Lunch with Mr Grundy et al.
Just a short post here - I started a new job this week, so things have been (& still are) rather hectic over the last ten days or so.
But today I went down to That London for the Pickwick Bicycle Club’s President’s Luncheon, as a guest of Carlton Reid, author of the Family Cycling Book. The Pickwick Club (not to be confused with the UK’s other Pickwick Club - Gooooogle it for yourself) is the world’s oldest cycling club, and also the worlds oldest extant Dickensian society. Membership is limited to those within the cycling industry, and limited in numbers as members take sobriquets from The Pickwick Papers - Carlton is known as Mr Grundy (a character who refuses to give a song to the party toward the end of Chapter 20).
As there are in all only a couple of hundred people named in the book, that’s the limit on membership. You might be able to get your name on the waiting list for membership, but you’re basically waiting for another member to vacate a name. And that tends to involve taking that long bike ride in the sky - this is a club that one doesn’t resign from.
Anyway. Lunch was great, the speeches ranging from the good to the laugh out loud funny (but with serious points too), and the other guests the glitterati of the bike biz. Among these was Phil Liggett (another of Carlton’s guests), former CTC chairman, internationally renowned cycle race commentator, and Vice-President of the Association Internationale Organisateurs des Courses Cycliste. And I was sitting next to him.
I can talk to most people, but there sometimes comes a point where I feel that I’m out of my depth. A little Dutch Courage helped (starting with a pint of Guinness at 11:30. What was I thinking?) . . . but I just hope that I didn’t say anything too stoopid.