Time is ticking – my pedals are turning – my heart is beating faster in anticipation of riding from L2P … and there’s just no time to chat.
A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks: the most devastating being the loss of Bird #2, Angie Cohen-Clark (a human dynamo by anyone’s measure) from our trio of old birds on bikes – better known as the Wheels & Heels team. Whilst out for a training ride at 5.30pm on Friday 12 June, Angie was knocked off her bike by the maverick driver of a grey-green coloured Aston Martin (personal plates starting F9) … and, having seen what had happened – then drove off and left her lying on the side of the Ogle-Whalton Road (Northumberland) nursing a broken arm which has nixed her chance to ride with us in July.
Angie is heartbroken – she and Bird #1, Alli, have been friends since their pockets were full of Spangles and The Osmonds were the focus of their dreams. Alli’s had a rough ride over the past 2.5 years, supporting the Ninja and being the glue for all things Duff whilst he (with the help of Anthony Nolan) has put his back into crushing cancer. Angie and I want to show support for both our friends and I am gutted that she won’t be riding with us …
In the meantime, needs must, my pedals keep turning and the Grand Depart creeps closer – I’ve packed in a few zippy rides to work and last weekend, headed to the Hoge Veluwe, with my training-buddy Gill, to take part in the 39th Vael Ouwe in a perpetual quest for hills! Although much of it took place in a persistent mizzle, we actually enjoyed it a lot – the scenery was beautiful, the fellow cyclists were a mixed bag and very friendly and the hills were easily conquered.
Yesterday, I ventured forth on an epic 115km ride in the sunshine with magic bananas, a marmite sarnie and an apple, not to mention the numerous flies in my teeth to sustain me, it was not enough. The last 20km was like cycling through treacle in wet woolly-jeggings – despite some banging tunes and the bit between my teeth – I was out of fuel and quite simply could not pedal any harder. Some Strava skulduggery – or my inability to press the right buttons – meant that two chunks of my ride went unrecorded but the thingummy on my handlebars told a different story and I’m happy with that.
Despite my satisfaction, those hard yards pedalled did not quite equal the distance we will ride in a single day on our London to Paris challenge!