Musings of a book event organiser
Sunday, 29 July 2012
Ladies bike race
The ladies bike race field rounding the bend at Brompton Cross
It is sunshine and showers on this, the second day of the Olympics 2012. There was even a great clap of thunder as we approached the barriers to watch the ladies bike race field speed by. This time we knew the form: a series of a dozen or more police motorbikes, greeted with friendly cheers, and some official cars come by. First we spot the police helicopter overhead, then, as the race starts, two TV helicopters hovering over the field as it comes closer. There were fewer members of the public lining the road than for the men's bike race yesterday, but there was a good deal of friendly banter including with three very big policemen who arrived on their bikes this time to stand by the barriers near us and one smaller one who was on his walkie talkie. Our three policemen shouted out 'hello Alan!' to one of the heavily helmeted, booted and no doubt body-armoured police motorbikers who rode past us flashing their blue lights and sounding their sirens ahead of the racers. I have not been to any of the great state occasions such as any royal wedding or the jubilees other than to sit in Hyde Park for the Golden Jubilee so I am impressed by the sheer good nature of the crowd, at how many children and babies there are with their Mums, Dads and nannies (grannies not child carers). One member of our group said he spotted Elly with Zac on her shoulders on the TV. Everyone is prepared to chat, and a biking enthusiast explained to us why Mark Cavendish failed to win the men's race yesterday - that all the other teams ganged up on team GB forcing them to be ahead the whole time and lose the advantage of being in the slipstream in the middle or even towards the back of the field. Or that was what this man said. I never knew until I watched this year's Tour de France that pedal biking was a team sport, but now I do. News later of the ladies hockey from Excel. For now, a nice cup of tea after watching The Lorax cartoon with the family.