You could have been with the Fridays in Paris.
|Photo by StuartG|
Bradley is the first Briton to win the tour, and that, 100 years after the first Belgian won the tour. Bradley is from Belgium, sorry, Bradley was born in Belgium. And the first Belgian to win the tour, Odiel Defraye, was born in Rumbeke, where I am from. There we go, Bradley and I are connected.
It was a weekend with all the best ingredients: the Fridays, night riding, an audax, Le Tour, family, great weather, good food, many things to celebrate and the Olympics to look forward to.
Thought it was going to be a long night, when, before we had even crossed the Thames, there was a tyre blow out. Not a problem though. Some Fridays live in central London, and popping home to pick up a spare tyre is done naturally.
|Time to chat|
The cafe in the Newhaven ferry terminal was good for another surreal moment. One minute a guy was serving breakfast, next, the same guy was checking our tickets. Ugh? We all got on the ferry. Together with several other groups of cyclists. Wiggomaniacs, they are called apparently.
Base camp was at exactly the same location at last year, right hand side of the bar. I lost bonus points for having a sleep during ferry drinking hours, but not as many as TallMart and DavyWalnuts would lose later in the day.
I had been warned: 'Good luck with that lot'. Just getting off the ferry was a challenge as TallMart went Toutes Directions whilst Centre Ville is what we needed. Fair play to Teef who called him back round, as my voice wouldn't carry the distance Mart had already cycled up the hill. 'Let's meet in la Troubadour' said Teef, after we checked into the hotel. It was my turn to go in all directions, but could I find la Troubadour? Fair play to Teef again who came out of Le Cafe des Tribunaux, asking what I was doing walking by just like that. TallMart was still sitting and DavyWalnuts was still standing at that stage. There wasn't anything Teef could do to keep that going, mind. DavyWalnuts disappeared into the night, admitting he couldn't keep upright anymore. And TallMart, nobody knows what happened to him, or what happened has stayed on tour, fair play to Teef again.
Ian, now better known as Laurent for wearing a Fignon jersey, and I had a seafood meal in one of the Dieppe seafront restaurants, before heading back to the hotel. I had an early start the next morning. Ian didn't have the restful night I had, as he was called up by TallMart, asking to be picked from hospital.
It took a while for the fog to lift and the sun to come through on Saturday.
|St Laurent Chapel in the fog|
|Under? Over? Ladder?|
Pushing it towards the end was not a problem. I was keen to get home to my parents, arriving around 18:30. No punctures but one spoke pinged kaput. I had an urge for oil again, like I did last year, this time being able to pick up a bottle in a Carrefour. The rest of the ride happened in silence.
Once home, we celebrated my latest cycling achievement (ride report to follow!) with champagne and Belgian patisserie.
On Sunday we watched Mark and Brad make history in France.
Photos are here: Photo Link
Read this post for the Mr Exit story from two years ago (had to correct that thinking it was last year): Mr Exit