Ride report for Birthday Boy Brough 19th November 2023
Despite the unpleasant forecast, a few TVC red riders made the effort to turn out and greet the wrinkly old bugger, birthday boy Brough, who had turned 60 overnight.
These were the faster group of Andy Singleton, Dave Lee, Graham Fletcher Adams, Paul Ferguson, Dan Brewster and yours truly. The also-rans included Pete and Jenny Epsom-Down, Martin Bagshaw, Sheryl Cowlam, Karen Cleminson and Dave Bradley.
Having been allowed out for the morning by his carer, Jon looked resplendent in his new incontinence bib shorts and his slippers with cleats.
The red ride, planned meticulously, by Pete Epsom-Down was scheduled to go to the Iron Horse at Moss, where the big equestrian question would be can the Harworth OAP manage the steep climb up the stairs to the cafe? Perhaps Pete should have chosen somewhere more accessible with a ground floor or with a stairlift. Not to worry, there were a few younger riders present who are always be willing to help the elderly and infirm.
After being bombarded with cards, presents and wrapped in bunting, Jon and the birthday party set off, initially at a steady pace, akin to a trot, but not furlong, as they broke into a canter on the way up Apy (birthday) Lane. By this time, the faster riders had more or less lost the also-rans and proceeded to gallop away, through Edlo, Warmy and Sprotbrough. During this time the oldest member of the group (i.e. me) was struggling to keep up with the pace and had his bike actually been a horse it would have been shot there and then. Onwards through Brodsworth and to Hooton Pagnell where after a quick regroup we headed to the A1 at Skellow to take in the view as we dismounted and walked our steeds over the motorway bridge. After remounting we sped through Burghwallis (where apparently Jeremy Clarkson grew up. Has he ever actually grown up?).
Then Campsall and Askern came and went before we arrived at the Iron Horse for birthday cake. Nosebag at the ready, the fleet footed birthday boy had quickly hoofed it up the stairs without any assistance whatsoever in order to be served 1st. He then rather selfishly chose the only cake in the shop that everyone else wanted. Some of us tried to outbid the asking price only to be turned down by the fair minded staff. We were soon joined by the also-rans, minus our Chairman, Martin Ba, who had pucked off home early in preparation for the afternoons ice hockey game.
As no one had brought balloons or candles and the birthday stripogram failed to materialise, it was soon time to head off back for the next 22 miles into a headwind. Jockeying for position, turns were taken on the front, mostly by a select few (you know who you are) before the only real incident of note occurred. We had just ridden past a “Welcome to Stainforth sign” where the only welcome was provided by a car in the process of reversing into the road directly in front off us. After braking sharply Dan managed to remain stable and upright thereby avoiding being a faller, despite leaving fresh skid marks on the tarmac and possibly on the inside of his shorts.
Onwards we went along the outward leg of the Blaxton TT route into an evil headwind, which prevented any records being broken. Paul had apparently been on his high horse about the relatively fast pace and left us at Auckley to take a short cut home. The rest of us continued on and soon arrived at Rosso where the final hurdle awaited us, the stiff headwind all the way to Tickhill. The faster stallions clearly had the bit between their teeth as they turned on the horsepower leaving some slower nags behind to have “a bit a mare”. Thankfully, we all safely entered into the final straight before arriving at the paddock at TCC for a photo finish.
A few things learnt from today were