BENSON VCC 51st ANNUAL RALLY, July 2011

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BENSON VETERAN CYCLE CLUB

51st ANNUAL RALLY

3rd July 2011

To See Youtube Video

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUhjuo5idHg

The ‘Benson’ is Great Britain’s top veteran cycle run. This year 200 entrants cruised around the lanes of Oxfordshire, taking in the villages of Roke, Berrick Salome, Chalgrove and Ewelme. The route was the reverse of last year’s event, which meant (thankfully) that we tackled more hills at the beginning than the end. The first long hill pictured below eventually defeated many of us on older bikes without gears.

Though you can see Ian in the background steaming up the hill on his penny.

The gearing on ordinaries is better-suited to hills than on early diamond-framed road bikes. Nevertheless, negotiating hills at this speed requires stamina.

Steve is not far behind Ian. You can see him below, just about to overtake a pair of riders who made it up the hill without dismounting.

Watching an ordinary being ridden at speed must have been an amazing experience in the 1880s – because the machine is so silent. The other fast options in Victorian times were noisy …panting horses, rattling coaches or clattering boneshakers.

Pulling in to the first pub involved a steep hill with a sudden stop.

There were many beautiful bikes on the run. Great Britain manufactured the greatest volume of quality bicycles, and at the Benson you see the cream of the survivors.

One of my favourites was Rod’s Ariel, above and below.

Phil’s turn-of-the-century Centaur Featherweight, below, is another superb machine.

LOSING THE HAT

Losing your hat while on the Benson Veteran Cycle Run is a long-standing tradition. It happened to me last year. This year, I was lucky enough to catch it on film.

To See Youtube Video

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cT5-O_N7JVs

SECOND PUB STOP

After orange squash and beer at our first stop, we pulled into The Lamb for lunch …and more beer.

I usually forget to ask someone to photograph me. Luckily Barry reminded me and took a pic, with my trusty 1903 Sunbeam, below. What with riding, socializing, drinking beer, photographing and videoing, I’m glad I used a ‘modern’ bike for this Run. On the IVCA Run last month, I realized that riding a solid-tyred safety took too much effort to fit in all the above tasks.

Many thanks again to the amazing Ned Passey (below, left) organizer of the Benson Run. And, of course, let’s not forget everybody’s favourite social commentator Colin Slater, below right, who clattered along with aplomb on his boneshaker.

MORE BENSON RUN VIDEOS

To See Youtube Video

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjyJ55DdlGY

To See Youtube Video

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXiQY3dk4pM

 

BENSON CYCLE JUMBLE

Before and after the Run, there’s a small cycle jumble. In this video – filmed 15 minutes before the start – you can see folks getting their bikes ready.

 

To See Youtube Video

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIAQSI8WvJU

 

THE SUSSEX CREW

These are some of the rum fellows I ride with locally.

Left to Right: Yours Truly; Corin and Barry; Fabian; Julian; Ian.

2010 BENSON 50th ANNIVERSARY RUN

To see a few photos from last year’s Benson 50th Anniversary Run

PLEASE CLICK HERE

For more photos of the 1903 Sunbeam ‘Royal FB’

PLEASE CLICK HERE