It was a lovely evening and the pub wasn't too far off as the kite flies, so seeing my opportunity to get an extra pint in I decided to go by bike to the Hag and Stuntsman.
The kites were out in force as I cycled through the rolling hills of the Chilterns. One flew up from the road as I approached Finemore Wood where it had been dining on some road kill. As I carried on past the carrion I spotted that it was in fact another, rather flatter kite that had come off second best from a tussle with a car, possibly whilst it had been scavenging its own dinner. Wheels within wheels. Or wheels over small animals.
Whilst musing on the cycle of life, I was reminded that, much like life, the cycle to Hambledon has one big drawback; there's a bloody big hill in the way.
By the time I'd struggled up the hill to Rockwell End I was beginning to regret my decision to cycle. Once I spotted some flour at the summit though I knew for sure - it was all going to be downhill from here.
For a tiny village Hambledon has a surprisingly spacious car park, but this evening it was already overflowing by the time the hash assembled. I suspect that everyone drives there because they know that there cycling there would be daft.
Andy promised us that whilst there would be at least one hill we would be going both up and down, so really it would all cancel out nicely. You'd think that would be trivially true but there was definitely more up than down.
We took a right out of the car park and up Pheasants Hill. I didn't see any Pheasants, dead or alive, but I did spot a hill. Bugger.
We belayed our way up through the woods and emerged by a barn before taking a left in front of Huttons Farm. I'm not sure what they grow on Huttons Farm but having Googled some pictures of the building (check that roof!) I'm guessing their principle crop is heroin.
After the farm we went into the quaintly named "North Close Copse Plantation" ... which I now notice is an anagram of "Coopers athletic loon pants". ... damn that's good ... you can stop reading this trash now. It's really not going to get any better than that.
Still here? Ok, don't say I didn't warn you. We then ran up more of the hill into Rockwell End, the name of which was used for a short lived late eighties sitcom starring Paul Shane and Sue Pollard, before following the road round the corner into the equally oddly named 'Pheasants' (Wendy Craig and a young Nicholas Lyndhurst).
In Pheasants they have a old phone box which has been converted into a local information point. The only information it contained was that it was no longer a phone box but an information point. This could have been a very Zen experience if I hadn't been so knackered after running up that hill.
Some people fell over on this hash. They were at least Paul and Yob. I don't recall exactly when or where but I know some you like to keep tabs on that kind of thing.
We ran across the field and through Bushes Wood which contained mostly trees. Out on the road and down towards Bottom House (a short lived Rik Mayal and Hugh Laurie vehicle).
We turned off the road and down into Heath Wood which thanks to getting lost in one year when we ran the Shakespeare Way I am far too familiar with, and then followed the Shakespeare Way across the field and down the road.
Sticking with the bard we crossed another field and into the woods where things really began to go downhill, but this time in a good way. A sharp descent back down into Hambledon spoiled only by some nasty back arrows.
Back in the pub the GM awarded a t-shirt to someone (sorry can't for the life of me remember who - sub can you fill this in...) before having the paddle turned on him and being awarded a fine set of mugs by Gerry for having reached some ridiculous number of runs (I forget how many ... I should really pay attention when I'm doing the write up). He also got a new name and shall henceforth be known as Athletic Loon Pants.
Thanks Andy and Gerry for a very pleasant and memorable hash.
I cycled home the flat way.