June 2014

 

Guvnors’ Assembly and friends at L’Eroica Britannia from Guvnors’ Assembly on Vimeo.

Most people interested in cycling have heard of L’Eroica a cycling event in Tuscany for vintage bikes (and Guvnors), it is however a very long way away and the Guvnor is a little over sized to be stuffed into an aeroplane’s hold.

Last year a whisper was heard at Assembly Towers that the event was coming to Derbyshire, home to some of the best cycling in the country, whilst we hoped the event would be good it is fair to say none of us had an inkling of the cycling extravaganza the organisers had in store for us all.

After a little organisation on the the forum, a few missives dispatched in preparation for the weekend and camp Guvnors’ Assembly was struck by Mr Fossil claiming the corner of a field that will be forever GA. Through the day the team assembled, drawn like moths to the Thornbridge beer tent for a pint of “Handsome” the festival’s beer of choice, especially brewed for it’s restorative properties after a ride.

Saturday morning walking around the the festival village the penny dropped this was something a little bit special, more lovely bikes than you can shake a pump at with top tubes that “tink” when flicked, accessories galore, bike manufacturers displaying their wares, enough to keep any fellow happy. It may have escaped your attention but not everyone is interested in 531, these unusual characters were also catered for with a Vintage Village keeping the beautiful ladies and dapper gents happy.

In addition to the shopping, a full day and evening of entertainment was put on to keep us quiet. Special mention must go to Mrs Adam for keeping the GA end up and winning “Best in Show  Festival Go-er Lady” in show. A bite to eat a few quiet pints and an early night in preparation for the ride ahead.

Sunday morning and Bakewell, a town that had already embraced the event was transformed with thousands of riders assembling for the off. After a team talk the previous day consensus was the majority of the GA would ride the 55 miler with a splinter group on the 30. At 7.30 am prompt the Team started to assemble ready for a heroes send off a quick interview and John Bull packed is on our way.

As mentioned at the beginning of the words the Peak District has some of the finest riding available and this was something the organisers utilised to the maximum, combining converted train lines, White Peak Strada Bianca with ascents just on the right side of hard with descents that had us grinning from ear to ear.

Food stops were also a joy, not an energy bar in sight, home made sandwiches, cakes and biscuits washed down with local Hartington Beer or at Chatsworth Manor House Pimms and sparkling English wine.

A fellow would not be far wrong thinking it cannot possibly get much better than this, at that time we had not finished the event. Dropping into the event village we were guided around the back before rounding a corner in between two red telephone boxes and riding in formation up the finish straight, a combination of cheers, the PA and sheer achievement may possibly have left one or two of the GA a little emotional.

L’Eroica Britannia is a truly special event, meeting and reacquainting with friends from the GA is always special, we also were able to finally put faces to a lot of names but a special thank you must go to the organisers of the event for their warm welcome, fantastic organisation, superb good humour and for having us as guests.

Chapeau to all concerned with the organisation and the running of the event.

A few more snaps from the weekend.

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The 2014 Pashley Picnic

by Adam on 5, June, 2014

The 2014 Pashley Picnic from Guvnors’ Assembly.

After a week of “will it won’t it?” weather watching we threw open the windows to a bright and sunny day in Stratford Upon Avon, not a bad start as to what was going to be a superb day.

Pashley this year had decided to start the event from The Traditional Cycle Shop until recently one of the country’s prettiest cycle shops was possibly one of the smallest, it has now extended considerably and carries practically every bike in the Pashley range, all in all well worth poking your head through the door even if it is only to fondle the lovely Brooks goodies on display.

At exactly 10:30 a.m. Pashley Time, Mr Conod walked around with his little horn in an attempt to get people’s attention and set the ride on it’s way, as is usual Stratford Upon Avon traffic ground to a halt as over one hundred cyclist set off for the now obligatory picture outside of Mr. Shakespeare’s house.

The previous Pashley Picnics have had the first leg out to a local tourist spot, this year was no exception after negotiating the traffic through Stratford we dropped onto the Greenway, a few of our long timers may well recall this was the site of the Guvnors’ Assembly rise into infamy when they featured on the BBC’s Countryfile television program. It has to be said the members of the GA who had offered their services as “Ride Guide” did have a rather easy time of it, no traffic, easy riding and an old train line to follow, even we could not make a mess of this one.

Just out side our destination village of Welford we were grouped up for our ride into the hamlet, and what a welcome! Banners, bands, dancers, hundreds of the local populace had came out to welcome us in to the village, we were even encouraged to park our bikes up at the Shakespeare pub where the landlord Bill provided us with a pint or two of local beer to help wet our whistle.

As is usual at these cycling events, it was not long before names were put to unfamiliar faces and plans hatched for future assignations. If we were betting fellows I would have laid money against moving over a hundred cyclist on all credit must be given to Mr Conod and his little horn, we were back on our bikes and ready for the return leg at 2:15 p.m. Pashley Time. Once again we were on our way with a drum band beating us out of the village.

Very quickly we were back in Stratford getting ready for our picnic, although the lasting image of Little Dave standing firmly to attention whilst holding the traffic back at a doubled laned roundabout will be etched in many a cyclist minds (and several car drivers).

Back at the marquee a rather tasty spread had been put on by Pashley along with a glass or two of fizz kindly supplied by Churchill’s favourite Pol Roger and beer provided by Mr Rodgers’ favourite brewery Purity.

After being fed and watered our hosts for the afternoon Cleopatra and Mark Anthony got the entertainment underway with a classic game of “Pass the Parcel” and a lucky dip where lots of marvelous cycling related goodies were given away, and a copy of Mister Keith’s rather lovely new album who’s dulcet tones have accompanied in writing this little piece of prose.

A little more dancing, eating and maybe a little bit of drinking the picnic came to an end all too soon, and we were forced to continue elsewhere.

As is only polite a hello must be said to a few new fellows in the GA, Professor Yaffle, Mr Billinsfl and a young fellow who has the weight of the GA’s future sporting achievements on his young shoulders Mr Nobby (Jnr.)

I think however the final words must be given to Mr Conod of Pashley cycles, “it wouldn’t be the same without the GA. Thanks for bringing the whirlwind”

A few snaps from the weekend that make up our little slide-show

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