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2006-09-28

TA EAST NEWS 28TH SEPTEMBER 2006

To TA East Members & Friends

NEWS FROM HOSPITALS: Our member of long standing Albert Saunders has broken
or cracked his hip after falling over while at the Norfolk & Norwich
Hospital for another matter. At 85 he’s incredible – he rang from hospital
(Kimberley Ward) to ask me to make sure Margaret had news of the CC
Breckland for their weekly submission to the Thetford & Watton Times. 3
days and 2 ops later he was on the phone again, with the news that they have
bolted him together and he had just got out of bed.
Jill Cole, who was hit in the Jenny Noad 10, is out of intensive care –
there’s a bit more on www.tricycleassociation.org.uk

Now for a really long web address: if you go to
www.britishcycling.org.uk/web/site/BC/eve/ImageGallery.asp?gid=1885 without
making a mistake, you are pretty good ..and you should be looking at photos
of the
WARWICK TRIKE CRITERIUM. Including more pictures of our East Chairman
cornering than of the winner – that was Dave Overton, by the way, the chap
with the white trike with brakes on a bar across the back. There are also
“before” and “after” photos of Ian Matthews when he crashed at the
Information Office corner – looking eager in the first part of the corner,
and then lying in a heap with marshal standing over him with a red flag,
looking a bit like a victorious toreador (?). Ian got back on, and later
overcooked it again in full view of commentator Hugh Porter, so he certainly
gave top value to the spectators – and he finished 7th into the bargain.

Nearly as spectacular were the buildings around the circuit -I took a
chance to look at them while walking the circuit during the unicycle races –
Leycester’s Hospital -a great jumble of half-timbering, St Mary’s, the Town
Hall, and those around the Market Square, where we based ourselves at a
table outside the bar/event HQ.

And if the Warwick Crit was good I think the day before was perhaps even
better – the
NATIONAL CAPTAIN’S FORD RUN.
The first bit’s a bit of a blur, because it took some concentration to hang
on to Greta Spiers and Martin Badham on the tandem trike without falling
off – but there was soon a nice long stop while they worked out where they
had got lost. That was outside Ragley Hall. Then it was through Alcester to
Coughton – almost a National Trust village – with a wide shallow ford with
unusual aluminium rails to the footbridge, the ford looking as if it was
enjoyed by canoeists and buggy riders, as well as tricyclists. My friends
tried to splash me while I was taking photos.
Then a riverside lane and, leaving the River Arrow, into the valley of the
Alne, the river that comes down from Henley-in-Arden. Past a “No Through
Road” sign to Kinwarton, shown on the OS map with the smallest print they
use, but with church, rectory, farm, National Trust dovecote, mill, weir
and FORD.

The tarmac ended. Turn left to the church first. Isolated, tiny, with grey
weatherboarded bellcote and bijou porch. Then, minus trikes, through a herd
of very small bullocks, whose job was to keep the grass nice (which they
did, provided you looked where going) to the dovecote, the doves departing
hastily when we went inside.

Back to the trikes and to the right turn. First gravel track, then after a
gate, a grass causeway across a field, with the sound of the weir to the
left. Quite trikeable (the causeway, I mean). It led to a line of trees –
and the FORD. There it was – with a footbridge, but one a lot narrower than
a trike. The ford was mud and gravel, clearly almost never used, deep water
under the bridge, but with shallower rapids a few yards downstream.

If we turned back it would be a long way round.

Martin, who was wearing those Shimano cycling sandals, volunteered to wade
across with the tandem trike in tow. We helped with encouragement from the
footbridge. He made it.
So, with two people to each machine, we lifted the solo trikes above the
handrails and carried them across in triumph. (That’s how I got the oily
chain marks on my chest) .

After that, hauling the trikes up to the road was easy. And so, except for a
few hills, was the ride through villages of half-timbering like I hardly
knew existed outside showplaces, back to Marlcliff. We had actually only
done 18 miles.

It only remained to clean the worst of the mud off our tyres, before the
likes of Malcolm Elliott saw them on the start line next day, and to enjoy
the domain and the hospitality of Greta and Harold and the company of
tricyclists.

Well, you probably know the phrase – it’s Time for Bed.

Before I go, one piece of non-tricycling information. You may have read in
Cycling Weekly today of the imminent trial of the man whose car hit Zak
Carr. It is not going to happen for at least 4 weeks. There is a delay
while an extra expert on SLEEP is brought in – which gives a clue what the
main issue is likely to be.

Ferg Muir

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