Christmas Lunch, 2010
The Ragstones had chosen a warm day with temperatures as high as zero degrees Centigrade for their Christmas lunch.Eighteen members of this cycling diaspora met at the Lord Whisky and enjoyed a warm reception, superb hospitality and delicious lunch prepared by the Lord Whisky team.It was a fitting celebration of a year of successful cycling trips and everyone was in relaxed mood by coffee time.Four Ragstones then entertained the ensemble with odes, stories and a film script.Regrettably some of this is now lost to posterity as it only existed in the presenter's mind.Two scripts, however, have been obtained by the blog's author, and are here below for you to share.
An ode to cycling in the snow
Last year I rode in the cold winds and snow
To prepare for a race where the winds really blow
A challenge accepted on too much drink
But nothing to cause my heart to sink
Falling off often while strapped to the bike
Was really something that I didn't quite like
But there was also much to anticipate
Like excellent food on a Cape Town plate
Or lying by the pool in the South African sun
Or walking or running or just having fun
The daily round of good wines to taste
And the time to linger without undue haste
The prospect of relaxing at Bartholomeus Clip
Made the pain and the suffering worth every bit
But this year winter cycling does not bring much pleasure
So I have found other things to do for my leisure
Not all of the Group have "Obsessive Cycling Disorder"
But a few, I fear, are on the sanity/lunacy border
But of course those hardcore Ragstones with OCD
Will find themselves on Wednesdays where they should not be
But me, I will stay late and snug in my bed
And just invite myself to lunch instead
A film script to cycling in the snow
Snow covered landscape, Kent England, no sign of civilisation except for some power linesheavily laden with snow stretching towards the horizon. A close up of the snow shows a single track cycle tyre mark climbing up a drift and disappearing into the distance.
A grinding very noisy engine is heard and a 4 by 4 Land Rover comes into sight. It is a medical emergency vehicle.. TWO MEN jump out wearing snow suits and visibility vests. They use spades to get the Land Rover going again.
INT. inside the Land Rover - DAY
Four people are seated inside all wearing snow gear. CHARLIE 26 and DENIS 41 years old, balding. The driver SANDRA, twenty five, short blonde hair and strongly built. The other passenger DAVID, a typical family GP of about 50 years old.
There are four on the list.
Let's hope we make it A sledge would be easier.
Or a bike . Look there
He points to the bike track which is still clear in the snow ahead.
What kind of idiot takes a bike out in this?
That must be Beech Farm. Turn in can you. Mrs Arden 91 years pleurisy and heart weakness.
Hold on everyone. Here goes. No sign of life.
That's what I am afraid of.
Visitor on bike came up here though look.
Through the window of the Land Rover they can see the bike tyre marks which stop at the door of the farm house then double back on to the road.
All four passengers get out of theLand Rover, push open the front door which is not locked and go in.
INT. The Farm house - DAY
Where will she be David, upstairs?
I hope not, the heatings off, look at those icicles inside the window.
All four people explore the house pushing open doors, eventually Sandra finds the kitchen. Mrs Arden is slumped in a chair by the solid fuel stove. Water round her feet has frozen.
David, she's here.
David and the others come in. David examines Mrs Arden.
She's gone. We are too late. Nothing we can do. Let's get on.
They get back in the Land Rover. Sandra with difficulty reverses back on to the road. The cycle track still continues
They stop again at another isolated house and get out. Same cycle track goes to the door and doubles back onto the road.
Very strange. We must meet this phantom cyclist before long surely ?
What I want to know is why didn't he stop to help? Come on let's see if Miss Aspen is still with us . Pneumonia probably, but she's a tough lady.
Doors locked. These people always keep a key under the door step though.
If you can find it in the snow.
They search all round the porch with no luck. David calls through the letter box but no answer.
This window's ajar give us a hand.
They help each other inside.
Repeat of previous search but everywhere seems to be empty. The heating is on and there seems to be signs of current habitation. Clothes by the bed, crocks in the sink etc. They re-enter the bedroom.
Does she have family nearby. Could they have taken her away?
If they did it was before the snow. No tracks except that damned cyclist, and she wouldn't have fitted on his cross bar.
They laugh. A gust of wind blows the curtains of the room and they realise that one of the windows is open. They rush to look out.
David is examining Miss Aspen's body, which is lying sprawled in the snow.
Dead. Spinal fracture or pneumonia who can say? Two down, two to go.
Can't we get the air ambulance. It would be quicker than this jalopy?
We could if we knew the situation. Can you imagine them coming out to find the patient, sitting happily in front of the fire. Land line down and no mobiles you see, so can't check, except with a visit. Come on . Never say die.
Not funny,not funny at all.
I'm still worried about that cyclist look there the track is again.
They return to the Land Rover and set off up a steep hill skidding and sliding all the way. As they get to the top a small GROUP of people with dogs are standing under trees looking down over the snow filled landscape. (See Hunters in the Snow, Breughal)
The LandRover stops and Sandra winds down the window
Need some help?
Trying to get down to Uplane farm down there. Old Timothy might need some help.
Us too. Anyone seen anything of him since the snow began?
No but someone's going down there on a bike look.
Below a black cloaked figure is riding a bike through the snow towards the distant farm house.
Quickest way is on skis though, me and JAKE is off.
They ski off very fast, passing the CYCLIST with out stopping.
A few seconds later David's mobile phone rings. He answers it
Hello Doctor Simpson speaking
Hi Doc. Found old Timothy he's in a bit of a bad way broken his leg I think. But still with us Aren't you old mate?
Be with you in five minutes with the rest of the rescue party. Will get the Air Rescue out, so we don't have to bump Timothy along in the Land Rover. That cyclist there yet?
No sign of him.See you.
The Air rescue helicopter hovers above Timothy's house. The Land Rover is parked outside and footprints come down the side of the hill. There are no cycle tracks anywhere.
That's all.Check this website often to find out how the Ragstones are spreading goodwill throughout the world and improving peoples' lives.It's only a small contribution to mankind, but it's positive.You can ensure you are kept in touch by sending an email requesting to be put on the circulation list - see our homepage at www.offexploring.com/ragstones.