Under three weeks to go now bikers, and I can feel my legs a-tingling at the prospect of mounting the Mighty Steed (alright, my Giant Defy), pushing off from the Big Smoke (itching to get out at the moment) and pedaling my way to the greatest festival the UK has to offer…
So many thoughts… Fancy dress on the bike, or not? A fresh pair of padded shorts? Wine in the water bottles, a la the classic days of the Tour de France? (Possibly not).
Before all of that, though, some very important information to make sure that the push-off from Lambeth Palace on the 4 September goes as smoothly as humanly possible…
All told, that morning is probably going to be the biggest logistical challenge of the entire ride – and it’s going to need some forward planning from everyone involved to make sure that we set off on time.
Firstly, and most importantly, we need everybody to be assembled at Lambeth Palace by 10.15am at the latest. Once there, we’ll be splitting into groups of six or seven and leaving at staggered times.
However, getting there is not going to be that easy for most people.
First, you’re going to be weighed down with all your kit for the festival AND a flipping bike. Second, because of the Paralympics, bikes (unless they’re fold-up) won’t be allowed on overground trains once you’re inside the London network. Third, it’s going to be rush hour and very, very busy indeed…
From our end of things, we’ve decided we’re going to position two of the three vans (one will be at Lambeth Palace) very close to Waterloo and Charing Cross stations (details to come). So if you’re arriving at either of these stations (you should be OK with your bike on the train coming into London if you live outside, but CHECK), this will mean you can dump all your kit straight in a van and then pedal to the start point (not far away).
You will need to be at these dropping-off points by 10am AT THE VERY LATEST. SORRY FOR THE CAPITALS.
What else can you do to ease the load? Perhaps you know someone who wouldn’t mind sticking all your gear in the car and bringing it into town for you. Maybe you’ve got mates/family nearby who wouldn’t mind putting you up on the Monday night and helping you lug your things to the vans…
A quick (annoying) recap:
You must arrive at the start point by 10.15am at the latest.
If you’re dropping off bags at Waterloo or Charing Cross, you must be there by 10am at the latest.
I used to be a teacher, you know. Does it tell?
…But please do have a proper think about how you’re going to get there.
Can’t flipping wait, by the way.