It’s just as well that we believed the weather forecast. Because if a decision to head off to the Brownlee Circuit had been based solely on the early morning downpours, and we had cancelled, we would have missed out riding around what is, arguably, the best purpose made cycling track in the UK.
As it happened two dozen Trekkers, including new pilots Colin M and John J, had a great time, whizzing around the mile long circuit under a blue sky, dotted only by a handful of fluffy white clouds.
Yet another brilliant session, underpinned by an excellent turnout.
At this rate, there won’t be many more records for Trekkers to smash. Fourteen tandems, on this morning’s sunny and warm run up to Dunford Bridge, is the largest turnout for a Saturday ride in our history. And, what’s more, we ended up having to stand down five stokers due to a shortage of pilots.
That said, it was amazing at the number of front riders who stepped up to the plate. Thanks all – you really did save the day.
Lovely to see Hilary on her maiden Penistone trip – and first non-track ride in a long time. And also, a very special welcome to returning pilots, Josh and Claire, as well as stoker Karen. You all rode superbly- and we really hope to see you riding with us again very soon.
Finally, two mega-acknowledgements.
Firstly to Brittany who made today happen and then offered up her place. Coordinating such a large group, matching pilots to stokers, working out who would be meeting where – not too mention her relentless pursuit of pilots so that we could accommodate as many VI’s as possible, literally takes hours and hours of behind the scenes efforts.
And secondly to Damian. Though he lives at the far side of Leeds, he offered to drive over to storage, simply to tow our large trailer to Penistone and back as well as pilot for us.
Thanks both. It’s people like you that make Trekkers the superb group it is.
Officially, Tandem Trekkers are an organisation; a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, or CIO, in legal parlance.
But we’re much more than that. And if you were privileged enough to be on our Scamblesby Residential then I’m sure you’d agree that “community”, “fellowship” and even “family” are words that better capture the warmth and camaraderie that comprise our DNA.
To merely describe Saturday’s 20 or 40 mile rides and Sunday Morning’s 20 mile trip to Lincoln along the Water Rail Way would be to remain safely within cycling narratives. But it would totally miss the friendships and repartee that were foundational to our weekend away.
Detailing the lovely weather, and flat traffic-free pedalling, wouldn’t tell you how Andy W explained to Ali (a recently arrived PhD student from Saudi Arabia) what the previous evening’s sung with beer-fuelled gusto “On Ilkley Moor baht’at” rendition was all about. Nor would it chronicle the episode when VI’s, Jules and Aisha, discovered how you can simultaneously both open a door a walk straight into it at the same time. Stable doors are not for anyone with sight loss.
And crucially, just writing about 30 Trekkers on 14 Tandems and 2 solos, in exclusive occupation of a very comfortable barn and holiday cottage in the heart of beautiful Lincolnshire, wouldn’t let you know how the Pilots finely secured quiz victory over their Stoker opponents in a nail biting fiercely fought final round of questions, designed and hosted by Trekker’s Chair, Brittany.
But the final cameo of two most memorable days must go to our resident comedian, Andrew D.
Andrew D: “Where’s ‘e’ gone on my keyboard?”
Charles: “It’s on the top row, next to ‘r’.
Andrew D: “Got it.”
Of the various benefits our track sessions offer, the opportunity
of welcoming new people to the Trekker’s community must rank as one of the
best. And today was no exception. It was great to be joined by Nick as a pilot
and Ali as a stoker. Guys, you both cycled like real professionals and we
sincerely hope to see more of you on future rides.
And making up our numbers, we were also joined by Dave, Julie,
Richard, Jennifer and Hermi who had come along as part of the South Pennine
Explore 2019 initiative which we integrated into our normal monthly meeting.
And last, but certainly not least, it was wonderful to see Hilary back with us this morning. We’ve missed you!