Planning is well under way and approaching extraordinary levels of unnecessary complexity. T has provided team members with individually mapped stages and 200 GPS co-ordinates to memorise. There’s been more average speeds banded around the cyberspace table than Boris’ latest Transport for London meeting. Kit lists are being developed and scruitinised. There is much debate over whether lycra shorts are actually worth the loss of dignity they no doubt incur.
An official Man With A Van has been pulled in for support. Roy, as he’ll no longer be known, a lover of metal music and Mexican women, will be following the riders all the way. R will be carrying the spare kit, food and a lilo (on T’s odd insistence), as well as shouting generic abuse and picking up any members of the team too weak / feeble / sensible to carry on.
Training has also been stepped up another notch this past week. G scoped out the first stage of the big ride from London to Sittingbourne and back in glorious sunshine, much welcomed after the previous weekend’s soaking. Despite a high speed pigeon-to-the-face incident, G did the 90 mile ride comfortably in less than the time allocated for the first leg of the challenge, which is promising.
Meanwhile this week, T and L have been doing laps of the classic cols of Cambridgeshire and O has been getting up unthinkably early to take on the Welsh mountains. Staking a claim as the most mentally unstable of the team, one morning this week O chose to awake at 3:30am to embark on a 180-miler. D has been working on his explosive power in the squash court, preparing himself for those long stints at the front of the pack that the rest of the team has volunteered him for.
One exciting piece of news for the team is that A will no longer be donning his skinny jeans to ride his hipster fixie to Paris. He has thankfully acquired a road bike. O kindly travelled to Bristol to meet a man in a car park (not for the first time) and to his delight found a bright orange velo in mint condition. A, having sneakily left the country on Friday for a weeks holiday, has received an official team warning and faces a fine of one round of pints at the first bar in Paris
We are, by all accounts except for maybe fitness, ready.