Trip 22, Spring 2011

The following are the extremely pround recipients of the Spring 2011 Wooden Spoon Awards: –

Gnob Ray McGrathGnob Award

Would everyone be so careful that for the first time ever there would be no 7W’s GNOB? I don’t mind sharing with you; when the Awards Committee met early Saturday evening we were really worried and desperately started scrutinising everyone in the bar, casting around for anything we could find that would justify nomination. Oh us of little faith. We should have relied upon the inate idiocy inherent in any 7W’s run which in this case manifested itself in Ray, a seasoned 7W’er.

So what did Ray do to earn this fabulous prize?

Riding along a beautiful Welsh “A” road and making good progress, Ray negotiated a left hand bend at a speed slightly over 60 mph (again). At this point, the bike decided it had had enough of his hooligan behaviour and decided to throw him off by way of a tank slapper. Ray, still holding onto the bars, came off the bike and when his foot hit the road, pushed himself up and back onto the seat, by which time the bike had calmed down. Ray simply carried on as if nothing had happened. Not so fortunate was the poor bloke who witnessed the scene who had to have several pints to calm down. Luckily, he waited until he got back to Vicky Wells and told us the tale or we might not have believed him.

So the GNOB award goes to Ray for:

practising his MOTOGYM on a public highway

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Overtake Wayne DevineSimon Rawlins Horsebox Overtake Award

There were many nominations for this very popular award but it soon became apparent that there was one clear winner.

According to witnesses, and I am very happy to report that there were many, Wayne, (beautiful shiny Fireblade; matching leathers), was setting himself up for an overtake on an unsuspecting car, which was pootling along quite nicely. Now it may well be that Wayne had not quite got up to his usual peak performance riding wise, but the overtake just didn’t happen, and didn’t happen, and just, well, didn’t happen.

By this time, there was a small queue building up behind him. So much so, that when he once again moved over to the left around a right hand bend, presumably to get a view of the road or indeed to have a bit of a break, our Ray (of GNOB fame, without matching leathers and on rather well used GSXR 1000), overtook both him and the car.

The effect of this manouver was to finally wake Wayne up and he set off in hot persuit, executing a superb overtake on the wrong side of a solid white line for several 100’s of yards. This awesome display was witnessed by the bottleneck of riders he had built up behind him, many who happily shopped him to the awards committee, safe in the knowledge that his misdemenour was far greater than theirs.

Wayne accepted his reward graciously and by the end of the evening was very proud.

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Marker Martin Cragg (Craggy) – Crap Marker Award

Craggy likes to be precise. He likes to know what is expected of him and to carry out what he has been asked to do to the best of his ability. So when his run leader put him down as a left turn marker at a roundabout, he smoothly complied and sat on his unmissable Pan, left arm duly held out to indicate the way.

“But what’s this?” he thinks to himself. “Is that the run leader I see coming back to the roundabout and turning left? Yes it is. And they haven’t put another marker down to point the new way. What should I do????

I know, I’ll change from pointing left to pointing straight over, because they’ve obviously gone wrong and want me to point the way they meant to go. I’ll do that then and get a gold star for being really good”

In my initial briefing concerning the Marker System, one thing I always try and stress is

“AS A MARKER, PLEASE DON’T TRY AND BE HELPFUL. PLEASE DON’T BE INTUITIVE, PLEASE DON’T MOVE, AND PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T THINK. JUST POINT THE WAY YOU WERE ASKED TO POINT. IT WILL BE FINE”

And the reason I say this is?

Yes, the run leader had gone wrong but having realised their mistake, had put a turning round marker down by a petrol station. They had also put another marker down on the approach to the roundabout to turn left. Both of these markers were out of sight of the roundabout so the run effectively by-passed these two completely. And when Craggy got swept up by the back marker, he rode off with the rest of the run, justifiably proud of a job well done.

And the two that got left behind? Having eventually walked up to the roundabout to see if Craggy knew why the run had been held up and finding it bereft of it’s marker, Simon rounded up Ian, and they eventually found their way to the next marker who just happened to be me, and who had noticed neither of them had come past so was waiting with the back marker. So all was well that ended well and we were able to comfortably award the Crap marker to the one person on the run who truly believed he didn’t deserve it since it must have been everyone else’s fault.

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Retro Our Steve (Watson) – Retrospective Gnob Award

What on earth could our lovely Steve have done to earn the RG Award? Surely this can’t be right??

Now don’t get me wrong. This wouldn’t be the first time Mr Watson had been presented with one of the coveted stirring sticks. He had not only received the “Diamond Geezer” award in October 2010, but also the “Simon Rawlins Horsebox Overtake Award” for his spectacular insistance that the oncoming mountain would move out of his way since he was trying to overtake a very large lorry in the pouring rain with a left hand bend approaching. After all, the mountain wasn’t actually doing anything at the time and he was rather busy.

So what did he do to deserve this? Well it was more what he didn’t do that earned him this accolade.

Because he worked so very hard organising the Autumn 2010 7W’s, including reccying his run the week we were going and taking 21st 7W’s birthday cakes to Vicky Wells for everyone, he made himself poorly and couldn’t go. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, he did the same thing 3 weeks later when he was supposed to be going to the Nurburgring.

So nominated by Simon and given with huge love and hugs by the rest of us in the Spoons committee and Carol, who had to put up with him at home rather than have a lovely weekend on her own indulging in burger and chips and watching chick flicks.

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Diamond Kelly McGrath – Diamond Geezer / Geezeress Award

Not only did her dad scoop the GNOB of the weekend award, but Kelly did the McGrath family proud by being the deserved winner of the Diamond Geezeress award.

This award can only be given for a gesture of such selfless generosity, that the rest of us have to admit that we very probably wouldn’t have done it, and competed to hide behind each other. So what did Kelly do to deserve it?

On Saturday, she decided to go on Nigel’s seaside run. Now the only thing I would say is that Kelly is quite a seasoned 7W’er, so should have suspected that since Nigel was on a BMW, there was very little chance of him and the bike completing the whole trip without one or the other of them breaking down.

Sure enough, the Beamer went on strike and the run ground to a halt before it even started. Bereft of their leader, (although that wasn’t strictly true since he was actually fine), no-one knew what was to be done. There was a distinct possility that icecreams by the seaside may just be a happy pipe-dream rather than a sunny reality.

At this point, I would just like to remind everyone that riding in Wales is AWESOME. It’s why we go. So to ride to Wales and then not actually to ride around Wales is not something anyone would aspire to.

So what does Kelly do? She volutarily loans her bike to Nigel and goes pillion, thus not herself riding around Wales.

We on the committee felt this gesture was over and above the call of duty and awarded the spoon jointly:

  • To Kelly for her generosity
  • To her poor GSXR for having to do 200 miles with Nigel in the saddle (yes we have enough tools between us to seperate the two of them, eventually)

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