Monday 1st March February Charvil - Old Sodbury 120km Done: 2067 km. To go: 821 kmWeather: Beautiful, clear and cold.
Just as Lee Dixon is the bad weather jinx, you know it's lovely if I'm not on the bike. I missed the charming last 50km of the run into Chablis (heart over-revving) and I now have the bug that is doing the rounds - don't ask for details, but like the Carling Cup Final, there's a lot of action at both ends. Did the sod give it to me when he waved us off at Twickenham?
That's the internal stuff. Externally making good progress. Had an hour on my left shoulder last night and then Aussie Dave thought punching me right on the spot was a good way of saying good morning. I kicked him, and told him he was a very naughty man, sort of. Another fine, he gets one every day.
So could not ride today, Told Lawrence who was very sympathetic, and responded exactly as you would expect from the ultimate team player and leader of men, 'Can Ieuan Evans borrow your sunglasses?'. Welsh wing legend Ieuan gave me his car to drive to the finish, so I guess I should get them back.
Weighed in at the weekend and have lost maybe one kilo, but my jeans are falling off me. May look good on a teenager with tight white Calvin Klein underwear, but looks pretty daft 40 years on with UniQlo boxers. Joanna down four, but some of that due to the bug,
So for the first time I have the luxury of starting to write some of this while the riders are still out there, A group from The Listening Company - a sponsor - arrived to ride one day, bless them, but I had a Brian Hanrahan moment as I counted them out. I suspect they never got my emails. One girl had a spare helmet and pannier, which included a towel 'if I get sweaty' and 20 Lambert and Butler. She was in shorts, a t-shirt, and plimsolls. 'You'll freeze' I said. 'Ooh, I'll warm up up once we get going' she said. I got her to look round the car park at Wiggle's biggest Q1 spenders this year, and she turned to her friend and confided 'we need gloves'.
Quite a few fallers on ice, including Josh Lewsey (good Everest training) and Harvey Thorneycroft - said it wasn't as bad as when he rolled Tim Rodber's Range Rover. Mike Ryan came down heavily in front of Joanna. There was one particularly bad section of sheet black ice on a downhill section early on. Young Tom had the worst crash, hitting a car at a mini roundabout and breaking the windscreen. He was taken to hospital but released later - I had stopped him leaving this morning without his helmet and bottles. Tired from a late night I suspect. Ieuan finished, finding it much easier once his saddle raised, and Freddie rolled in looking very fresh and relaxed.
And it's Bonzo's birthday,...
Andrew Croker is part of the core team accompanying former England rugby union captain Lawrence Dallaglio on every leg of his epic 2,770km Cycle Slam which started on 12 February in Rome. Joined by celebrities including former Arsenal defender and Match of the Day pundit Lee Dixon, one time Spurs and Newcastle striker Les Ferdinand and newsreader Dermot Murnaghan plus members of the public, they're riding between Nice, Paris, Twickenham, Fishguard on to Rosslare and finally Edinburgh. Money raised will be shared between Sport Relief and the The Dallaglio Foundation. You can support the Cycle Slam at www.dallagliocycleslam.com.