Tour of The Black Country

by Adam on 18, May, 2015

ToTBCwiggo

 

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 not have heard of this ride the organisers’ intention was to create a little Paris-Roubaix in the heart of the Black Country, instead of sending riders up the biggest hills the excitement comes from the sending riders off down roads formed from cobble, brick, compact soil… I’m sure you get the picture. No one can argue that this is not the type of surface the Guvnor was born to ride on.

From the two riders in 2014, such was the positive feedback members of the GA came from far and wide to get their wheels dirty with seven of us forming up on the start line for a day of tarmac, lumps and bumps.

It has to be said, if we were expecting a bit of “Peaky Blinders” we would have been very disappointed, rolling hills, picturesque villages. Not a mill, pit or foundry in site. Truth be told the only coal seen all day was in the little goodie bags we were presented with at the end of the ride.

Now, as previously mentioned the ride is rolling (mostly), there is however one rather noteworthy lump, Mt. Waltonberg a 1 in 4 climb with a surface comprising of both brick and polished, poured concrete. Whilst re-grouping at the top of the climb Mr Dodger asked a marshal if any other Path Racers had completed the climb, we were pleased to hear we were the first ones up, modesty forbids boasting but we were not passed by any other Path Racers for the remaining 50k.

In keeping with the Paris-Roubaix inspiration the ride ends on a velodrome, dropping onto the track from the “ambulance” road and a full lap of the track before a celebratory glass of fizz and the opportunity to congratulate ourselves on a job well done.

A few black and white snaps from the Black Country

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The 2015 Tweed Run

by Adam on 28, April, 2015

2015 Tweed Run

The Tweed Run, start of the Jollies season. It is often said that everyone should ride the Tweed Run at least once for some people that is enough, for others they just seem to keep going back.

The 2015 Tweed Run was different in several ways over previous events, Tweed was of course the order of the day, with good humour and charged hip flasks de-rigour.

This was however the largest Tweed Run event ever run, rumoured to be around 700 riders plus sponsors and guests, this was also the first year where, due to a change in licensing the marshals would not be allowed to hold the traffic at junctions. Anarchy and the rout of civilisation were foreseen.

This year the rendezvous was at Spring Gardens, although in reality it was really Trafalgar Square. It has been said on more than one occasion that organising cyclists is akin to herding cats and it would appear that even Mr Young-Ing blanched a little at the thought of setting 700+ riders forth into the city from the middle of a roundabout.

Mass photograph taken on the steps at Trafalgar and back over the road to Spring Gardens with the intention in setting off in our assigned groups. Needless to say The Mall was brought to a stand still as a pride of 700 cats took to their bikes.

 We shall be honest here, the ride along Horse Guards took the best part of a quarter of an hour and the ride was very stop start until the tea break at Red Lion square. The halt proffered an opportunity for a refreshing cup of tea provided by Tea Vintage and the opportunity to catch up with a few old friends.

As we were not moving as a single mass through the metropolis the ride became fragmented as people finished their tea before heading off split into smaller groups by a set of traffic lights. It was here the marshals came into their own each group magically gaining a handful of guides to lead us through the streets offering reassurance to  riders not so confident in the city. It does however have to be said Camden High Street on a Saturday afternoon, is a special kind of insane that the Tweed Run not only gets away with but turns it into a charm offensive.

The lunch stop this year was at St Pancreas Gardens where we dined with the lovely folks from Velo Vintage we would like to add at the juncture we dined with you as you are all thoroughly good company and friends, not because you had the best spread in the park along with popping champagne corks, it is here and in print, that was purely coincidental.

As is usual with most events attended by the GA we were some of the last to leave the park, having taken the mind-set we would finish in our own good time and make our own way to the Bloomsbury Ballroom. Yet again a tip of the hat has to be proffered to the marshals, as long as we faffed and packed they waited until we were ready. Now resolutely at the tail end of the ride we picked up a marshal at every stop and turn until we reached Bloomsbury Square where a rag tag group of Tweed Run cyclist were escorted in, three to a man.

The evening entertainment at the Bloomsbury Ballroom was some of the best in many a year, a venue large enough to hold one and all, entertaining acts to keep the masses enthralled, is was somewhat of a shame when we had to leave, although to be fair we were of course the last people in the building.

Another year over, another entertaining Tweed Run. Events change and mature over time. The Tweed Run is nearly three times the size it was back in 2012. The reassuring thing is you can still tell it’s the Tweed Run, bigger, higher profile but still idiosyncratic, still entertaining.

Thanks must go to Mr Young-Ing for organising the event, but the real heroes this year are the marshals, they work hard every year but this year in particular with its’ new format they held the event together with grace and humour.

Cheers Chaps and Ladies

A few Kodak moments from the day.

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Tally Ho! – We’re Off to London

by Adam on 13, April, 2015

tally ho london ride. 2015

 

We are sure a few of you maybe aware that a Tweed themed cycle ride is taking place in that London this weekend, rumours of “too big”, “lost their” can occasionally be heard. Fear not, those with their ear to the urban beat will know that the Tally Ho! cycle ride on the Sunday is really where the action is.

Mr Harris has been good enough to host the GA and take them around the metropolis practically every year since the start of the Tweed Run and this year I am pleased to say the fellow has yet again stepped up to the mark and has planned an adventure a little different to previous rides, but fear not we have been assured it will “still” hit the mark and if “proof” is needed Mr Harris has assured us we will not be left high and “dry”. We have been asked not to spoil the ride by giving anything away regarding the day.

As usual we will be meeting at The Walrus Pub and Hostel just over Westminster Bridge at about 10.00 ante meridiem and finishing when we are ready to go home, Mr Harris does a wonderful job of tailoring the day to coincide with trains and connections to more civilised parts of the country.

Expect a few expenses but nothing that will burn fingers, if you have missed the Tweed Run or just fancy an easy going day out Tally Ho! really are the chaps to be riding with, of course, as ever we are more than happy to welcome one and all.

Looking forward to meeting one and all “distil” then take care.

A quick update: We are now looking to set of at 11:00 am, entry into the entertainment is £15:00 a reasonable amount I’m sure you will agree and should “mother’s” ruin anyone

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31st of May the Pashley Picnic

April 8, 2015 Jollies

The Pashley Picnic has gained a reputation of a “rather smashing” weekend away, and with the exception of the maiden event the weather has been spot on. The picnic is a little bit special for a variety of reasons, the Guvnors’ home turf, a rather relaxed feel to the day, pass the parcel, it is […]

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30 Days of Biking

March 25, 2015 Jollies

  Last year a few of the GA and Basket Brigade took part in the “30 Days of Cycling” challenge, Mr Foss appeared to miss-understand the challenge and appeared to be attempting to the moon and back in the month of April, others *cough* covered considerably less. For an adventure that started off in the […]

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The Guvnors’ Assembly Cap Super Spring Sale

March 10, 2015 Attire

  Many of you may have seen the legendary GA cap on television or in magazines over the last year and thought “I really would not mind one of those but the weak Pound makes it a little expensive” Well those lovely people at Red Dots Cycling have a bit of a sale on, if […]

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“Are you up to much this year old chap?”

March 1, 2015 Jollies

Well, the New Year is upon us and it’s time to get our dance cards out and start making arrangements for 2015, it was a rather special year last year with Mr TCP and Mr Lincstcq kindly opening themselves and their neck of the woods to hosting the GA en masse. As ever at this […]

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