London to Paris – A Tale on Two Wheels – Day 3 but no ending!
Actually, I don’t want to write the end. Not sure why really. Maybe it is because it is probably the very beginning of the many, many miles I hope to cycle in my life with great groups of people and on my own too. Maybe it’s because although we rode all that way and raised over £100,ooo for the Big Issue, homelessness doesn’t end and the days are growing shorter. I don’t know.
Of course this wouldn’t be a makemeadiva blog post without a bit of self-obsessed and misplaced vanity too! Despite my having visited the site of the “official” photographer more than once and having been told his name a couple of times, I can’t find it this morning on the old Google to buy a respectable snap to accompany the finish. Leave it with me, I’ll get there in due course.
In the meantime I thought you might be interested in the links to Sean Gaskell’s story, a Big Issue vendor on the ride. He stuck it out in speedy (but technically challenged Group 5 that I started with) on his Tesco bike which, if you read the first link below, was a vast improvement on his training model. Sean’s chain gave up the good fight on the morning of Day 3, snapping at the summit of a sheer granite cliff face covered in gravel that he had likely cycled up and I had merely tottered up like a lady. My pride cast aside on Day 1 (although I only walked up one a day!) Sean’s remains very much intact.
All was fixed with our star guide’s extra chain links eventually, but it meant Groups 5 & 6 had a twenty minute sojourn in the woods and the competitiveness was put aside in exchange for some sun-dappled camaraderie in extremis. Sean was also a star for lending me his whisky before dinner on the last night – medicinal and very welcome, thanks Sean 🙂
The unofficial snap where after the “official” photo at the official finish line they cruelly made us ride a few more miles to the hotel. Hence my discombobulated expression – ok!