Tandems come to Northamptonshire

Spectators watch the hill climb in the sunshine
Spectators watch the hill climb in the sunshine

You’re not seeing double – there really were hundreds of tandems rising around the county earlier this month.

The Tandem Club recently held its annual National Rally in Kettering, visiting many sights in the county and beyond during their stay.

Organisers Bill and Margaret Grove take up the tale: “Two hundred members of the Tandem Club gathered at Kettering Rugby Club in Waverly Road for their annual National Rally.

“Coming from all parts of the country, Cumbria to the Isle of Wight and Wales to Norfolk, plus two tandems from Holland and three from Germany, two of them cycling all the way, they arrived with their tents and caravans ready for a week of riding the lanes around Kettering.

“Ages ranged from two to 82, some on child seats and some on tandem tricycles.

“The rally started on Saturday, September 1, with a short ride to Grafton Underwood and Geddington and a get-together in the evening with cheese and wine.

“The next day saw the riders set off to the Northampton and Lamport Railway with a coffee stop at Hannington village hall, where Audrey provided a fine selection of drinks and wonderful cakes to the eager cyclists, all the proceeds going to charity.

“Monday’s ride was a little different, being run as a treasure hunt, with answers to clues being sought on the way, and a short hill-climb to be tackled in Woodford.

“Woodford WI once again spoiled the tandemists with a wonderful selection of cakes and drinks. Many of the locals joined in the fun and came out to watch the riders struggle up the hill.

“The rides continued through the week, some of the destinations, Market Harborough, Foxton Locks and Uppingham, being just out of the county.

“Places of interest such as the Triangular Lodge, the Bone Crypt at Rothwell and Sywell Aviation Museum were opened specially for the riders to visit.

“Evening entertainment included a talk on gramophones, a slide show, a barn dance, an Olympic style games evening, a display of funny bikes supplied by the charity ‘Tools for Self Reliance’ which the visitors could try to ride and finally, on Friday, a barbecue followed by dancing to Sonny and the Honeydippers in the marquee.

“The weather was kind with only a few short showers to mar the proceedings.

“Many of the riders expressed their unexpected delight at seeing pretty villages and lovely countryside, they had previously just driven through the county on the A14 or the M1 not stopping ‘because it was flat and boring’.”