Readers hoping for details of exactly where we went on what day, how many kilometres we cycled and metres we climbed and how fast we rode, are advised to look elsewhere. There is only one statistic I wish to quote here. Careful calculations by a sweet-toothed participant – Sarah W, since you ask – revealed a personal tour average miles-per-dessert ratio of ten to one. “It’s all about the cake, really”, she said, when asked to summarise her first Central London CTC tour.
What follows is a personal and impressionistic account of the 2012 ‘Five Countries’ Easter tour. There is no attempt at balance and I take full responsibility for any inaccuracies or distortions….
My report begins in Monschau, Germany.
For those of us who opt for early bed rather than late bar when on a cycling holiday, the fragments of chatter at breakfast can conjure up a disturbing picture of events the previous night.
So it was at the Carat Vitalhotel on Easter Sunday morning. Fortunately I have a typical cyclist’s robust appetite, so the details that emerged did not affect my consumption of muesli and jaw-challenging German bread. The information that Tom is a master of ceroc is digestible enough anyway. But did I hear right when someone described the overall scene in the hotel bar as ‘sleazy’ and used the adjective ‘raunchy’ to describe Michael and Christine dancing together? I have Christine to thank for demonstrating to me (and the rest of the assembled breakfast contingent) the correct lassoing actions to accompany ‘The Cowboy Song’. Glancing around the other tables, I try to identify the barrel-shaped and abundantly moustachioed gentleman who was apparently last night in the adjacent room sitting astride his male partner, microphone in hand, enthusiastically contributing to the musical entertainment.
Checking my facts at the end of the tour, in the restaurant next to Selwyn’s Paris pad, I asked again about the events at Monschau. Michael, as ever a stickler for accuracy, attempted to demonstrate the exact position of Herr Barrel and partner by climbing on top of his injured grandson Albert (we shall later come to the cause of the injury). When Albert protested at the inappropriateness of his Granddad’s action (and undoubtedly he had a point) Michael countered by insisting that it was the inappropriate nature of the behaviour that he was keen for me to grasp…
Well perhaps we should move on. After all, I believe I am contractually obliged in this blog to say something about the cycling, the terrain, the weather etc. more »