June 2013

The 2013 June Velo Vintage Ride

by Adam on 26, June, 2013

The Cope's

June the 14th was the date for the third Velo Vintage ride, this years was twice the size with over two hundred riders at the event, fellows who have been on the earlier rides may have a few concerns about  the event loosing a little of it’s intimacy. The earlier events had a distinct feel of a family gathering with our distinguished hosts Alastair and Seb making everyone feel personally welcome.

Signing on complete, cards stamped and two old Pennies issued (to be redeemed later) we had a little time to meet our friends and make a few new ones before Mr Cope (Snr.) made an announcement regarding the route and a few hints as to what was to come. Almost to the second with the sort of timing that irony holds in reserve for these occasions, the heavens opened as we set off along the promenade, this left we riders with only one option get the raincoats out and proceed. Thwarted the shower soon gave up and we carried on our loop around Exmouth before heading out along the Otter Trail.

The weather made one last attempt at cracking our resolve and threw everything it had at us, I should admit at this stage to taking shelter under a bridge with a few other souls as the torrent came down. This lilly liveredness did pay me back shortly afterwards at our first stop The Swan Inn the hardy types that carried on were already at the bar, fortunately for a pub that had two hundred plus riders descend upon it they managed to serve us at such an astounding rate, so much so that after a quick chat with Mr Cope (Snr.) it was confirmed we would indeed have enough time for another pint before setting off.<!--more-->

Time to move on,  riders causing good natured congestion in the streets around Lympstone before heading up a hill towards A La Rounde. Including the hill or The Hill as it became known was a brave decision by the organisers with nearly everyone walking up, a few ladies and gentlemen on modern machinery managed and one of the most endearing sites was a young girl on a vintage three wheeler happily riding up the incline. To the walkers it mattered not one jot, it was merely an opportunity to push and chat instead of ride and chat.

A few hundred bikes safely propped up around the grounds we got to spend our first penny on delicious Devonshire cream tea, a bottle or two may have also been opened by the Basket Brigade with the 50:50 Pimms rapidly going down in GA folklore. It was also here we met Anton, a photographer fellow who had contacted us via electronic format and an assignation was arranged. He takes a rather pleasing image and was even capable of making some of the Guvnors Assembly half presentable.

After leaving A La Ronde it was a quick ride downhill into Exmouth (always nice to have a little payback on an ascent), and further entertainment at the Strand in the town centre, including a pint of Tribute purchased with our second penny, rumour has it a few of the less scrupulous riders had forgone a cream tea in lieu of two pints…

Finally, time for the various prizes to be awarded including one donated by our very own Cycling Photographer, now modesty forbids me from saying who one “Best Dressed Man” taking the title for the third consecutive time for the GA, but it was a little surprising how cheaply the judges sell their scruples.

Now, of course this event would not happen without Sebastian and Alastair from Velo Vintage time and organisation to them both a massive thank you, but a well deserved hussar is also deserved for the marshals who steered us all true and all the sponsors who donated some fantastic prizes, last but by no means least the lovely Naomi for impeccable taste

Oh and our initial concerns –  completely unfounded

A few snaps from the event

and courtesy of Velo Vintage a little feature presentation

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The 3rd Velo Vintage Bicycle Occasion

by Adam on 11, June, 2013

3rd Velo Vintage

This weekend, those thoroughly entertaining chaps Alastair and Seb Cope are running the 3rd Velo Vintage cycle ride in the seaside town of Exmouth.

This years little do is a little bigger but looking at the number of supporters the good fellows have enticed on board in support, it also appears to be a little better. To put “a little better” into context, at the last event our impeccable hosts hospitality only just stopped short at offering a place at their fireside whilst smoking their personal, favorite Briar after decanting a bottle of ’77 Grahams they just happened to be saving for a special occasion.

The ride is rather close to the Pashley Picnic, but the day really is worth making the effort. If you have not been on the Pashley Picnic, then you really should make some excuse to pack the old Globetrotter for the weekend and head on down, or over. If you were on the Pashley Picnic, well it is summer you really should make the most of the weather whilst it lasts.

As for the Sunday, if you are not planning on shooting off we are planning a ride around the Exe Estuary, finishing back in Exmouth to watch a little more entertainment lined up by the Cope’s

A few images from last year

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The 2013 Pashley Picnic

by Adam on 6, June, 2013

The 2013 Pashley Picnic from Guvnors’ Assembly

In it’s second year now the Pashley Picnic has quickly established itself as one of the GA’s “jolly fun to pop along to” type events, based in Stratford Upon Avon, Pashley are lucky enough to live in the heart of some of the most pleasant cycling country England has to offer.

Never ones to miss the opportunity for a ride the Ladies and Gentlemen of the GA arranged to meet up at Saturday lunch time outside our friends  The Traditional Cycle Shop although by the time your humble writer had turned up a café bar had been found and the decision to migrate had already been made. As is usual our twelve o’clock post meridiem became a little more like half past one by the time cars were parked. We then set off for a gentle tootle along the Green Way before heading to the Kings Arms for a bite to eat (and a swift beverage) before then heading back into Stratford for the evening.

At this juncture I feel it is worth mentioning that Pashley must have been batting on a rather sticky wicket and left with no option but to ask for volunteers from the GA to help marshal the event, four good men took up the Pashley shilling. At five o’clock these brave fellows met up with Mr Conod of Pashley to pre-ride the route, a largely uneventful event bar our concerns regarding getting 100 riders through a kissing gate the size of a small childs wendy house onto the Avon Canal.

The day of the ride we met outside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in the warm, glorious, bright sunshine how we laughed and frolicked bathed in Sol’s rays. After a speech from Mr Conod we set off through Stratford, the early tourists a little shocked at the site, every stop an inquisitive individual would approach to try and understand what was happening  “It is a bike ride Madam, we set off on a little route every Sunday”

Heading out of Stratford, traffic controlled by the stout volunteer Marshals of the GA and a few of the Ladies and Gentlemen from Pashley we headed toward Mary Arden’s Farm such was the skill in controlling the traffic and a herculean effort from the younger riders we reached our destination approximately an hour early, but still with a lot to see and do before the two o’clock departure. It was also noted by several riders that the Arden Arms was just around the corner !

At one thirty we re-assembled for departure back down the canal and into Stratford with a stop at the Pashley Factory for a few snaps.

All too quickly we were back at the marquee with near enough the same number of riders that originally set off. This however was not the end, ever the fine hosts Pashley had secured the services of an excellent band whilst we enjoyed our picnics and a copious supply of  Pashley fizz.

Then a rumble from the riders, something was happening out on the river, a boat rowed by Bottom and ably captained by what in truth was not the most beautiful Titania the audience might have ever seen was approaching. Upon docking Titania lovingly guided Bottom the donkey through into the marquee and then to everyone’s amazement the Donkey began to speak thanking riders and organisers !!!

An inspired game of pass the parcel then took place, followed by a raffle where yet again the GA managed to walk away with a number of honours. Pashley providing some beautiful accessories as prizes. We then once again retired to our picnic blankets to mop up the remaining beautiful English evening sun sipping our Pashley fizz and partaking in the usual GA banter….

So finally that just leaves me to thank everyone at Pashley for yet again being impeccable hosts and to say hello again to the Guvnor riders we met for the first time, hopefully we shall see you all again soon.

A few snaps from the proceedings.

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