Today we went out in the pouring rain to watch the women’s tour as it circled through Warwick University campus. In an effort to catch the riders when they were cycling a little slower than full pelt we picked Gibbet Hill, just before the roundabout turn to Kenilworth as our spot.
We started seeing other people who had come out for the ride as we approached Gibbet Hill; several were wisely hanging out in the bus shelter near the top of the hill. Finham Park School had bussed fifteen or so students out to watch—great to see young women watching strong women whipping by them! With about a half hour to go, we walked on toward the entrance to the Medical School, where there were already a bunch of people standing waiting. Some of them seem to have popped out of the Uni to watch and others were cyclists who had also picked the hill to watch from. It was a good-sized crowd, given a miserable, rainy morning in the middle of the week. We had two of our dogs, Emily and Sam along for the walk; they made friends with several people slowly getting soaked near us.
It wasn’t long before a car came through with a loud-hailer and told us that the riders were only a few minutes behind. Then there were so many police motorbikes with their blue lights flashing! As one person standing next to us remarked, “it would be a great day for a burglary.” Then the riders themselves. One out front and then about 20 metres behind here was the large peloton. We both took photos and then they were gone! Despite watching several big rides now I am still surprised by just how fast they go by! It’s great to be out there in person, even if it happens in an instant.
Later in the afternoon, Erik went for a short ride (the women were doing 85 or so miles) to keep up his record of daily rides. He rode over the chunk of road that the women had climbed earlier in the day, though nothing like challenging their speed!
Erik was really excited that the women’s route today covered bits of his regular training routes. One of the best parts was that they rode through Meriden, past the memorial for cyclists killed in war. Initially erected to honour those killed in the First World War, it now includes plaques to honour cyclists killed in the Second World War and, most recently, those killed in the incessant conflict since the end of that war.
We have spent a chunk of the day packing to be ready for our trip to Bakewell tomorrow for Eroica Britannia. I can’t believe that we’re camping—we’ve had thunder and lightning today again. Oh well! People keep saying that the weekend will be dry but the way it has been this week, I’ll believe it when I see it!
Assuming we can find somewhere to get wi fi, we plan to blog from Eroica.