Day two a flat stage from dusseldorf to liege or at lest as far as the tour are concerned .
Our first segment was around Dusseldorf and almost back to our hotel which is all part of the ‘thank you’ to the town for having us from the TDF. It took what seemed like forever to clear the city limits but eventually we were over the Rhine and on our way to Belgium; the food stop came fairly frequently which was perfect as the wind was more than making up for the ‘ lack of hills ‘
Whilst leading I managed along with my fellow riders to miss a turn so our ride is 9kms longer than everyone else’s and judging by the general reaction to our arrival at the next feed station rather ‘just deserts’… which was a bit wicked…. but hey 🤔
This was not to be the last deviation on our ride as we rode into an anti nuclear demonstration and then later had to walk our bikes through the middle of a street carnival …hysterical
Jo from Cafe Welkom
The final deviation came almost within sight of the final destination as the street cleaners were out in force pre tour and despite lengthy remonstrations we couldn’t continue on our signed route… we sneaked around the side of the block and carried on only to be accosted by a very angry and armed policeman further up the road👮♀️
A quick bit of pavement action on foot followed and then we rode as fast as we could.. over shooting the hotel but we got there eventually (first home after a big day on the front…exactly what Craig and Colin told me not to do)
Despite the trams and the sweltering heat(even the floor felt under floor heated) I managed a few semi conscious hours of ‘sleep ‘
Met more guys at breakfast including Mark who has come over from Canberra and has already completed one of Phil Deekers’ cent cols challenges in the Appenines by way of a warm up …a very worrying sign of things to come I fear .
After a lengthy chat we went about our mornings activities ; mine to see the Eddie Merkx exhibition , his to get to see the physio and sort out his bike bag
The exhibition was wonderful and lunch with the ‘Windsor wondertrees’ group was good to. Mark’s appointment didn’t materialize so his morning was less than optimal:-(
First event meeting and a lot of info about logistics, bags,arrows(directional) etc culminating in a run through by Gareth of today’s ride
which isn’t a time trial at all and represents a ‘token gesture’ to the distance and direction but is to be ridden as a group due to the European triathlon champs running a conflicting course 😦
Just back and worse than expected we ran any number of red lights to the irritation and bemusement of the locals but rarely managed more than three pedal revolutions before we came to a halt again … certainly a trial but certainly not a time trial … the only way is up!
let’s hope tmrw yields a more positive ride .. if we can get all our bikes out of the basement again that is !!!
Despite the DPD truck turning over on the m4 exit we got to the airport on time and after a brief spell in the lounge I was shamed into joining the other guys on my flight in the ‘wondertree cafe’…no trees and certainly not wonderful ,but a good bit of banter before getting on the plane….
Where we then sat for an hour waiting for another slot having spectacularly missed our original one. 😦 the flight was short and uneventful and it wasn’t long before we were regrouped and getting cabs to our hotel.
Rabbit hutches(rooms) allocated we reclaimed our bikes from the trucks they came over in and then had to negotiate around the odd naked German in the subterranean sauna back at our hotel where we left them for safe keeping til tmrw (He was as shocked to see us and our bikes as we were to be confronted by; let’s just leave that there!!!)😲
I then set off to find Marc , my friend who runs Stork cycles , on the other side of town. I took that tram which was a great experience although it’s very hot here and there wasn’t any A/C but I was deposited outside the flagship store about 25 mins later.
Marc @stork bikes
Marc gave me a walking tour of the city after he’d finished work which was brilliant as the European triatheletes are in town so the place was buzzing and the architecture is breathtaking
Kraftwerk in concert for TDF
Dinner with the TDF guys followed and we are all now back in our hutches about to spontaneously combust from the heat in our rooms !!!
What a stunning day to be out on a bike with the ‘Pin’ now in transit it was the turn of ‘Ruby’ to enjoy the sunshine and without the ‘joy’ of the power pedals …a blessed relief (sorry Gareth no power data lol)
So that’s it , final road ride done and 3 days to go … it still hasn’t sunk in ; probably best 😉
Up bright and early today to ride the Pin to ‘on your bike’ for its pick up schedule later this week. A brilliant concept where by I can travel to Dusseldorf with my luggage and the Pin is there waiting for me having been driven across in a truck … what could possibly go wrong?
Dave was there ready and waiting at 07.40 as he promised and having swapped shoes I made my way home via borough market which is showing signs of life again thank goodness.
Art deco clock tower Surbiton Station
Another scorcher…so pleased to be leaving London as the world descends on it; a great reminder of what I DON’T have to do everyday 🙂 …. so sorry for those of you who do . 4 days to go 🤤