So, it's the start of another journey and another long day. No dramas getting to Geneva via an brief overnight stop at Andy and Tish's place in MK: Virgin Trains and EasyJet even manage to deliver our bikes intact- not something that we take for granted!
|The glitz and the glamour...Wesham railway station, where all epic journeys begin. Or something.|
You know that you've arrived somewhere a little more up-scale when the very first bit of advertising that you see is...
|You can look but you better not touch.|
|We're grinning because we have no clue what we have signed-up for...|
Above shows two eejits who have just collected all their pre-race paraphernalia: check-out the personlised numbers...actually got a few favourable comments from the few folk that I did pass, hah-hah!
After schlepping our kit and bikes to our very handily placed hotel- at the bleedin' airport- we set about tracking down the Lord Nelson pub for food and er, a motivational talk. Alright, ale. It was quite warm, to be fair...
|Have a gander at what the Euro-sessioners on the centre table are destroying. Gotta be more than a yard? A metre?|
|Excitement lakeside! Perhaps Phil Collins' bbq had gotten out of hand?|
We attended the mandatory briefing and just about managed to stay awake: it was like Eurovision gone even more wrong than usual. Where's Tel Wogan when you need him?
|Interminable. In both English and French.|
We also briefly met the rest of our team, and then headed back to our delightful Ibis and a 4.50am alarm call. Ouch!
Sunday 19th August: Day one, Geneva to Megeve
We couldn't have asked for a more spectacular setting to begin all this folly: the sun was rising over the lake and managed to take our minds off what lay ahead, in between trips to the kharzi. Pre-match nerves affect everyone it seems!
|With cycling partner-in-crime and bloke whose fault all this is. Still talking. Just!|
|Day one's "job of work"...|
|The shower departs Geneva. Nervous...|
|Feels a bit better once you get on with it. Although we appear to be heading towards those speed-bumps in the distance...|
For the first time ever, I heard cow-bells used for real: this is the acceptable version of windchimes. I was really doubting if I could make it up the first climb but when it began I realised that this was do-able, albeit at a slooooow pace. Whether or not I would be inside the time-limit was another question...
|Certifiable behaviour although these guys went crazy-fast downhill apparently. Euro-loons ahoy!|
The scenery was beyond fabulous: no camera is going to match that but here goes regardless: it was a flawless sky!
|Wow. No further message.|
|The view from one side...|
|...and from the other. So, not too tired to showboat a little, huh?|
Although I rarely say it, today was a special day on the bike. Glad I was there...thanks!
Here's to the run continuing.
|Trying to get the blood back to where it should be. Need water!|