chris’ reflections from a great three days:
“Two weeks later I have so many great memories from Belgium.
The Peace Centre was fantastic. The picnic lunch that emerged from nowhere on day two was a highlight (Mike did you apologise to the Morris dancers?) and then later that night being thrown the fridge keys and told to lock up when we finished was like an evening in Paradise
The hill up to Cassell – not everyone’s choice. Cycling along the canals, stopping at a great café in Ypres (5.50 Euros for a milk shake!!!) and lunch at the German cemetery. Tyne Cot. The Last Post then losing half the group. The great meal in Bruge and finally sitting on the steps in the square – a very special moment.
But most of all it was great to cycle with you all and have such a good laugh and I need to say thanks to loads of people and well done to everyone.
First up to Nive, without whom Amos will quickly fall to pieces Jake – it was great to have you back.
Then to Mike for all the organisation and work – absolutely fantastic job.
Then Sarah – driving is so thankless – but thank you so much – best looking van driver I know.
Next up must be all the new riders
John we normally try not to lose too many of our new riders
Jane what a superstar – we all speak of Kip in muted tones as Mr Bike – now there is Mr and Mrs Bike
Jill, great sister in law who claimed she started to enjoy it a bit by day three
Liz, wonderful sister, van and accommodation finder extraordinaire
Sam – who charged off on the first day much to his parents pleasure
Zak – one of my favourite moments was when he heard the DJ names of Kip and Jane’s 3 sons. It would have meant nothing to the rest of us, but as they are stars of the drum and bass scene and he is really into it, it was great. It also upped my standing as an uncle.
Neil – brother in law extraordinaire and drinking companion.
Jonny and Richard’s (and Mike’s) obsessional quest for Belgian beers – which led us to a fantastic meal on the monday night – thanks Richard
Ben – gets the best road rash award, for his dramatic crash on a wide open road
Sue – I hope we get to finish off the conversation we kept on starting and never completed.
Millie – obviously I’m biased but what a star, as she bombed along on the last day.
Now for the regular riff raff.
Richie – unbelievable – Suzi and Lucas kept on blaming him for why they were late, when the truth was they could barely keep up with him.
Nat – had been really ill just before he came and did brilliantly – great nephew
Jack – ‘we saw kangaroos, really cool, never thought we’d see them in Belgium’ obviously I’m biased again but great cycling.
Peter and Iain Mc– Who needs to book ferries on the bank holiday weekend? The 5:15 am ferry departure will do fine.
Jenny – responsible for us doing the Palestine marathon, then burns up the miles, please don’t suggest a swimming challenge.
Iain C + Lucas – the whippets. Iain had little use of his burst of speed – Lucas decided he’d start late and having caught up with people extend that yet further to every possible departure time.
Nick’s amazing grace- he waited for a couple of hours for Lucas, who then ditched him 40 miles later.
Ian – the only person I didn’t cycle with once all weekend, I wondered if it was personal.
Dean – best shorts (and Olympic stories) by a country mile.
Richard – once again unbelievable performance, only got back from Palestine on the Wednesday. I’m sure you get younger every year.
Ellie – great to see you in Ypres and your absolute delight to see Millie on your old Puch
Jochen – fast becoming the wild man of the ride, battling with Iain to see who’s hair will fly most freely in the wind, slightly alarmed to hear that a tractor driver tried to take you out.
Sarah for her incredible first aid kit – a cure for everything including late night drinking sessions
Dan for keeping the Welsh (well people living in Wales) flag flying, we need more of you next year
And last but definitely not least Brian’s customised bike – wing mirrors galore –I half expected to see a troop of Mods on scooters burning up beside us.
We always say lets met up and nothing happens – but this year there is chance to on Tuesday 9th July we have a special reception for a group of former street child surfers on HMS President on the Thames and you are all very welcome to attend – invite attached.
2014 – I think my ego may have run rampant but we are starting to explore the possibility of the ‘Way of the Roses C2C ride’. You can find out about it here. It is a little lumpy on day 1 and the start of day 2 but then pretty flat for the rest of the time. We’d really welcome any thoughts you’ve got about this as a possibility.