Logistical Nightmare

How I would love to win the Lottery, or the Euromillions, it would make life so much easier!

I’ve been trying to work out exactly where Melissa and I are going in France. This includes when I pick her up from Heathrow early(ish) on Sunday 15th. I still have to book the Eurotunnel, and have left it this late due to lack of funds and trying to work out the timing. Also from Heathrow, I have to navigate the M25 and M26, which hopefully won’t be overly bad on a Sunday morning! This means I have to give ourselves a bit of extra time to get there (in case of the flight being late, or some hold up on the motorway) and we also need to ‘check in.’
Then from Calais, it’s some long drive to Pau – and although using the motorways over there would be quicker, the tolls are extortionate! And some thing I can’t really afford! This means staying mainly on the Nationale and Departmental routes – and also means I’ll need to print the route out! Gah!
The  http://www.autoroutes.fr/en/routes.htm is the route planner I’m using, as both RAC and AA route planners for Europe are rubbish. Thank god the French version is pretty good! It says driving time of just over 14 hours, so with a break or two, is more likely to be 16!
Say we get to Calais for 11am. Add another 16 hours. That is about 6am we can get to Pau. We obviously will have to stop, but we also need to get to Pau early enough so that we can find the hotel, park up and eat/sleep etc. Oh bearing in mind, the Stage that day finishes in Pau, so I expect it to be heaving, even early on!

Melissa – as soon as we check in, I will probably crash out for a few hours! Or overdose on caffeine!

So by Monday, we are there in Pau. Check In. sleep (for me). Get to the finish. Annoy people (possibly).

Tuesday is the last rest day at Le Tour. Great, have a lie in! Er we have to move the car to the hotel we are staying in on Tuesday night. Then I will possibly sleep again, and blog, and take far too many pictures, and email the parents!

Wednesday’s Stage starts in Pau. I am not missing this!

Wednesday night, Thursday night and Friday night have yet to be decided. But we have a tent!

Saturday and Sunday, we are booked into a hotel in Paris. We have a choice on Saturday, catch the train to watch them finish the Time Trial in Chartres, or go to the Team Sky Fan Party (TSFP), a 15 min walk from our hotel (er, that is a guess! It might not be that far!) The TSFP have a place to watch it all on a big screen and have a party afterwards! This, technically, will be the only night I can drink!

Sunday, we will be on the Champs Elysees, at the Team Sky Fan corner (although I like all the teams! I am not just a Sky fan!) and will be watching them finish.

Currently I have been invited to 3 parties on the Sunday night!

Monday we have to leave Calais fairly early as I expect the M26 and M25 to be a nightmare!

This has been a headache trying to organise this, but I’m so looking forward to it! It WILL be amazing!

Thanks to Andy for offering us a place to pitch our tent, we might see you on the Tourmalet  yet! Thanks to the kind invites to the parties (from various people) and the sheer amount of help I have received from Twitter and Wheelsuckers!

I still have to sort out various bits and bobs – where the hell do I get breathalyser kits from? And Iestyn, my lovely brother, can I borrow a laptop?!?!

Take care and keep smiling 😛

Busy weekend

Having my alarm wake me this morning at 7, I’ve had to get up pretty quick. I need to have a short ride out on the bike before packing my racing bag (horseracing!)

Actually that’s pretty easy, black boots, black trousers/jeans, sponsored t-shirt, then sweatshirt, spare jeans and maybe a t-shirt. My boots are always dried and cleaned and then live in my bag ready for going racing. The rest of my gear is also ready nearby. In reality I don’t need much, but I haven’t checked the weather forecast yet!

So I’ve been told I’m leaving the yard at 1.30. That’s all fine, and it means leaving the house at about 11.45. Yes I’ll be early, and will get to work for for about 12.25, and it only takes a few minutes to get the horse and gear ready. This also means that I can have a quick cuppa when I get there! The horse runs at 6pm, thats means leaving the racecourse about 7 to come home. Then it’s another 40 min drive home from the yard. I expect by that time our ‘street party’ will be in full swing!

As for Sunday, I think I’ll get to Newbury Racecourse for 7.30, then I have time to be nosey and hopefully meet a couple of ladies doing the Sportif! This means being up at half five, so I can have a coffe and eat breakfast without making myself sick 😉

I’ll let you know how it goes!

And finally, many thanks to all my twitter friends who gave me such a show of support after my blog post yesterday. Yes I am nervous, but feel now that it might actually be alright 🙂

Time to go for a ride…

Take care!!

losing confidence

Yeah it happens, especially when I pretty much bike on my own, eat on my own, live on my own (sorry to my landlady here, who is an absolute legend and a good friend).
I have the internet, Twitter has given me some amazing friends, Facebook bores me rigid (and no doubt I bore my FB ‘friends’ rigid), and sometimes the only escape I have is my blog, oh yeah and a book or two (maybe 10).

I have this Sportif (LadyCat at Newbury Racecourse) on Sunday. I have no idea of anyone who is doing this – in fact some people have turned their noses up (fellow cyclists) – ‘oh well if I was there I would be doing the Magnificat, not the LadyCat.’ Er yeah, thanks for that, I’ve only just got started in the expensive lycra clad world of road cycling. I don’t have ‘kit’ that matches my bike – and to be frank I don’t care. I don’t have cleats – can’t afford them. I’m quite frankly a bit worried – I’m not overly fit, I’m kinda hoping I can get through it!

And it’s not just the cycling, I’m fair worried about doing this TdF thing. I don’t actually know if I can afford to do it, although the hotel in Paris is booked, as are the hotels in Pau.

Maybe it comes down to money, I don’t earn very much at all, and I don’t care who knows that. Working with racehorses pays a shitty weekly wage that barely covers the cost of living. Wonder how I afford my TdF trip? Pool Money. Please don’t tell me to move back to Andover unless you can give me the months rent upfront (mostly in excess of £400).

So for those of you sporting brand new, up to date kit/bikes/cars, lucky aren’t you! Please don’t shove it in my face – I do a more dangerous job than any of you!

A rant is a rant I suppose, but I’m still under confident about this Sportif issue! I doubt it really matters in the long term…

Somewhere I’m smiling 😛
Ciao

something for the female fans!

As you may know there are a fair few female fans out there, and two of them run great blogs/websites.

The first one is run by @accidentobizaro (on Twitter) and has had me laughing my head off at some of the dreams that have been shared. Have a look and a laugh! There are some dreams by the men, but I find the majority from females:

http://revesperminute.tumblr.com/

The other one is, well, definitely a hot, saucy (blog/website??) but is a favourite of many of us female fans, just take a look at those pictures and read the comments! Awesome! The BDIPC is my friend… 😉

http://bangabledudesinprocycling.com/archive

 

Found another one!

I’ve just joined http://www.wheelsuckers.co.uk/ which I think is an awesome site for all people who are road cyclists (or fans of). I would love all my twitterarti friends to join in!

From this I found http://cyclingnsht.blogspot.co.uk/ Leif Backman’s blog, I found it quite interesting and love the pictures!

Although I still haven’t figured out how to follow blogs from sources other than wordpress – anyone help me out with that one??

Cheers