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Captain's Corner

9th November 2005
Two new riders lined up alongside the Moos regulars this week, to make the total headcount fourteen. One was Steve, a fairly new Machen resident who, after threatening to join the Moos for a while, seemed full of nervous energy and enthusiasm anticipating his first Moos ride. This was in stark contrast to the second newcomer, a short-legged orange-faced pot-bellied rider, who was vaguely familiar to the regular Moos fraternity!

Rather than dwell too long on the identity of the ‘new-boy,’ Dickie led the masses towards Turners lane climb, ignoring the disgruntled mumbles of most of the bunch. The ‘new-boy’ in particular did not seem too keen at the beginning of the ride, as his orange face turned a deeper shade of red ……….as he turned off Commercial Road……….in granny gear!

The current Cap was the only one who stayed and waited for the Ex-Cap as he tried hastily to rectify a rear disc brake problem …..he had forgotten about again! I only hope the cause of Scrippsy’s affliction is merely old age and not a curse of ex-Captains in general.

Now, where was I?……….oh yes, the ‘new-boy’ continued to struggle up under the arches towards Turner Farm, although he was cheered on by Dickies encouraging words: "C’mon you fat git, try and keep up!’"

By the time the Cap caught him he was sweating a brown sweet sticky liquid that had the distinct smell of a Wonka Bar!

At the top of the ascent Scrippsy became helper (probably forgot who he was? Where he was? Etc) as The Steams ‘rear wheel splash trick’ backfired on him with a puncture.

We all felt a bit of ‘Dickie-ride déjà vu’ as we followed the summer-dress-loving trucker up the steep side of the tips only to descend much less of a gradient! It was here however that Berni’s recent spate of ‘confidence forming riding’ fell by the wayside the same way as his body and bike, due to a front wheel slide in the mud, accelerated by the weight of his arse over the wrong side!

The rocky and wet descent from the Wiley towards Bedwas proved to be ……...wet …..……and rocky!

The importance of pre-ride reconnaissance became more than apparent as we dropped down to the stream crossing. We quickly found ourselves ankle deep in wet mud, while the ‘new-boy’ climbed over a mini excavator ‘Gollum-style’ while being shouted at by the real Gollum (usually at home clambering over rocks and mud by the side of a stream) as to where to find the keys!

We became aware of Scrippsy’s old age once more as we headed towards the Church House, as his mumblings about not being able to ride on the weekend, ran away with himself as he also told us he was also celebrating his anniversary. Gordon Scripp’s then showed us his new-found Guinness bolting ability as he chomped his way through his anniversary pint of the black-stuff. Apparently he has been practising in anticipation for necking-down medicine at the nursing home, which he will be a member of sooner rather than later!

A quick run back to the T.A., with Berni hauling his lard-arse to the finish line first, by default though, riding on the wrong side of the road. The winner’s title was then given as a dead heat between ride-leader, Dickie, and the old road-racer Scrippsy (who was so confused, he probably didn’t know what he was doing!).

Another excellent spread was put on by Sian and Graham, who also posed for pictures with ‘Kev the Plane’ and ‘Every Little Counts’ Paul.


These two also participated in a pint race with first ride newcomer Steve and the ‘new-boy’ who also bought the Ex-Cap Scrippsy a pint (funny little character the ‘new-boy’ trying to impress himself on the Ex-Cap already! Perhaps he was one of Gord’s old youth club members?).

Apologies on the night came from Ade Edmondson lookalike Chris who is on a toilet paper testing mission in India, Harty who has suffered a bad shoulder jumping from his bedroom wardrobe, Tom ‘Brynley’ Howells who was working a night shift and Chris Reeve lookalike Gaz, injured back until further notice: due to a downturn in kryptonite supply has resorted to conventional methods of recovery.

A good evening was had by all, but turned soured later on by the antics of a certain number of Moos who decided to turn on the ‘new-boy’ and even more appallingly, the Captain, who on leaving the T.A. found their bikes sabotaged by the unscrupulous group, whose number could have consisted of Berni, Crock, Scrippsy or Strawbs, but there may have been others.

Here the story has an uncanny twist. Like all Hollywood blockbusters these days, the tale has two alternative endings:

For Gordon Scripps the ending is thus (for all others please proceed to ending Number 2):

1. Unaware of the antics of the unscrupulous bike meddling few the ‘orange-faced new-boy,’ trying to impress the Cap, tried to navigate the T.A. garden and steps, flinging himself in the process over the front of his bike (for sale on the Moos home page for anyone interested) due to a dislodged front wheel. The face plant onto concrete which followed resulted in a nasty gash which in turn resulted in a trip to the Royal Gwent Hospital accompanied by the Cap, who then had to endure the unadulterated rantings of the ‘new-boys’ wife on returning to his abode at two in the morning!

Thanks Gord, see you next Wednesday!

For the rest of the Moos, not living in Gordon’s scary world, the ending is thus:

2. Option and me, after a serious of blasphemous outbursts directed towards the tinkering gits, put our wheels back in and turned our seats around. Option, trying to impress the Cap, did in fact ride the TA steps, and then we rode home.

Next weeks ride will be led by Crock. Due to the imminent decrease in temperatures it would be good if a few Moos could bring along a tot of something in a hip flask to warm the cockles.

Roll on next Wednesday.

Happy trails.


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