Yes, this time next week I’ll be a few kilometres into the 650 or so that lie between Hampton Court Palace and St-Emilion, wrapped in Lycra resembling that in the picture to the right and accompanied by nine other like-minded middle aged fellas. Tension will no doubt be high…Lycra’s not designed to stretch quite that much after all…but I’ll actually just be relieved to get on the road.
I’m a relatively organised fella, but organising the ride has been quite a logistical challenge. It sounded easy enough – ten blokes on bikes, a van in support, a ferry crossing and a few hotels en route – but the details…oh the details. I won’t bore you.
I was in London last weekend and managed to get some training in. I picked up a new bike from Condor on Gray’s Inn Road, met friend and fellow-rider Mark at his office near St Paul’s and then followed him home to Wimbledon.
Excuse my blasphemy, but Christ on a bike! And even he’d have filled his nut-hugging shorts. I haven’t cycled through London traffic in years and doing so during Friday rush hour on a brand new bike was one of the hairiest things I’ve attempted for a while. Still, we arrive safely and met up with a few of the other lads for a training ride around Surrey last Saturday. Great fun, and everyone seems to be getting quite excited about the ride.
I’ll be looking forward to landing on French shores next Saturday morning and finding some quiet country roads where motorists respect your passion for cycling rather than resent it.
As I’ve mentioned before (and the eagle-eyed out there will see the logo on the jersey above) we’re doing the ride in aid of NCH, one of the worthiest charities I know. You’ve still got time to sponsor me – you can do so here. I’m not far off my target…
I’m hoping to find the time (and the internet connection) to blog a couple of times on the way, and I’ll also try to send the odd tweet. You can follow me on Twitter here.