Teign Valley Pedal Bashers (TVPB) were founded in April 1993 by an intrepid bunch of Hash House Harriers who fancied a change of direction after years of abusing their bodies traipsing over all sorts of terrain following a flour trail that annoyingly kept stopping – only to restart again within a few yards! The pioneer Bashers turned up with dilapidated old bikes, wearing an assortment of kit, including walking boots, trainers, and jeans. Mountain bikes were in their infancy, and some Bashers went off-road before the term was really invented, pedalling road machines over rough terrain, meaning forks, wheels and tyres didn’t last long. However, it was no big deal, they just popped into one of the local bike shops and bought whatever second hand spares were available for a few quid.
Gradually purpose built off-road machines began to appear, there was no suspension and brakes were standard cantilevers – but hey, what fun they were. Over the years the technology improved – V-brakes, disc brakes, front and rear suspension, more and more gears, computers – and of course the prices soared. Padded shorts, helmets, specialist shoes, clothing, and click-in pedals also appeared.
The rides increased from once a week on a Sunday, to twice a week with Thursday evenings added and then to three with the addition of Fancy a Ride Tuesdays (FART) – all year around in all weathers. In all the years the Bash has been going a ride has never been cancelled. One memorable night ride coincided with a fierce storm and monsoon like rain, surely nobody would turn up? But two did! They may have only ridden around the block, but it counted, and meant the unbroken sequence was maintained.
We have ridden through the tail end of hurricanes, snow, thick mud, sleet, ice, floods and fog. During a memorable Greek tour, about 40 Bashers in summer kit, nearly froze on Mount Olympus when an unseasonal cold snap brought sleet. But we are a hardy lot, and just get on with it, whatever the weather or mishaps. Early Bash tours involved weekends cycling across the south west, and sometimes venturing across the channel, with panniers and a back-up van staying in youth hostels – often eight to a dorm! Over the years the overseas trips have become more adventurous with expeditions including both on and off road tours to Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy and France to name but a few. British based tours include the annual ‘Bobbiball Weekend’ in February and the ‘Millionaires Tour’ in September – if you’re lucky enough to be invited!
Over the years The Bash has evolved – as all clubs do or else they fade away! The Off Roaders (The Green Badgers) tend to do their own thing, whilst the remaining members concentrate on Road Riding and ‘Light’ Trail Riding, however with over 100 paid up members (Bash Tax payers) we must be doing something right!
How long the Bash will survive is anybody’s guess. It is impossible to please all members from the various sections all the time, but our easy going, laid back ‘no rules’ philosophy still seems to work so although some Bash members do their own thing, they always seem drift back to us and we stay under the same umbrella.
And all for just £10 a year!