Monday, September 04, 2006

Tour of Britain & Bikefest

Gem is a T-mobile supporter
Originally uploaded by ahconway.
We all went to the Bikefest on the Mall Sunday, preceding the final stage of this year's Tour of Britain. What fun! Gem and I rode in the Christiania and Kim & Elsa met us there.

There was lots of varied cycling excitement going on, plus good kids' stuff too. Gem did some crafts and got a glittery rainbow painted on her face. And we all enjoyed nabbing free goodies from Transport for London and others, and being plied by the propaganda for the London start of the Tour de France next year (could we possibly return for it???)

We also watched a bunch of the amateur racing, which we also all enjoyed. The most serious of the lot turned out to be a bit of a disappointment for Gemma, though. It was sponsored by Bob Chicken's company, one of the UK's leading distributors of racing kit... so Kim was referring to it as the Chicken Race... and Gem couldn't understand where all the chickens were.

We had a very nice picnic lunch from Inn the Park (hate the name, love the pork belly sandwiches!), then headed back up to Regents Park to see the pros come through. We stationed ourselves where Avenue Road enters the park, figuring that the sharp turn into the outer circle would provide some excitement.

In the end, though, the most exciting bit was the flotilla of 30+ police on motorbikes that came screaming through before the peloton. The racers were good too, as was the convoy of support cars, but it all went by in a flash. We dashed home later to see the BBC coverage but were disappointed to find that it skipped all the London riding and went right to the circuits around the Mall! Okay, it turned out that the only real competition during the road race was for the sprints and hills, but it was still fun to see.

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