Frantic Facebook messages resulting in Louy Bea promising to bring cake especially for me clinched the deal, I would attend the club 10 mile TT event. I decided to leave the cycling centre of the universe -Headless Cross- on bike for a slow warm up to the Wheethly Bank layby and with thoughts of what type of cake would be offered I subconsciously increased pace alarmingly, desperate to get there.
The lay by was a hive of activity, front wheels were fitted here, race numbers pinned on there, and unsightly bulges in lycra smoothed out elsewhere. A quick registration then the big questions had to be asked, where was Louy Bea? Had anyone seen her? and did she have a Tupperware box with her? No, No, and don’t know were the answers. I’d fulfilled my part of the bargain and handed over half a coconut to Russ Morey for safe keeping but only after Simon Preedy had took a nibble.
A slow cycle return to the Nevill Arms start point ensued where nervous pleasantries were exchanged with other riders, Mike ‘Draft Master’ Fidler for instance who had just about sobered up after a camping trip to Tewksbury, and Pete Taylor hoping the great gods of TT would be with him on his first event.
I filled the unforgiving minute before blast off by asking Bob the starter on secondment for the evening from the RRPCC what cake he thought Louise had brought. ”Fruitcake” was his reply but Victoria his able assistant thought Victoria Sponge of course, but by the time I’d clattered along Cookhill to the Toll House turn I was convinced it would be lemon drizzle, Hilliers flashed past and slowing for Dunnington crossroads, Nora guarding the junction shouted out it might be battenburg, navigating the sharp corner at Ragley’s back gates the Gamekeeper screamed out. ‘Defiantly black forest, yarp’. Whilst locking up.
Slowly inching past Lily Dewhurst she breathlessly whispered Banana cake while pedalling. Rachel Gould on duty at the Arrow roundabout hoped for carrot cake. Richard Gallios manning the next island said he preyed last night for coffee and walnut.
Now came the never ending rollercoaster of Alcester Heath and finally Bob’s car came in to view the finish point, but he was staying inside the car, was he eating something?
A slow climb in lowest cog back up to the Nevill Arms revealed a group of excited marshallers and cyclists in the car park, Louy Bea was there.
(Author’s Note) There are several alternate endings to this report. The reader must now roll a standard six sided dice then read the corresponding paragraph below which relates to the score. If a one is rolled read paragraph (i). With a score of two read paragraph (ii) if your score is three then (iii) is your ending and so on. Turn straight to your paragraph and read only that one, your adventure ends there!
(i) You cycle towards the group but a brake malfunction causes you to run over Lou’s toe, furious you have ruined her GB age grouper’s kit the Beasley woman rams a chocolate éclair in your face, still clipped in you fall over with your bike, other marshals kick your bike and let your tyres down they all run off skipping and singing. Your adventure ends here.
(ii) Gripped by a painful shyness and too embarrassed to ask her for your cake you take a right turn back to Headless Cross, soon you feel the rhythmic thud of a puncture and it’s the rear wheel of course, you stop to change tubes by the Flying Fish chippy smelling the salt and vinegar aromas but have no money for chips. Your adventure ends here.
(iii) You coolly pull up to the group and unclip professionally after a greeting you mention the cake, surprised and taken aback Louy Bea explains she has no cake but offers to buy you a dessert from the pub you politely decline the offer in order to save her further embarrassment and cycle home. Your adventure ends here.
(iv) Louy Bea pulls out a small Tupperware box inside is a large piece of coffee and walnut wrapped in a serviette you accept the piece gratefully but it falls apart in your hand landing in a pile of grit on the carpark and is immediately run over by Stuart Mackay and Ben Brown riding a tandem. Tough luck buddy you nearly got it.
(v) Louy Bea pulls out a small Tupperware box inside is a large piece of coffee and walnut wrapped in a serviette you accept the piece gratefully and eat it quickly, screams and howls are heard from Stuart Mackay and Ben Brown as they ride into a wasp’s nest on their tandem while entering the carpark. Everyone gets their Just Desserts!
(vi) The marshals greet you excitedly and show a clipboard with results, you’ve won the TT even beating Stuart Mackay and Ben Brown riding a tandem equipped with two stealth motors, you’re all ushered into the private room of the Nevill where the tables are laden with all types of cake and teapots. You and the club enjoy a cake fueled ‘lock in’ until the early hours, congratulations your adventure ends here.