September 2013

The Guvnors’ Assembly Ride the Manchester 100

by Adam on 24, September, 2013

The beginning of September in the Grim North is, since time immemorial marked by the Manchester 100, not a Sportive as such but a massed cycle ride with upwards of 4000 riders taking part in the ride.

A hundred miler is never going to be easy but heading out into Cheshire towards Chester does offer very Guvnor friendly riding, with enough undulation to keep it interesting without actually reducing the rider to tears.

On this jolly Mr. Adam and Mr. Dodger are old hands on the Guvnor long distance ride we did however on this occasion have the esteemed Mr. Cycling Photographer riding with us, after months of casual “Out of interest how fast do you go?”, “Is the Manchester 100 hilly?”  and maybe a little gentle persuasion, he signed on the dotted line and made the trip up from the ‘wolds.

After a quick warm up spin to the start in Wythenshaw Park and we were released with a group of approximately one hundred riders on our little odyssey.

Riding the Guvnor in these events usually creates a little bit of a stir, we were however in the North where people are naturally friendly and folks will stop for a chap regardless, if possible this effect was highlighted even further by Mr Photographer wearing a beret.

On the outskirts of Tatton Park a fellow with a particularly broad accent started quizzing Mr. Photographer as to “What’s it all about?” to which Mr. Photographer offered him £10 and told him to treat the children. Mr Adam and Mr Dodger offered a translation service from that point on.

Riding the Guvnor on a Big ‘un it’s not unusual for a few cyclist on more modern equipment to be able to gain an advantage on the hills, this particular weekend was the first time we have ever been passed by a young chap on a unicycle, not to be seen again until the finish line, a short quick conversation ensued and we decided he must be going really quickly.

A little before Delamere Forest we met up with Mr Wooster and his son (who indecently is starting to look very professional on a bike), even though the fellows were astride bikes with more than one gear and a strange plastic type material it was good to catch up with Mr Booster, although an opportunity was missed when we went off piste and found the Ice Cream farm by mistake.

Miles passed, undulations ridden up and occasionally down until eventually we ended up at the finish, showing although not inconsiderable will power was shown at final feed station/pub when Mr Dodger popped into a public house to re-charge his bidon and re-emerged to tell us, “It’s warm in there and they have got pints of beer lined up”

The end of the Manchester 100 is always a bit special, riding through the park with a commentator welcoming every finisher over the line and the wonderful warm applause from earlier finishers and families still waiting for their cyclist to complete the circuit.

Of course the GA rider of the day (Uni-Cyclist not withstanding) has got to be Mr Cycling Photographer, his first ton for a few years and on a single ratio continuously variable speed Guvnor. Chapeau Sir!


The Guvnor Becomes a Museum Piece

by Adam on 17, September, 2013


A missive recently dropped into the GA’s in box, from Guvnor owner  Mr MacDonald, this handsome fellow (center picture) works at the Black Country Museum and has recently with the aid of his Guvnor became an exhibit as the museums official  “1930’s Cyclist”

The more eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed a visit to the museum has made several appearances in the “Upcoming Jollies” it is still very much our intention to get there but we are having a few issues finding a suitable route into the city.


Ox Sheds

Sunday morning with slightly think heads and couple of extra fellows found (welcome Frosty and Nobby), a shorter ride had been arranged, but what a day! Even by GA standards it was all a bit David Lynch at times.

Riding out from the Bull stopping for a quick photo shoot at the Ox stalls the results of which Mr TCP has already published we headed off towards The Red Lion. Public Houses like this are a rare and unfortunately disappearing gem, bought by Tetbury Brewery in 1851 John the current landlord, is only the fourth fellow to run this establishment, as such his character is well and truly embedded not only into the atmosphere of the building but also the two different types of Tim Taylor’s. If you ever happen to be passing during opening hours pop in for a pint, this is not a pastiche period pub it is a pub from a different age.

Now as most of you are aware the ladies and gentlemen of the GA aren’t particularly big drinkers but they are not ones to insult their host and so stepped up and tested the beer several times. The highlight of the visit was John coming out to have his photograph taken with the rather handsome Team Attired fellows of the GA, although if truth be told he did seem to have a bigger smile on his face when he had his photo call surrounded by the Basket Brigade.

Finally off to the final treat of the weekend; Poulton Village Fete, yet again Mrs TCP had pulled a few strings and arranged for free entry into the event, however I am sure you are all aware of the saying “There is no such thing as a free lunch”…

It started innocuously enough with the organisers asking Mr TCP and Mr Adam if they would pop up to the Organisers tent and give a few words over the public address system to the assembled masses about who and what we are, half an hour later after a rather unseemly scrabble on the floor the Compare managed to wrestle the microphone back off Mr TCP, although it must be said Mr TCP did give a very good account of himself and if it wasn’t for an unfortunate slip resulting in his feet becoming entwined in the microphone cable I am sure he would have won the match.

A few minutes later we were asked if we would ride our bikes around the event arena, this request was made several times before we believed the fellow, so shortly after the massively talented Highland Dances finished their piece and in front of a fair few members of the public we went out and did two circuits and left before the ground swallowed us up, all to polite, bemused applause.

Finally as is usual in a Village Fete the Tug-of-War was the last event of the day, undaunted by our rank amateur approach to all requests to date, yet again we were approached by the organisers and asked if we would field a team, what followed could only be described as a rout. Immediately after the start was called Mr Dodger showed an ability to hang off the rope in a manner that would make Cornelius jealous. In the meantime our Anchor Man “Little Dave” appeared blissfully unaware of what was involved neatly passing the rope through whilst singing his favourite Gilbert and Sullivan arias to anyone who would listen.

If we can draw one thing from this debacle, it proves what a Stirling bunch of gents the GA are, not a man woman or child present would have thought it out of order to use the still warm rope to tie Mr Dodger and Little Dave up and drag them around the showground as penance for their woeful showing.

As is usual at theses weekends people had to start making their way home and our evening meal was a little more subdued than the previous nights although the strangeness did not actually stop until the latch was dropped on our room doors.

Thank you to everyone for making the effort and coming on these little jollies. Welcome Mr and Mrs Little Dave, wonderful to meet you both I do hope we see you both again.

Finally thank you to our wonderful hosts and organisers Mr and Mrs Cycling Photographer. Mrs Cyclist had many a quiet word over the course of the weekend to ensure things were “just so”

Until next time Ladies and Gentlemen.

Our snaps


The Guvnors’ Assembly Return from Wild in the ‘wolds – Saturday

September 2, 2013 Jollies

The Cotswold jolly used The Bull Hotel, Fairford as base headquarters for our most recent jolly, and has to be said, even by our unusual standards this ride really was at times a little surreal. One of many firsts over the course of the weekend was being greeted by paparazzi  from the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard […]

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