Friday 18 April 2008

Tense Moments

Actually, the thing I get most anxious about when going over to do bike events abroad is not the pre-race tension, the fear of being dropped, suffering dehydration, or feeling all alone in foreign place where I can't communicate fluently like I do back in London.

None of the above. My most anxious moment is always the time when I pick my bike off the carousel at the airport. I take the bag/box very carefully, suspecting that this is the first time the bulk will have been picked up with any due care during it's journey. In fact, aren't I even shutting the door after the horse has bolted ??

Regardless of what my two wheeled pride and joy may have been through I always make a habit of opening the bag and just checking that everything is in one piece. I take a deep breath, braced for what I might see. I look for any scratches or dents, check derailleur, shifters and wheels. Then I heave a big sigh of relief at the news that there's nothing sinister, before skipping out of the airport and beginning my holiday.

I have heard nightmare stories of bikes being damaged in transit when taking the plane. It's not good. And although many airlines are willing to pay up for the damage (as BA did when they damaged my wheel one time), it's still a gross inconvenience if you've made the journey specially to do a race and your bike is in bits.

Scientists are still working to see if they can get this one to fly - they might not be able to do it this month, but if they could rustle something together for my subsequent bike jaunt abroad in July that would be really handy !

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