Barrels and Bikes

by Adam on 26, August, 2015

Bikes and Barrels

For the third year on the trot our wonderful hosts Mr and Mrs Cycling Photographer, metaphorically opened their doors and invited the GA into their manor to sample a little bit more fine Cotswold riding.

Headquarters this year was The Royal Oak in Tetbury where we were incredibly well fed and watered by the lovely people at the establishment. Friday evening the gathering of the GA Clan, with at one point Mr Cycling Photographer appearing with a Boules case and challenging the chaps to a match. It was only as we were walking down to the pitch it  became evident none of us actually knew how to play the game, fortunately a few locals were kind enough to show us the ropes even if they did take the liberty to fleece us with a “small wager” after our first game, incidentally the two teams naturally split into North vs South, of course it is bad form to talk about winners and losers suffice to say the Civilised end won.

Saturday morning, with the sun starting to crack the flags we were joined by a handful of first timers (on a GA ride at least) and of course the ever present press wanting a hot scoop for the local news, although syndication was mentioned more than once.

And then we were off…

The Cotswolds can be a little lumpy in places and every year  Mr & Mrs TCP manage to navigate us around the worst of them, but alas not all of them although as is ever the GA’s creed “No man (or woman) was left behind” although if we had known the lunch time stop was a pub with their own microbrewery in advance it could have been carnage. The Red Lion in Cricklade was a very welcome break with plenty of good beer on tap, unfortunately bike riding and a return journey got in the way of our extensive testing. The Guvnors’ Assembly hate leaving a job half finished and mutterings of “next year” was heard once or twice.

A different route on our return leg took us back through several chocolate box villages, showing us places that would not appear in your usual guides but beautiful none the less. Of course riding past a camp site with hundreds of triathletes preparing for a Sunday event, not only were we better dressed I think if we had turned up on the Sunday our Pashleys would have shown one or two of them a clean pair of heels.

As we have previously mentioned and riding in the heat (hats off to Mr Corky and Mr Douglas for the tweeds, although it was noted that Mr Douglas removed his waist coast very early in the day, Empire Sir, Empire), when miraculously what was first perceived to be a mirage actually turned out to be another pub. As inevitable as a five speed hub giving up the ghost we were enticed by the Trouble House’s promise of a cold drink a promise we could not miss.

As hot as the Saturday was, the Sunday was wet, the sort of wet that would get Noah running for his tools again. Not surprisingly we lost a few of the more sensible riders and actually gained one, Steve from GBBB whom a few of the chaps have purchased his excellent head-sets is opening a Pashley shop in October and came along to invite the GA to it’s opening with the promise of free beer, but I suspect he has an ulterior motive of preparing himself for the sort of customer he will be having to deal with. Suffice to say the Sunday was ride was considerably shorter although the Cat and Custard Bowl was again of a two pint standard.

As ever a massive thank you to Mr and Mrs Cycling Photographer for being the impeccable hosts and a warm welcome to Ivon, Steve and Steve, Jennifer and Douglas. We trust you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did?


And for a view from our American cousins the lovely Jennifer has offered her version of events.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

The Cycling Photographer August 27, 2015 at 8:01 am

As ever, wonderful words Mr.A! Thank you all for making another year in the region a very memorable one. Always nice to catch up with old muckers, and wonderful to meet new friends. It wouldn’t of happened without the direction of Mrs.TCP. I’m a lucky chap. I find my way to the loo without a map these days.
Ride far and safe. See you again soon.


ivan August 27, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Hello all fellow ‘Wolds’ participants.

I would like to thank you all for the wonderfully warm welcome
I received at my first official (in the colours) assembly ride out.

I had a great day from start to finish and we could not
have asked for better weather, although woollen clothing was probably not the
best choice on the day.

Special thanks go to Mark and Heidi for organising the
weekend, great route, good pubs, good company, what’s not to like. Please do
another one next year.

My only regret was that I could not join you on the Sunday, hopefully,
you didn’t get to wet.

Keep on spinning




Steve Warner August 27, 2015 at 6:48 pm

‘Twas a great day. Already looking forwRd to next year. Thanks very much


Jennifer August 29, 2015 at 7:18 am

A hearty thank you for a wonderful, welcoming weekend in the wolds. Saturday was splendid, even if I was the thankful recipient of the aid supplied by the “no man or woman left behind” creed more than once as the Princess and I wheezed uphill. Speaking of which, many thanks to Corky for allowing us to ride in dignity by lending the Princess and the tweed steed (surely the finest Mr. Douglas will ever mount). His generosity is much admired and appreciated. Mr. Douglas is still chaffing a bit from having let the Empire down, but there’s always next time (we hope!).
All the best from Berlin!
Jennifer & Douglas


Corky September 3, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Happy to bring them both along next time you want to join us.


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