Barrels and Bikes

by Adam on 26, August, 2015

Bikes and Barrels

For the third year on the trot our wonderful hosts Mr and Mrs Cycling Photographer, metaphorically opened their doors and invited the GA into their manor to sample a little bit more fine Cotswold riding.

Headquarters this year was The Royal Oak in Tetbury where we were incredibly well fed and watered by the lovely people at the establishment. Friday evening the gathering of the GA Clan, with at one point Mr Cycling Photographer appearing with a Boules case and challenging the chaps to a match. It was only as we were walking down to the pitch it  became evident none of us actually knew how to play the game, fortunately a few locals were kind enough to show us the ropes even if they did take the liberty to fleece us with a “small wager” after our first game, incidentally the two teams naturally split into North vs South, of course it is bad form to talk about winners and losers suffice to say the Civilised end won.

Saturday morning, with the sun starting to crack the flags we were joined by a handful of first timers (on a GA ride at least) and of course the ever present press wanting a hot scoop for the local news, although syndication was mentioned more than once.

And then we were off…

The Cotswolds can be a little lumpy in places and every year  Mr & Mrs TCP manage to navigate us around the worst of them, but alas not all of them although as is ever the GA’s creed “No man (or woman) was left behind” although if we had known the lunch time stop was a pub with their own microbrewery in advance it could have been carnage. The Red Lion in Cricklade was a very welcome break with plenty of good beer on tap, unfortunately bike riding and a return journey got in the way of our extensive testing. The Guvnors’ Assembly hate leaving a job half finished and mutterings of “next year” was heard once or twice.

A different route on our return leg took us back through several chocolate box villages, showing us places that would not appear in your usual guides but beautiful none the less. Of course riding past a camp site with hundreds of triathletes preparing for a Sunday event, not only were we better dressed I think if we had turned up on the Sunday our Pashleys would have shown one or two of them a clean pair of heels.

As we have previously mentioned and riding in the heat (hats off to Mr Corky and Mr Douglas for the tweeds, although it was noted that Mr Douglas removed his waist coast very early in the day, Empire Sir, Empire), when miraculously what was first perceived to be a mirage actually turned out to be another pub. As inevitable as a five speed hub giving up the ghost we were enticed by the Trouble House’s promise of a cold drink a promise we could not miss.

As hot as the Saturday was, the Sunday was wet, the sort of wet that would get Noah running for his tools again. Not surprisingly we lost a few of the more sensible riders and actually gained one, Steve from GBBB whom a few of the chaps have purchased his excellent head-sets is opening a Pashley shop in October and came along to invite the GA to it’s opening with the promise of free beer, but I suspect he has an ulterior motive of preparing himself for the sort of customer he will be having to deal with. Suffice to say the Sunday was ride was considerably shorter although the Cat and Custard Bowl was again of a two pint standard.

As ever a massive thank you to Mr and Mrs Cycling Photographer for being the impeccable hosts and a warm welcome to Ivon, Steve and Steve, Jennifer and Douglas. We trust you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did?


And for a view from our American cousins the lovely Jennifer has offered her version of events.


Where snakes in the grass are absolutely free…..

by The Cycling Photographer on 13, August, 2015




How time flies! It’s that time of year again where the Cotswolds welcomes the wonderful

Guvnor’s Assembly.

Good food, beer, company and much laughter. Save a fiver for a possible spectacle of Sunday…..

10.30am pre-ride media call on Saturday. As for Sunday, lets see how our heads feel!

Safe journeys and see you there!




L’Ancienne – Ulverston

by Adam on 25, July, 2015

The Swag


Ulverston is a town on the western side of the Lake District possibly most famous for having 30 public houses within it’s boundaries, this is a fact that despite intense probing of several locals we were unable to verify, all they would commit to was “a lot”.

L’Ancienne is now in it’s second year, a retro inspired cycle event two weeks after l’Eroica Britannia is bound to draw inevitable comparisons and beyond the theme to both events a little unfair. L’Eroica is the confident, flamboyant older sibling, L’Ancienne is the smaller quieter sister who sits a little in the background but once you get to know her has a charm and style all of her own.

Saturday was a pleasant afternoon with some some vintage stalls provided by Retro Rendezvous including a rather nice cycle stall vintage Bianchi cover-alls anybody? The media were present giving live coverage of the event, foolishly the producer from BBC Radio Cumbria saw fit to put a microphone in front of Mr Cycling Photographer and ask him a question, we’re fairly sure he would still be there now if it had not been for that mysterious technical fault.

Evening entertainment was taken care of courtesy of the cinema at the Laurel and Hardy museum showing “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (a petition has already been lodged for “Sunday in Hell” next year), if Audrey Hepburn is not your thing then a an evening of music was put on for your delectation in the town’s Jubilee hall. A late night curry, the food of champions and off to bed in readiness for tomorrows fun.

The start time on the Sunday was “between 8:45 and 9:15″, and fortunately the rain that been promised the previous day had appeared to exhaust itself overnight. Contrary to popular belief the Lake District is actually fairly hilly, although a little surprise was had when the expected 82 miles turned out to be 82 of some foreign measurement of distance. A quick calculation and the penny dropped, shorter distance than L’Eroica yet more climbing, this maybe a fairly stiff excursion.

Oh and that rain we thought we had avoided began to remind us where the water for the lakes comes from, but as if had been pre-arranged the first feed stop appeared out of the mist the “Swallows and Amazons” tea rooms on the banks of the legendary Lake Coniston. The quality of the cakes, scones, a little more cake and one last scone detained us just long enough for the rain to pass over.

Next stop Lake Windermere, probably the most famous lake in the district bit from our geographical point of view, in a different valley as we climbed out from Coniston we quickly decided it was the wrong valley, still Jelly Babies at Wrey Castle and a stamp in our route card before dropping down to Windermere turning the corner and eventually heading back home.

It must be said the organsers have a wonderful sense of humour 1.5km to go or in imperial “not far” was a sign for the final stamp in your road book for the illusive gold medal, this leg was titled “the sting” with good reason up a gravel path to the Hoad Monument a lighthouse to the same design as the Eddystone Lighthouse, except it is not a light house, or even got a light. It is at the top of a big hill though.

Summit crested a few snaps and away to the finish with a few essentials to prop us up after the ride, a tasty meat pie and beer (help yourselves to the barrel we’ve got to get through it all), a solid gold medal, an enamelled  L’Ancienne mug and a rather natty bag to keep it all in.

All in all, we rather enjoyed the weekend with our new friends, there is however a little more.

A few of the Basket Brigade elected to ride Le Loafeur who enjoyed themselves so much they even added twelve miles onto the route, the organisers did noticed their absence but naturally assumed they had stopped off in another pub. Chapeau ladies.

Finally thank you to everyone who helped make the weekend happen, Alan and Alison for putting the event on, Rachel for the fair and the cinema and the mechanics for their tireless micky taking and apparently offering a rather good support service too.

See you next year chaps.

A few images from the hills


L’Eroica Britannia 2015

July 1, 2015 Jollies

Building on the success of last year L’Eroica Britannia was bigger with nearly twice the number of riders and a big increase in the number of exhibitors; in dark corridors whisperings of “too big? car manufacturers? cement lorries? I hope the toilets are better! ” could be heard. As ever the ladies and gentlemen of […]

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Ride With the Guvnors’ Assembly

June 16, 2015 Jollies

In the spirit of L’Eroica the chaps in Assembly Towers toyed with the idea of running a little competition whereupon for the princely sum of £5.00 Stirling a fellow would receive a lottery ticket entitling them to the chance of an opportunity to ride l’Eroica Britannia with the stout fellows of the Guvnors’ Assembly. It […]

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The 2015 Pashley Picnic

June 7, 2015 Jollies

The Pashley Picnic 2015 from Guvnors’ Assembly The Pashley Picnic is now in its’ forth year and I am pleased to say it is still as quintessentially British now as it was that day on the Queen’s Jubilee back in 2011. Again this year we registered and gathered outside the Traditional Cycle, the RSC is […]

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Tour of The Black Country

May 18, 2015 Jollies

  A year ago a few of the fellows from the GA rode the inaugural Tour of the Black Country and what a rather splendid day out it was too. Well organised, run with good humour and a route that made a rather nice change to the usual sportive event. In the event you may […]

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