It has to be said the Guvnors’ Assembly enjoy a ride, sometimes it’s up hill and down vale chasing after chaps who have purchased Bakelite bikes under the impression it will enable them to enjoy cycling all the more. On the other side of the coin we’re not adverse to a tootle through the lanes and byways of rural England, since the Queens jubilee Pashley have been putting on one of the best.
As always the GA, accompanied by the Basket Brigade sent out an Expeditionary Force to reconnoiter the surrounding area, a few of the GA had been asked to be ride guides, and as is to be expected they took this honour very seriously and did not want to be caught out by unexpected road surfaces, inclines, ambushes etc. A few on the ride may say we went completely the wrong direction, although as it turns out the cross country foray was well advised.
That evening Pashley had laid on a little evening entertainment in the shape of The Handlebards a four man troupe cycling around the UK carrying their props and costumes on Pashley bikes and performing a bit of the Olde Shakespeare en-route. Far be it for me to critique the Bard, but the Basket Brigade were kept quiet for the best part of two hours.
Sunday morning dawned, as mornings are want to do and the Great and the Good began to gather outside The Traditional Cycle Shop until at about 10:50 prompt our leader for the day Blaaake reached for his trusty, rusty megaphone and began to rally the troops. Fortunately the fellow had the fore site to brief the GA of what was expected from them and like the well oiled machine they are at the end of every evening, they sprang into action. Springing into action basically involves pushing Little Dave in front of any traffic and leaving him to sort the ensuing chaos out.
Fortunately this years ride was along The Greenway, a converted train line, but possibly of more interest to the GA only one entrance and exit point, thereby considerably reducing the chances of loosing anyone en-route. Once at the end of The Greenway after a little trip along the road and a cut across a field (thank me later chaps) we descended upon The Shakespere Inn, in Welford Upon Avon. As ever Pashley had the stop organised and in hand, first of all it was at a pub that sold rather good beer cheers chaps and a Pashley Ice Cream bike and more lollies than you could wave a lolly pop stick at and a few tunes from The Handlebards.
Alas all too soon Blaaake gave the ten minuet warning, as it happens just long enough to get one last round in at the bar as most people had now vacated the establishment to mount their bikes. The ride back was very much along the same route as the one we had arrived on, again for the same reasons as previously mentioned an absolute boon for those fellows of the GA who were working.
Back at the Boat House the party began and people may even have had a drink or two all, in order to celebrate Pashley’s 90th birthday. A little bit of fizz, a tasty bite to eat, a bit of live music and of course the now legendary game of Pass the Parcel, all too soon the party ended leaving the GA with no alternative but to go to the pub and drown their sorrows in a pint of beer.
But what a day!
Thank you to everyone who helps put the Pashley Picnic on many, many aching jaws from laughter were in evidence the following day.
As ever a few of the chaps were running around taking snaps of things they shouldn’t here are a few of them that will not result in any form of litigation.
Happy 90th Birthday Pashley!