MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR
LADS WEEKEND AWAY
I failed to mention the events at this years laddish extravaganza in the last news letter. We were blessed with good weather, again, and I have attempted to give some inkling of the spirit of the occasion in the copy of a letter I had to write in reply to a complaint from a certain members wife. (Hello Debbie)
Unfortunately, our numbers were significantly diminished before we even set off. Mark had hoped to shed a particularly bad chest cold. But it wasnít to be so he went home. Gerald had to submit to a spot of delií belly somewhere between Brecon and Rhayader and got the train home.
Is it us?
YOUTH HOSTELS R US
At the time of writing I still have some beds spare for the Youth Hostel meet in February.
It has been brought to my attention that I havenít been too clear as to the location of Slaidburn and the Trough of Bowland. Well, go north on the M6 to just north of Preston and look to the east on your map. Hopefully youíve now found it. That is unless your name is Geof. As usual, all participants will receive full instructions well in advance. Though the Taylorís will still probably end up in the wrong county!
Ride ideas are veering in the direction of Ingleton and Settle or perhaps toward Lancaster.
NEW YEAR IN LLANBERIS
The booking form for the New Years meet at Llanberis was printed in the latest edition of the Journal and hopefully is attracting significant bookings. There will be runs on the Sunday, Monday, and, New Years eve with route sheets supplied so feel free to just turn up on specí and take part. In the event of inclement weather there are the delights of Petes Eats. See you there then.
SEMAINE DU CIDRE (et du fromage)
Also in the last journal was the booking form for next years International rally in Normandy. We are definitely going but have the difficult task of deciding whether to go by conventional means, i.e. upright, or take the flying bedstead (recumbent) tandem. Decisions, decisions. The rowdy pensioners will be there with their brand new VeeDub mobile hostelry with on board cocktail bar and that surely is reason enough to go!!
2003 RUN SHEET
With this mighty tome you should have a copy of the provisional run sheet for next year (See Run Sheet Page). There are quite a few gaps to be filled so please feel free to volunteer to lead, participate, or support any event.
Me Ďní er Ďindoors have already recceíd a route for one run which weíll keep in hand until itís needed. Such forward planning is quite something for us. An idea has been aired that we should have an imperial century on a Saturday followed by a metric one on the Sunday some time close to the solstice. This would mean that no one is disappointed and all get a chance to participate.
Pat and Ken Brown will be celebrating 50 years of tandeming in May and have kindly invited all to join in their revels. There will be a run, food, and possibly a spot of badger watching.
2003 promises to be quite a full year and hopefully thereís something for everyone.
A SPOT OF CULTURE
And how about a poem on the pleasures of tandeming ?
And what does a "stoker" do? Why, he/she keeps the engine's fire burning by...
There are those who think the tandem is the instrument sublime.
For the serious cycle-tourist, and the man concerned with time.
It has drive and rolls much faster as it gobbles up the track,
But it's quite another matter to the guy who sits in back...shovelin' coal.
But just look at the advantages with twice the power at hand,
And half the wind resistance as it travels o'er the land.
The weight is less than double. This alone gives peace of mind.
But it's still another matter to the guy who sits behind...shovelin' coal.
Yes, the man up front is master. It is he who shifts the gears.
He decides when brakes are needed, and on top of this he steers.
He can go the wrong direction and wind up in Timbuktu;
But refuses any protest from the guy who's number two...shovelin' coal.
It's just like a locomotive, with the front man engineer,
He sits back and shouts instructions to the fireman in the rear.
It's the way to run a railroad. With a bike it's not so sweet
To the sweating, swearing fellow on the secondary seat...shovelin' coal.
True, the pilots work the throttles while their partners work the flaps.
They are barely more than slaves -- a society of saps.
Co-pilots do the labor. They are not supposed to feel.
It's likewise with the suckers above the rearward wheel...shovelin' coal.
His view ahead is blank and to peek would be a sin;
So he can't see where he's going -- only places where he's been.
He would love to lean to starboard when to port they make a turn,
But such pleasure is verboten to the fellow in the stern...shovelin' coal.
Yet there will be retribution on some future day in hell,
When all tandem frames have melted, and the tandem leaders yell.
In agony they writhe, and some mercy they request;
But the back men just keep doing the thing they've done the best...shovelin' coal.
Reprinted from the Greater Boston Council, AYH, "Spokesman", in
"Bicycling", August 1976
THE ONES YOU MISSED
Octobers run was an easily paced ride led by Sandra and David. However, Ďthe mellow tones were concealing hints of acid fruití as we climbed steeply away from sea level via autumnal lanes carpeted with soggy hedge cuttings. Though, miraculously, no punctures.
We briefly stopped in Llanelian-yn-Rhos to catch breath and enjoyed the cheery visage of the lady vicar!
Onward to excellent wittles in The Stag at Llangernyw where the Wyles rendezvoused with us.
The return leg took us through more interesting lanes before descending to the promí at Abergele for coffee and cake and the final cruise to Eirias Park.
We were in much the same area for Mike and Daniís run in November. There was a distinct feeling of riding in circles during the first half hour or so. But that should not detract from the pleasure of riding quiet lanes without the company of the atrocious weather we had been enjoying. We then gently progressed to lunch in Colwyn Heights (Does anyone remember Crown Heights Affair ?) where the sun was shining so brightly that for a brief, very brief, moment we considered sitting out.
Geof did his best to get lost, again, but Becky was having none of it and we gave chase in order to conduct his party to the promí.
Now, if youíve ever been to Chez Wheatley your one undying memory must surely be that it is uphill and, believe me, it is particularly uphill from sea level. Geof will confirm this fact graphically if asked and probably if not asked.
We were treated to cake and coffee at Chez Wheatley whilst I wondered if I could get a quick snooze in before sallying home.
The drive home just isnít the same without the Cliff Adams Singers is it?
THE RIGHT TO REPLY
Dear Mrs Lewis,
Many thanks for your letter. We are sorry to hear that you are finding it difficult to live with your husband, Graeme, following his attendance on one of our recent LadFest weekends.
You, however, obviously failed to read the small print when you signed the spousal consent form allowing him to attend.
Whilst we endeavor to return all participants in as healthy a condition as when they joined the course it must be realised that the nature of LadFest is to encourage bad behavior.
We do advise participants that they should try to revert to their former selves when they return home but, of course, certain male traits are not so controllable as others. You are probably fully aware that whereas females are capable of f*rting surreptitiously, men must f*rt as when the mood takes them and indeed pride themselves on this so called weakness.
Graeme probably came home tired because of the sleepless nights inflicted on us all by Mr Wilkins incessant snoring, some thing Mr Wilkins remained unaware of. He being the only one with earplugs!
Graeme could have followed Mr Hills example and spend the night futilely wandering around trying to escape the sonorous vibrations.
I should think that you too would honk a bit after riding to Llangollen from Devils Bridge in one go. We do not encourage going unwashed but at Tyn Cornel hostel the boiler didnít work so there was no hot water. Mr Hill braved a cold shower and we heard the screams at some distance.
Graeme seemed to enjoy the off-road sections of our route especially the muddy bits. Others however didnít derive the same amount of pleasure. Mr Davison, for instance, seemed most ungrateful considering we cured his rattling mudguard. Admittedly the wheel no longer turned and had to be removed to clear the mud.
We must reiterate our policy of professionalism. I mean, we didnít lose Mr Russell despite his best efforts, we returned Mr Taylor with his full quota of hats, and, this year, we didnít make anyone ride for ten miles in the dark after doing eighty miles.
I trust the above addresses your concerns and that you will let Graeme play out/ attend future LadFests.