Trip 21, Autumn 2010

The following are the extremely pround recipients of the Autumn 2010 Wooden Spoon Awards: –

Gnob Richard Mold – Gnob of the Weekend Award

This coveted award, the creme de la creme of 7W’s wooden spoons, is avoided by many and given to so few. This trip, we on the Awards committee were struggling somewhat to find a truly worthy winner. We were just about to decide on Salli G, who on Friday night volunteered to be Back Marker on Ian’s Saturday run, who then wrote down her phone number wrong on all the run cards, who then left three people behind as soon as the run started, and who later on sailed past Ross, who had just laid his bike down on a grass verge having been the victim of some hooligan behaviour from some rather unsavoury locals, when Adam, another Saturday Run Leader, informed us of the following: –

Richard began by being a highly Advanced Rider by recognising he wasn’t on the ball due to feeling poorly and taking medication. He informed Adam, his run leader, that he was bailing out of the run and making his own way back to Llanwrtyd Wells. So far so good but it wasn’t to last. In front of said Run Leader, he got on his bike then rode the 10 metres up to the STOP line directly in front of him. He then completely ignored the RIGHT ONLY sign facing him and turned left through the NO ENTRY signs the wrong way up a one way street.

He later admitted that to rectify his error, bearing in mind the road he was on went right through the middle of Newquay for some 1/2 mile, he subsequently turned into another one way street the wrong way and made his escape.

When you do it Richard, you do it in style.

Now some of you may think he could be forgiven for feeling poorly, but when tackled by Adam, his comment “I hoped nobody had seen that” instantly earned him this coveted award.

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Overtake Issy Griffiths – Simon Rawlins Horsebox Overtake Award

A beautiful overtake, beautifully executed on her Run Leader, who was sat by the road waiting for a Marker to come along. In her defense, she did wonder why Adam was sat marking, but immediately put this ridiculous thought out of her mind and concentrated on filtering for England on her 400 for the next so many miles until he, on his GSX 1000 finally caught her up and overtook her, having had to wait some time for someone else to arrive and mark. Even then she seemed blissfully unaware that she had essentially lost the rest of the run, which was due to turn in only 3 miles, and smilingly stuck her thumb up at Adam, as he rode past at a speed close to breaking the sound barrier.

She received her award with great pride.

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Marker Kelly McGrath – Crap Marker Award

Awarded for assuming that just because the 5th rider, (who is in front of the Back Marker), had (presumably) seen the 4 riders in front of him indicate and turn right, will also turn right.

Because of this highly unlikely scenario, Kelly stopped marking and got on her bike. Unseen by her, since by this time she is highly involved in getting ready to move off, the 5th rider sailed straight on into oblivion (or the back end of Aberystwyth).

To his immense credit, he found his run again, who were all sat eating ice-cream on the sea wall and blissfully unaware he was missing.

So many congratulations Kelly for this outstanding display of assuming that if it can go right it will. You now know it never does

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Retro Ashley Burt – Retrospective Gnob Award

Any of us can have an Off, and if we do, normally, sympathy is forthcoming, although usually followed by a life time of ribald comments. However, when the “Off” is entirely self inflicted and occurs on one of the most remote mountain tops in Wales, mid afternoon, that’s another matter.

So when Mr. Burt gently drifted his bike into a brick wall, and having stepped off it unharmed decided that he and it were going no further, the consequences for some poor sods in the run were pretty dire. For a start, our Simon (Rawlins) was left marking outside a pub, miles from anywhere (though it did have a bus stop), while the England v Wales rugby match was on. It wasn’t good, England won. In addition, he and other markers only had petrol for 20 – 30 miles and the only garage within reach was closing at 6:00pm. Darkness was closing in and the temperature was dropping rapidly.

Eventually, the markers were rescued and the run continued back home to Aberystwyth, but only after having sent the poor run leader Ian, and big Dave from Aylesbury back to Ashley to await recovery from the RAC. The three of them then had to endure many “Deliverance” moments up on the mountain, as hairy locals in dubious 4×4’s who were out sheep hunting thought the boys might be good sport. Luckily, Dave can be pretty hairy and scary himself so their honour was preserved. They eventually made it back to the safety of civilisation at 12:30 in the morning.

Next morning, the bike and Ashley went home via 4 RAC wheels. Having had a rest in the garage, the bike started fine. Yes, that’s right, there was nothing wrong with it.

So in the face of such outstanding Gnobbish behaviour, Ashley decided not to come to 7W’s for 2 whole years, in the vain hope that we would forget.

Of course we didn’t and he received his SECOND 7W’s award with much protestation and mock surprise.

We’re all looking forward to Spring when Ash makes it 3 out of 4.

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RLA Dave Pugh – Run Leader Avoidance Award

Some people will go to any lengths to avoid leading a run. And let’s face it, leading a run for 7W’s can be a scary thing to do. Not only are you in a foreign country littered with wild animals and fierce Celts, but you’ve got to find some really nice roads, know where you’re going, put down markers in places where their feet will reach the ground, and be organised enough to have things called petrol/coffee/comfort/lunch/tea/cake stops in sufficient numbers to keep everyone happy.

Of course, in the enormously euphoric atmosphere of a Friday or Saturday evening in the bar at Llanwrtyd Wells, it is very easy to happily (drunkenly) offer to do a run for Louise, knowing you’ve got a whole 6 months to prepare. But we all know that time can be a cruel mistress, and what do you do when you’ve only got 2 months left and haven’t even started yet? Well most people would have just quietly sent Lou an e-mail, or said their cat was sick but no, Dave, never doing anything by halves, thought he’d do a right proper job and leave nothing to chance and her powers of persuasion.

His choice of weapon was a sort of Hari Kari manouver, which involved not only throwing his R1 at a Chevron sign, thus consigning it to the great bike park in the sky, but to make absolutely sure, throwing himself and his shoulder in particular after it. And just in case by some miracle Nicola managed to pass not only her DSS test but her IAM test too in the time left, thus making her eligible, he chucked her off the back into the bargain.

Way to go Dave. Not many are as dedicated as you, and you are indeed an extremely worthy winner of this one-off and very special 7W’s Wooden Spoon award.

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Diamond Steve Watson – Diamond Geezer / Geezeress Award (Nominated by Lou)

In Autumn 2006, I organised my last 7W’s. I had had enough. The trip was becoming too big and too difficult to manage and I’d spent the whole 3 days worrying, since we’d had a couple of “offs” and some pretty hooligan riding in the groups.

Hearing this, Steve asked me to give it one more go and offered to help me with the organisation. I was extremely reluctant but in the end agreed. Since then, Steve has done all the real “grunt” work, organising the bookings; the room allocations; the meals; the money, and keeping me sane. He even cooks the 7W’s Team lunch when we have our planning meetings and this time, drove over to Llanwrytd Wells with 5 huge cakes to celebrate 7W’s 21st.

He is a real unsung hero and I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of this award. And from the sound of the enormous cheer that went up when his name was announced, I can only say everyone agreed with me.

So thank-you so much Steve. Without you, 7W’s may have survived but certainly wouldn’t be what it is today.

Lou

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