Sunday, November 23, 2008


It's so nice not to have to get up at the crack of 8am on a Sunday to go out ridin' in the [insert poor weather here]. Especially after attending a wedding the previous night, which came on the back of a relaxing week in Belgium, not to mention a lightning visit to the USA a couple of weeks ago. This end of the year has been a whirlwind/tornado/twister/dust devil/willy willy of travel, and it ain't over yet.

Firstly, the US trip was brillo. I went over there to write this article on Specialized's aero testing which was a lot of fun. Flew in on Saturday, out on Monday, the plan being to avoid jetlag. I'm not sure if it worked, because I felt knackered for the rest of the week, and it spilled over into the next week. Still, it was well worth it. Next time (fingers crossed) I'll go for a bit longer and Visit People.

That theme more or less continued the next week in Belgium. I should have caught up with more folks but spent most of the week chilling out at Reiny's place. I went to the Six on the opening night, together with Gab, Reiny, Gwen and Darren Young. The racing/entertainment was top notch again even if we did drink too many pintjes. It's amazing to see these guys fly around a 166m track for hours on end. Sometimes there are up to 12 pairs on at once, with each team member flinging the other one in at high speed, dodging the other riders around them. It's mesmerising to watch and I'm glad we were sitting in the stands and not in the middenplein, because that's a dizzying experience.
© Jeff Jones

Veel spektakel
© Jeff Jones

Darren looking rather relaxed at this point in the proceedings
© Jeff Jones

Darren and I were the last of the spectators left once the racing finished. He was up for more (I'm not sure if I was) so we headed home via a couple of student bars on Overpoortstraat. There was some kind of orientation week thing going on, because everyone seemed to be wearing a sash, either in Belgian, Dutch or some other colours. A Dutch guy explained it all to me and I remember listening and taking it all in but none of the words actually stuck. It was possible that we'd had more than our fill of drinks by this stage. Anyway, a good night was had. The next day ... pass. At least the rest of the week was overcome in relative sobriety. A spinning class helped.

These did have alcohol in them.
© Jeff Jones

With his hand-eye coordination still razor sharp, Darren beat me 7-6
© Jeff Jones

I don't remember taking this photo, but it will serve to illustrate the occasion
© Jeff Jones

I returned to Bath for Jess and John's wedding. I know them from the publishers group and many other fun occasions. They've managed to get married twice this year, once in July and once in November. I think the July one was just a mini one to make it legal, while this one was the Big Bash at the Guildhall.

John (and possibly Jess as well) has Scottish heritage so they had to have a céilidh, complete with live band, as part of the proceedings. These are a lot of fun - way more than normal dancing - because you are not expected to know what you're doing. It's also a good way of meeting people, as are weddings in general. Top marks, J+J.

Finally, I will state on the record that the Great Western Paddington Railway Band makes the Strathfield Orchestra sound very good. Oh the humanity.

No comments: