However, I have a little story I wanted to share with you all. So, I hope you are sitting comfortably…? Good, so I will begin..
I have spent this week being ‘induced’ .. well, going through the induction process with the new work. I was with a group of disparate new hires and part of the course was the usual ‘tell us something interesting about yourself’ …
As the bike ride is so close to my heart I talked about this – the training programme, the new bike, the charity, my two Kiwi fruits that will be following me miles behind en route etc. etc. …
Over coffee we all ended up chatting about these new found interesting things about our colleagues and one of the guys – I shall call him ‘Pete’ to keep anonymity – shared with me that he too did the London to Paris charity ride a few years ago.
I was so excited to meet someone that had done it and promptly started to ask him questions (how was it for him, did he stick to the training plan, what sort of bike did he have, did he use cleats or not, how was his bum (en route, not at the moment of course) … all of those ‘sad’ questions that have suddenly become so very important). However Pete stopped me mid questioning and shared with me how it was for him.
Pete had cycled with his chums all the way to Dover, staying in some youth hostel where he told me there was a fight going on outside as they got there (but they were so tried it did not matter). They crossed on the ferry in the morning and cycled (uphill) out of Calais. He said the journey throughout France was great – pretty flat and interesting. They entered into Paris on the final day and he and his friends cycled towards their final destination – the Eiffel Tower – with great great excitement.
He then said that the next memory he had was waking up in a French hospital. Somehow along the final metres toward the Tour Eiffel he managed to fall off his bike and knock himself out.
I guess the moral of the story is to keep pedalling – carefully – right to the end of the road.. I could not imagine doing 298.5 miles and falling on the last 0.5 mile, but talking to Pete, I now know this ‘could’ happen (especially if I do not get used to my cleats)!