This year’s cycling tour was organised by Chris Rimmer to his local area in Guildford. The official tagline was ‘Cycling (if you want to) tour’, something which the UL members took to mean, ‘Don’t worry too much about bringing a bike’. Unfortunately I had to work on the Friday (booo), so I missed out on that day all together, though I understand the evening involved pizza and Les Miserables, and I’d guess a respectable amount of alcohol was consumed. When I arrived the next day, the cyclists were just getting ready to set off, and I couldn’t help but notice that the number of people wearing helmets, (and in some cases, lycra), was rather smaller than the number of people getting into cars. In fact, if memory serves, there were six cyclists (almost all OUS), and about twice as many motorists.
The first stop was Chris’ home tower, Merrow. These were a nice six, and we managed to find at least one cute picture of Chris taken several years ago. We certainly didn’t embarrass ourselves here, and having rung for an hour took ourselves off for a quick break at Newlands Corner. Obviously the cars arrived a while before the cyclists, and so we settled in for an ice-cream break and waited for the energetic people to make it up the hill. Once they joined us, we had a group photo, ate more ice-cream, and then got back in the cars to move on to our next tower – Albury, a nice six – and then on to Shere for our lunch break, before ringing at the 15 cwt ring of 8. We rang and then we went to the next tower, West Clandon. Here the non-cyclists managed to annoy a wedding party, and worry about the number of bees flying in and out of the louvres before the cyclists heroically struggled up the monster hill that Chris had scheduled in. These were probably the most ‘interesting’ bells of the day (you could sort of tell that they don’t get very much ringing…)
Having done with the ringing for the day we headed back to Chris’ house in Guildford to prepare for the BBQ. A party set out to Sainsbury’s to get in provisions, and there was some consternation and much disbelief when we realised that the rest of Guildford had got in before us and bought all the bread products in the supermarket. No matter, we returned with copious amounts of meat, alcohol and all the necessary components of a good barbeque. The UL catering team did themselves proud cooking for so many people, and between eating and drinking too much, cooing over Chris’ giant rabbit and laughing at Chris falling off his bike, a good evening was had by all.
The next morning we set off bright and early for ringing in Guildford – starting off at the Cathedral, where the UL excelled themselves – having several members in the service touch of Bristol Maximus. For breakfast we stuck to what we know best – finding a Wetherspoons, where several of the company were delighted to find that pancakes ARE still on the menu, even if the Bounds have for some unknown reason decided to stop doing them. The Sunday morning tour saw us ring on the 10 at St Nicholas and the 8 at Holy Trinity, and although by this time the heat and lack of sleep had taken a certain toll on the enthusiasm for ringing, the UL still acquitted themselves well. A quick pub session rounded off a great weekend before everyone started to make their way home.
Many thanks go to Chris Rimmer for organising a fantastic weekend
By Rosemary Hill