Sunday, 26 June 2016

Cheshire Cycleway Rides (Bob Clift Memorial)

Back in October, I appeared to leave the committee meeting with a small blue folder, containing 'everything I need to know about organising the Bob Clift Memorial Cheshire Cycle Way Rides'.  Apparently.

No pressure, venues were booked for next year and apart from galvanizing volunteers later in the year, I did not need to do much until next Spring.

Of course, the months do fly by.  I met with a previous organiser, and gathered lots of tips and - more importantly - word and excel documents which will make life easier.  I helped out with the Spring 50, which also gave me an opportunity to play with the excel sheet Janet uses for her entries, and how she managed on-line entries.  An email or four to 'Entry Central', and that was set to go.  I set up a facebook page too, to keep people posted with developments.

I asked for budding artists to design a poster, and certificates - and had a wonderful poster by Rick, and delightful hand drawn images for two certificates.  With help from my daughter we were able to put the words and Mike (our president's) signature on.

Through May and into June I had daily emails about who has entered, and a weekly statement.  People paid direct online, so life was easy and quite exciting as the numbers crept up to and then overtook previous year entry numbers.

John and a few others had been out for me and checked route and directions, and took some photos.  I advertised in local 'talkabout' publication, but can't afford a three page spread like the company from Bath who decided to hold a 'Cycle Chester' event the day before.  There are so many cycle events around these and in the summer months especially.  It was a good job I had advertised as the key holder for Waverton Village Hall did not have our event in the book!  After an apologetic phone call this was remedied and fortunately the hall was available.

In the week before Nicky and I drew up a shopping list for refreshments and snack bars, and I sent her off to Bookers.  After the closing date I had more wanting to enter, people who thought they had entered and lots of advice about the route, and people who had 'redone' the route.  I think the problem sits with Garmins and other gadgets and how they download a .gpx file.  Technology is great - but can be a hindrance!

My husband and daughter offered the assistance of taking the camper van and our gazebo to Hassell Green and a few days before the doggy benefited from an early evening walk so I could show my husband where to park.

I stuck to the tried and tested formula, using same venues and helpers, and on the day it all fell into place wonderfully.  There were small hiccups, the computer froze, Nicky kept me supplied with coffee's.  The 100 mile riders arrived, and set off.  The 50 mile riders arrived and set off.  One 100 mile rider returned after 50 miles, to meet his wife and went home (by choice).  A couple of minor mishaps and only two did not make it back.  The weather stopped being nice and came in wet in the afternoon, but overall everyone seemed to enjoy the day.

Some photos from the day - 

At the end of the day, the youngest rider is presented with the Jim Skelding Trophy, this year Ben (18) achieved this.

I then took it off him to get it engraved with his name and year.

Till next year!

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Curry Ride 2016

Nick writes:-

"(Growing old, is for old people)

The day started as per usual at The Piper for a pre ride drink, in brilliant sunshine. Sue came along to say “Hello”, in fancy dress dressed from the 1967 flower power era, Bob looked perfectly dressed for a hot sunny day wearing an Hawaiian shirt and straw hat, Norman looked very smart in a tartan waistcoat and a dickie bow to match. Kath wore a perfectly fitted skeleton outfit, Stu arrived dressed up as a Jamaican Rastafarian (a dead ringer for Bob Marley). Dave (shorts Dave) his outfit was great showing his proud Scottish heritage [not too much of it, fortunately - S], all dressed in red tartan wearing a kilt and if he lifts his kilt and shows 2 quarter pounders it proves he is a McDonald and not a Campbell and to finish the look a ginger wig and a tartan beret. The oddest bunch of cyclists assembled in the car park for the “Grand depart”. 

This year we were determined to keep the ride at a leisurely pace so we could all chat away and enjoy the ride. It wasn't many miles in before the first mechanical, I think something fell off Gill’s bike, Bob was furious! He was hoping for something more serious, like a puncture, so he could have had time for a Whisky out of one of our flasks, he had no need to worry because after a couple of miles the group began to split which provided the perfect opportunity to sample the drinks on offer, some of Scotland’s finest malts and Gill Stagg brought along homemade sloe gin. Gail and Steve are relative newcomers to this “Crazy Gang” and sampled the malts with great skill, Steve is in an AA meeting as I write this. 

The lovely ride rolled on in the beautiful Cheshire countryside in fantastic weather. We arrived at the Helsby Spice, a couple of beers, great food with lovely company. Carlsberg don't do curry rides, but if they did, they would have done this one, because we knew we were in for some rain but that happened while we were sat inside the Restaurant comfortably dry and warm [Oh, well done! - S]

Curry finished, all happy, we set off to our next destination, The Shrewsbury Arms, we sat outside around a big table and enjoyed a drink and jovial conversation. After the Shrewsbury we were then on the homeward stretch back to Chester.

After a successful curry ride, Gail getting beat up the hills, yet again, by Gill (thanks to Dave’s coaching) We all hope Stu recovers quickly and gets back on his bike sooner rather than later. Thanks all for a truly great day and fantastic company."