We did the Première Manche - the first round - of A Travers riding across France from Dieppe to Marseille in the summer of 2009, and it was the original inspiration for this blog. The plan to put the 'band back together again' for another go in 2013 for the second installment fell on stoney ground, with life just getting in the way for too many of us, much to our disappointment. However, our enthusiasm for the bike remains undimmed, and so I'll keep posting my thoughts on the diverse and beautiful facets of the sport regardless. But there's bound to be another big 'adventure ride' coming soon - quite possibly in Italy - so potentially a name change too: Attraverso l'Italia in Bicicletta anyone?

Friday, 1 June 2012

Will We Be Dancing On The Alpe in 2013?

Here's me showing the boys how to let their sweat-sodden, salt-encrusted hair down in Carry-Le-Rouet, after we'd all completed the end of the final stage of A Travers in July 2009. If I hadn't taken up cycling, I'd probably have been a dancer. I'm not referred to as 'Mincer' for no reason, riding around (and walking, come to that) looking like the unholy bastard (and admittedly miraculous) lovechild of and Alan Carr and Graham Norton.

There's clearly the heady mix of relief and euphoria, the plentiful cheap alcohol carried by hyper-oxygenated red blood cells to flood my brain, causing me to show some uncharacteristic joie de vivre. Because underneath I'm absolutely seething: as documented elsewhere in the blog, I was pipped to the finish down on the Med coast by Jamesy, yet a-bloody-gain.The man has no class. Can't he let me win? Just once? Can we just not be racing each other all the time?

So, come the Alpe in 2013 (he's never ridden it, despite my repeated attempts to get him to do it over the years, so I have the advantage of familiarity) I promise that for once there'll be no more nice guy, none of my usual 'won't it be nostalgic and sentimental to ride up together' and finish like a couple of 1986 hand-in-hand Greg & Bernards. Instead I'm gonna behave just like him, the competitive sod, and even though it's not a race and it doesn't really matter, I'm gonna get to the top before him. Whatever it takes. I might even get an accomplice to stand along the route taking photos near the top.

Whooh! Hark at me! Call me Macho, rather than Mincing, Mike Curtis, clearly trying the shake off the effeminate tag (it's probably the one I left attached to the collar of the delightful chiffon blouse I just bought myself).