|Martin Price has 7 helpers to fix a puncture. L to R Matt Wales,
Tom Butler, martin, Jonny Croston, Matt Dodsworth,Tim Moss,
Tom McGhie, Kevin Watson. Phote Michael Vennard
Already nominations for the Golden Spanner Award are pouring in. Anticipation is mounting as the night of the presentation at The Annual Dinner and Prize bash at the Capri, Horbury Bridge, draws near.
Last year Matt Dodsworth was a worthy winner, having come down in spectacular fashion in ‘The Big Off’ at Ackworth, demolishing his rear wheel. His rim was described as being worn so thin that it was almost transparent in places.Matt was still protesting his innocence as he was presented with the golden spanner award at last year’s Annual Dinner in the Holiday Inn.
It’s amazing what lengths some of our members will go to in order to capture this most coveted of club trophies. Some, in football parlance, ought to be shown a yellow card for faking a dive or injury. There’s a long list of miscreants to report, starting as far back as February and March when Tom Butler ‘fell off’ on the Sheffield Tram lines; I mean really! Would the judges fall for that one? Next was Tom McGhie who allegedly broke his chain at Thunder Bridge and limped to his mate – partner in crime more like – Alan Whitworth’s bike shop ‘Try Cycling’ for a new chain. Tom, worried no doubt that the judges would see through his plot, broke a spoke in June,just for insurance you understand, forcing him to ‘crawl back’ from Sheffield, on his own.
|Steve Burton grapples with a plastic bag in his rear mech
Photo Tom McGhie
Steve Burton made his bid for the spanner award when he ran over a plastic bag. Was it deliberate? He managed to get the bag impossibly entangled in his rear mech. Some of his companions, including Tom McGhie who could hardly be regarded as an impartial witness bearing in mind his own plot to win the trophy, said he was certain that Steve rode over the bag twice and was seen pulling it into his mech, not out of it.
As if all this wasn’t enough Simon Richardson waited to strike until the dust had settled on previous outrageous attempts to fool the judges. His ambush on the trophy, so to speak, came in the Autumn with a dramatic act which any highway robber would have been proud of. He veered violently into a kerb but just failed (fortunately) to create mayhem in the innocent ranks of the Heroes A run. Apparently, we understand, since his failed bid for spanner glory failed he’s lost his grip, well in his fingers anyway. Get well soon Simon.
Richard Hancock made a blatant, if obvious, attempt for the mythical spanner by leaving his crank locking cap off his winter bike. Following his plan to the letter, he’d carefully manoeuvred to the back of the Tuesday Ride bunch as it began the climb up to Brierley and right on cue his right hand crank fell off.
Everyone must have noticed that Martin Price is a man with a burning ambition. No, it isn’t to catch Matt Dodsworth, Michael Vennard and Nick Griffiths as his minute men in successive time trials. No, it isn’t to get back to the Ossett Tap after an epic Sunday Run and be quaffing his first pint of Silver King while the rest of the group, broken men, still grovel up to Tingley roundabout. No. It’s because Martin feels cheated by the Calder judges who chose Matt Dodsworth last year. His ambition is to take the 2012 Golden Spanner despite the bias shown against him. He’ll show them. How could they have overlooked the fact that it was him, not Matt Dodsworth, who came off and brought everyone else down in the ‘Big Off’. The judges failed to recognise the heroic effort that Martin made in sliding away on that insignificant slight bend, he called it a corner, just when the entire bunch was right there on his back wheel.
But Martin hasn’t been able to reproduce anything like the ‘Big Off’ this time. He did the C2C in poor, windy conditions without mishap, he didn’t put a foot wrong in the 10s, he rode the monstrous Edale/Castleton/Winnats Pass lap, 10 times, yes 10 times, with hazards all round the circuit, not least down the technical, sheep poo strewn descent from Mam Nick. Not a single incident. The cyclist regarded as the ‘crashiest clarionista’ by Michael Vennard has been unable to fall off.
So what has Martin done? He’s started claiming high speed crashes at 30mph, but, get this, it always happens when he’s on his own!!! Another Clarionista with the same tactic is Matt Wales who insists he went over the handlebars at 1 mph. No witnesses.
Coming up almost unnoticed on the outside are the two Matts, Brooks and Churm. A big spanner clinching drama is not for Matt Churm. His method is that of the boxer who has no knock out punch. He has steadily accumulated points with small, skilful punches which may have gone unnoticed by most, but not by the aficionados who matter, the judges. Matt’s most dramatic effort was breaking his mudguard (yawn), squashing a wasp beneath is post ride pint at the Kings Arms and erm… a few punctures. On the other hand Matt Brooks has more tast for drama. His best was a gravity defying piece of ballet sculpture with his bike and body as artists materials. He slipped on his cleats on the road outside the York fuel stop. The result was vaguely redolent of exhibits in the Hepworth and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. His audience waiting patiently at the other side of the road were the bemused Calder B runners and two passing local chavs whose opinion of Matt’s pose might be described as, to the point, but certainly unorthodox by Yorkshire art critic standards. Such was the effort, “the beans”, expended by Matt in maintaining his pose that, on inspection later, he found severe bruising on his inner thighs!
….and what of reigning champion Matt Dodsworth? His only hope so far is his unorthodox method of repairing punctures, but watch out for him coming with a late run.