6 The riders

So that’s dealt with the when, who, why, what and how. Only a few days now before I set off, so finally a few words about the rest of the group.

As well as meeting some of the other riders at the visit to Westminster House, I had the opportunity to ride with 24 others one March day in Swindon, a place I would normally shoot by on the M4 on my way to and from my home town of Cardiff and with no thought of stopping there! It was a good day out and pleasing to discover that I was on a par with some of the others, so I should have a few riding partners of about my level and we can hopefully take it in turn to share the work at the front of a group, otherwise it’s going to be a long haul.

I look forward to meeting more people as we go along and this will involve many changes of personnel too. There will be 40 lifers who will be riding the entire three-week route, then others will be joining and leaving at different times depending on what stages they do. This probably means about 80 or so people on the road on any given day.

I will be travelling out with Gary, a fellow Bigfooter who will be doing the whole ride, lucky chap. We’ve decided to room together, so we should get used to each other’s annoying habits (if indeed we have any) rather than have to deal with new ones each day! Actually I see this as a master stroke because with Gary being a stronger rider than me, by the time I get in at the end of each ride the bathroom should be free and with luck he’ll have a cold beer waiting for me!

Having to leave the lifers in Andorra rather than continuing on to Mont Ventoux, the Alps and then Paris will be difficult I know. Either I will be wishing that I could carry on, or I’ll be wishing that someone would carry me home! Which will it be? Not long to go now before we find out.

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