The 2014 Holly Run

by Adam on 27, November, 2014

The 2014 Holly Run

The Holly Run is becoming a little bit of a Guvnors’ Assembly tradition, for the second year a return to the cradle of the modern world was organised, this time basing ourselves in Media City, where rumour must have got out that we were about to descend and a red carpet was rolled out in preparation. Unfortunately the security guards had not been informed who we were and got decidedly edgy whenever we rode towards the carpet. Rest assured Tony Hall has received a strong missive advising him of the error of the BBC’s ways. Obviously, the GA handle fame and accolade in their stride but are still as down to earth as a Welsh coal miner.

Saturday morning, fresh from an early night we began to rendezvous at the Blue Peter garden, moved from the original location after being vandalised once to often and pushing Simon Groom over the edge. A few snaps and away along the Manchester Ship Canal, into the beating heart of the city before dropping onto the Ashton Canal to the home of British Cycling the velodrome, headquarters for Team GB and Team Sky. Rumour had to that Dave Brailsford had wanted to quash we young upstarts once and for all with a head to head on the track, as it turned out the team were on “hair washing” duties and could not make it, none the less it gave us the perfect opportunity to go for a look around the building and have an inkling into what actually goes on at the track.

Short days and long nights meant we barely had time for a quick fortified coffee before we dropped onto the “Fallowfield Loop” another of Mr Beeching’s attempts to get the United Kingdom cycling and an excellent traffic free way to get into and out of the city on a bike. About half way around the route we jumped off and headed towards Stockport Old town, a beacon of light in east Manchester to dine at the rapidly becoming legendary Lord of the Pies a big thank you must go to Ollie and Lindsay for not only letting us take over their shop but dressing the tables with a bottle of beer for each and every one of us.

Fed and watered we had a spin down the road for a quick and rather good coffee at The Tandem Coffee House a thank you must be given to Alison for our cyclist goodie bag “to keep us going” that made all of six miles before it was opened and the contents tucked into.

Back onto the Fallowfield Loop, passing through Chorlton Cum Hardy, home of the the Marble Beer House. Now their beers occasionally pop up in a good light on the forum so as we were passing the door it seemed churlish not to at least sample these practically from the tap. The consensus seemed to be “yes”, although after a few pints I’m not sure if we were still aware of the question.

One final short leg back to Media City before getting ready for a night out taking in the bright lights, the truth be told the trams from Media City into the metropolis were a little hit and miss, and the short trip took considerably longer than expected. Thanks must go to Mrs Cyclist for flagging down a bus and storming on before the drive had time to say “invalid ticket”.

Fortunately everyone at Per Tutti soon ensured the journey in was soon forgotten with their usual delicious food and impeccable service, after the meal we split into the “party hearty” and “relax and refresh” groups.

The next day, was a somewhat shorter ride, but the opportunity to visit the home of the Industrial Revolution and cradle of the modern world. Ancoats on the northern edge of the city is a collection of fourteen grade II or grade II* listed buildings and a fascinating area to cycle around, more so now the area is starting to be re-developed and becoming considerably less “stabby” The artist Dan Dubowitz installed the “Ancoats Peeps” several years ago as a celebration of the history of the area (although sadly the pieces appear to be getting removed/damaged as buildings are developed). Still that is as they say progress.

To help succour our mild disappointment we popped into the Marble Arch – the first Marble Pub and glorious tilled Victorian building for a quick pint before heading back to Media City for a quick bite to eat and setting ourselves for the journey back to less civilised parts of the country.

As ever, a massive thank you for everyone who came along and helped make the weekend everything that it was, please find enclosed a few snaps from the weekend for your delectation.

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