Monday, 18 July 2011

FNRttC - Brighton

On top of the Beacon, Simon had encouraged people to keep going down to Brighton, rather than wait for everybody and get cold.  This had created a sense of urgency in me.  From trying not to raise my heart rate on this Genteel ride, I turned into a racer chasing down the break away.  The Pyrenees Stage 11 it was.  I could hear Chris Boardman's voice: "It is all down to how much risk you are prepared to take".   Visibility improved by looking over my glasses.  In the far distance was a blurred shimmer of red light.  That was my target.

We arrived at the Madeira soaking wet.  A proper FNRttC that was.  Loved it.

Conquering the Beacon
Photo by Martin Brice

It starts at Hyde Park Corner with magic.  We bunch up at the traffic lights, ready to hit the road en masse.  We wait for the next green light.  Simon surges on and puts his hand up to stop the oncoming traffic.  And it's like magic!  On a roundabout notorious for 'having to go with the flow'.  Going against the grain is an absolute no no. Any hesitation and you'll hear the cab drivers cursing you.  But Simon gets in the middle of the road, puts his hand up, and all traffic slows and stops as if mesmerised.  I would imagine it is mesmerising.  From the other end, you'd see this guy cycling towards you.  Behind him a group of cyclists with dazzling lights, like you've never seen before.  It's midnight, what is going on?

I couldn't get into the the ride until I had sorted out my back light.  I was on my way to the station when I realised I had left my pump at home. When you change bike and gear, you are out of routine and things like this happen.   I turned back home to pick it up.  My partner rolled her eyes.  I set off again, and noticed how my back light was quite weak. 'Oh no, I don't have spare batteries!  I turned back home to pick some up.  My partner rolled her eyes and sighed.   It was a good thing I had spare batteries, because once at Hyde Park Corner, the light wasn't good enough anymore, in my opinion.  I changed the batteries feeling smug. Only, the batteries were flat!  Oh no!  How irresponsible of me!  One should always check the state of one's spare batteries, I could hear a 'with hindsight type of devil' whisper in my ear.  Fortunately there are plenty of opportunities to buy batteries and I could relax again.

Wonderful reception at the Scouts Group
'It's the wrong turn' sounds like a line from Wallace and Grommit.   The comedy moment for me was Adrian (I think it was) pointing out the single white light amongst a sea of red.  'He's realised', Adrian said, 'You wait, gradually, the red will turn into more and more white until no red is left'.  More magic!  Simon is getting a bit of stick on the forum for this.  But if I led a group towards the coast, it would always be the 'scenic' way.

The worlds of FNRttC and audax are really mixing now.  With the three guys I happened to be seated with at the Madeira, we talked Bryan Chapman, PBP and Hummers.  Pete stated his ambition of doing a 300 for the first time this year.  It might sound like an odd question coming from me, but I asked what drives him to do a 300.  'To do an SR (Super Randonneur) series next year', he said. 'Ah, that is completely understandable then!'.

A most enjoyable moment was saying thank you and goodbye to Simon and the gang:  'See you next week'!

Photos are on the slideshow till the next ride or here: Clicky


Anonymous said...

A mixture van een lach en een traan...leuk om te lezen,omdat het leuke gedeelte de overhand heeft. En nu hop naar de 300 ...met als einddoel 't oveke' yoepy .
See you soon. Safe cycling trip.
Meim and peip xxx xxx

Kris said...

Verslag gelezen: beginnende foutjes door pré PBPstress( onbeust):dus, de hot pacs voor de handen: chek, zonnecreme:check preventief wat voltaren nemen:check,een mimi haardrogerke om je fietsschoenen 's nachts te drogen:check!De rest wordt geen probleem voor PBP: de sterke franse koffie zorgt wel voor the kick off!bye xx