Final touches

It has been a last weekend in the UK to remember. Instead of taking it easy, catching up on sleep and making final preparations I decided the best way to start would be to cycle to Brighton, starting at midnight on Friday. I’d missed out the FNRttC back in July and didn’t want to miss another. It rained for a good deal of the ride, but I had a great time stationed at the back of the group of 70 riders all night, making new friends and  helping anyone with mechanical issues along the way. There were a few punctures, but it was super. I felt so good by the end in Brighton I just couldn’t face catching a train home, so teamed up with my friend Rimas – a Lithuanian cycling machine and rode back too. A cool 220km’s without sleep, a perfect warm up ride.

By some immense good fortune, perhaps divine intervention, I decided to stop at a bike shop in Croydon on the way back home. I needed a few things to complete my kit list, and dropped Rob a line to see if he needed anything. He quickly rang back and said he desperately needed a new bottom bracket. He had just got off the phone to twenty different bike shops, starting in the Leicester area where he has been living, and throwing the net ever wider. With no luck. I relayed over the phone the make and model number he needed to the shop assistant in Geoff Butler’s Cycles, and the guy produced the part in moments. I already thought it was the best bike shop I have ever used, and this just confirmed that. Amazing.

Rob was over today for some help fitting his new BB. It took some elbow grease to get the old one out, but only some lithium grease to get the new one back in. Then we rode at least a mile to a greasy spoon for some fantastically unhealthy food, and to discuss our final kit list and preparations. This was followed shortly by some shopping for last minute essentials…

Rob found an ingenius solution for taking his panniers around the shop.

Rob found an ingenius solution for taking his panniers around the shop.

And then in keeping with the photos from last weeks shopping excursion, we found a suitable sign for Rob to pose with.

I hope he does feel fit.

Apparently you don’t have to cycle to Romania to achieve these things.

Not much remains now but to pack our panniers tomorrow, and get some sleep. I don’t know if I will for excitement.

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