes on a country road and Bentley with hazard light on created a lot of interest with the locals. Their first thought was “accident” and the help was coming thick and fast. One of the first to arrive was “May”, a faith healer, wanting to offer assistance in the form of Raki healing to any of the injured. Once we had explained that there were no injuries Brad managed to persuade her to perform some road-side Raki on his poorly ankle. In the mean time Jamie was performing his on miracles to the underside of a Bentley and I was collecting £40 in road-side assistance donation for Christies! A more bizarre afternoon we have never had.
The remaining journey into Winchester was made in high spirits. The last Sunday in April will forever be remembered as “Samaritan Sunday”.
One final point, Sir Bhab is managing to keep us up to date with the guestbook entries at least once a day, so carry on adding them as it gives us a massive chuckle and keeps the morale high reading the encouraging (in the main) comments.
Until tomorrow, we bid you a good night!
Time in saddle - 4 hours 52 minutes
Miles - 75.0 miles
Average Speed - 15.4 mph
Time of Departure - 9:35am
Time of arrival - 5:45pm
Max Speed - 41.3 mph (Brad)