Our Mr MGcC spent the weekend doing what many of our Assembly members do with a spare weekend on their summer vacations – riding a Guvnor… however he was not riding his usual Derbyshire lanes, but had ventured further afield, in fact much further afield. His weekend was spent riding on the White chalk cycle tracks of Zurich in the shadows of the Alps themselves. What is more, he was not riding his own Guvnor either ! Having spent a number of weeks debating and discussing the logistics of how to move a 32lb Guvnor across half of Europe, a possible audacious alternative had been thought of.
With embryonic feelers sent out from Assembly Towers, we sat back and thought no more of the possible plan… then to the astonishment of all concerned, a message was received back from a Zurich bicycle emporium Zweiradgeber that they would possibly be able, with help from the Pashley importer Diverso, to source a Guvnor for a weekend !
The GA’s own Swiss Bob was despatched to discuss with the owner of Zweiragber, the splendid Mr Miro Kondres, details of the cunning GA plan… A few days later, and Mr MGcC found himself on an exploratory mission, GA Jersey, Bob Parrat Tweed cap and Dromati cycle shoes safely stowed in his ruck sack, he was on route to Zurich airport for a rendezvous with the chaps of the Zweiradgeber.
The Assembly has received MGcC’s personal communication as follows:
“On arriving at 57 Anwandstrasse, Zurich, the shop of Zweiradgeber (2), I was welcomed by GA member Swiss Bob duly performing the infamous Swiss Kiss greeting, (though thankfully I discovered that it was not necessary when meeting chaps). So I plumbed for a firm handshake with the noble gentlemen of the bicycle emporium Mr Sascha Keislinger (bicycle Mechanika) and of course Mr Miro (Zweiradgeber Owner).
In true GA style, it did take long for us to start chatting about Pashleys, about Guvnors… but then Miro also kindly showed us Zweiradgeber’s own excellent in-house bespoke machines, the Marlene, Max, Moritz, and Martha, all beautifully crafted steel machines, hand finished in Switzerland, dripping with lovely Brooks and Dia Compe finishing equipment. After sharing a coffee and further putting the cycle world to rights (Pashley, Brooks, SA, far east producers, uncompromising Italian design etc …), Sascha appeared from the workshop and presented me with a brand new pristine Guvnor !
After much hand shaking (and no Swiss Kissing at all), it was time to set off and explore the excellent Swiss cycle network, with Swiss Bob’s authoritative route information still ringing in my ears “You go that way, it’s the River and town… you go that way, it’s the Alps and you die” In the true spirit of the GA, I of course immediately set off towards the Mountains but as the God of Cycling (and foolish – ed) always seems to shine on those who ride the Big Cream tyres, I did by accident appear to end up riding in the correct direction after all and spent two excellent days, riding mostly along the Rivers Sihl and Limmat, around Lake Zurich, and through the old steep and narrow cobbled streets of the «Zwinglistadt», which I can testify the 3 Speed Guvnor more than handled with its usual aplomb… As is the normal when riding on a Guvnor in Assembly colours, and even considering the normally reserved nature of the typical Swiss cyclists, they were unable to resist waving, smiling and asking questions (in perfect English of course! so useful, that Union Flag on our sleeves, I feel) about the big black English bicycle…
My few days ended all too soon, and I eventually found myself having to return the Guvnor back to Zweiradgeber. The splendid Mr Milo met me with his usual excellent hospitality (coffee, advice on return trips etc) and he even further offered that should the GA wish to return one day “en masse”, then he would be delighted to organise an Assembly/ Zweiradgeber BBQ for the Chaps from the GA and his own team.
I can truly not express how extraordinarily friendly the welcome was from my hosts, and I thank Miro, Sascha, the guys of Diverso and of course our own GA member Swiss Bob… and I hope one day to return with a full complement of the Guvnors… !!!