I've also been thinking about what we can do next and also looking back on where it all began. With that in mind I thought readers might be interested in an article I published in Baywatch, the Stokes Bay Sailing Club Magazine, in 2012.
Troise hommes sur les v'elos
At the start there were two of us, George and myself, standing by the limp sails of our dinghies on yet another windless day at Stokes Bay. What we need to do said George is try another activity that doesn't need any wind. What about a cycling trip to the continent I suggested and the die was cast. Neither of us could speak any French of course, well not quite true, I know how to ask for the door to be shut, and anyway as we planned our adventure Harris the inveterate Cidre dinker decided he would join us. Harris, it turned out, didn't speak French either, but he could speak English with a convincing French accent, and he was familiar with the local brews. Torrential rain the week before our trip had us packing waterproofs and devising a wet weather plan. I say plan, we were just going to sit in cafes drinking coffee and only venture out if the rain stopped. As it was we had four days of blistering sunshine, which saw George, Harris and myself meander along the Normandy Coast to Colville, via Ouistreum, Courseulles and Arromanches, wearing just shorts and Tee shirts, and stopping regularly to sample the hostelries and cafes and look in the D Day museums. I can tell you that one of us had a puncture (in his specially purchased puncture proof tyres), one of us had a broken chain, and another fell off his bicycle. I am not allowed to tell you who, for the same reason I am not allowed to admit the existence of a photograph of George and Harris pushing their velocipedes up the hill outside Arromanches. We had a great trip and returned to the shores of Britain in time for another week of torrential rain.
As I took photographs throughout the trip I was repeatedly told by my companions they didn't want their names and pictures appearing in Baywatch, to which I was regular contributor, hence the style of the article and the pictures. It gets better though, the week after the article was published John read it and asked if we knew who the other Club members who had been cycling in Normandy were?
At the time we were proud to have ridden 100 miles in four days, the thought that 2 years later we would do a 1000 mile End to End ride couldn't have been further from our minds.
And the forbidden picture: