I slept like a baby last night and got up after 11 hrs 30 mins in bed this morning still feeling a little fuzzy.
As promised to the other participants of the ride, here is my poem.
The View From The Ass End Of The Pack
It started with the Cross Country
Reading Andy Perry's blog
I hankered for adventure
And thought 'retirement's just the job'.
I bought a bike and did some miles
It was good exercise
The uphills hard, the downhills great
My waist it dropped in size.
Then came the day, deposit paid
But I didn't give proper thought
To all those miles and all those climbs
Some advice I should have sought.
I trained as hard as I thought I should
Tho' the weather turned me blue
Then there I was in Astoria
A cyclist without a clue.
As we set off on our first day
It soon became patently clear
Having been passed by all other riders
I'd be spending my time at the rear.
I'd gone out of my way to cycle some hills
But nothing prepared me for
4 hours in the saddle into a headwind
At a miserable 6 miles an hour.
I didn't mind getting up early
To be front of the long luggage queue
And setting off first always gave me the chance
To say Hi to each one of you.
On lovely mornings I was there in my shirt
Enjoying the fresh Summer air
While everyone round me was wrapped up for winter
And I looked forward to my helmet hair.
I learned about pelotons, pacelines, 3 P's
As cyclists kept passing me by
They shouted 'I'm Slowing', 'I'm Stopping', 'On Left'
And pointed at danger or signs.
The warnings were helpful and timely and good
They saved me from mishap, that's right
But most welcome of all came the shout from the rear
'Watch out, there's a man in white tights'.
I've found some real odd habits here
Like cycling on the right
Your beer's too cold, you use too much ice
and the air con's on all night!
Who's ever heard of baysil?
It's tomato not tomayto
At home it’s pronounced lessure time
At least a potato's still a potato
The USA is so diverse
But some things are the same
The huge food portions never change
From Oregon to Maine
There are fatties wobbling everywhere
Eating at a frantic rate
They should be made to cycle up Joe English Road
Now that would help them lose weight.
There's affluence and poverty
Sometimes living side by side
And it seems that Native Americans
Have lost much of their pride.
The contrasts between this land and mine
Are many and they're varied
But the thought of so many having guns
Now that is really scary.
I've seen bison, cattle, soya, corn
Fields as far as the eye can see
But I'll not be eating cornflakes again
Now I know where you go to pee.
Now Phillip he was one cool dude
He rode a Surly Trucker
He hurt his arm and has gone home
We have some fast folks that's for sure
You'd think they were at the races
That foolish lot always get in first
Then have to unload all the cases
And so to all the riders here
We've achieved something special it's true
To friendships made and the laughs we've had
I raise my glass to you.
But we couldn't have done this on our own
So again I raise my glass
To give a toast to Mike and Team
For making this a blast.
Mike Munk thinks that he's in charge
We know that's not the case
But Barb just goes along with this
So that she can save Mike face.
Mike likes hitting balls in fields
and taking photo's too
If your case weighs more than 35 pounds
Barb will be gunning for you.
The staff do a fantastic job
Pandering to our every whim
and if you need your cycle fixed
You'll be met with a big smile by Jim.
Karen is in charge of SAG
And supplies the foods to burn
She fixes flats and does route rap
She knows every twist and turn
Jeff's been known to tell a fib
I recall before Rushmore day
He said the road that went to SAG
Was easy all the way.
Debbie seems to get dirt lots
Without any facilities
She doesn't mind, she always smiles
At least I can find a tree.
So now we're nearly at the end
I can't believe we're here
That gives me cause to celebrate
I think I need a beer.
Tomorrow we go to the beach
Escorted by the police
Back to friends and family
Normal life is within reach.
The emotion of tomorrow's ride
Has nearly got me choking
You ask would I do something like this again?
You must be bloody joking!
This poem is copyright. You can print it off to your hearts content but if you want to publish it anywhere at all, please make a small donation to my charity.