About Me

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Wife (to Shaun), Mother (to Danni), Dog walker of Archie the JRX, improving cyclist, reformed gym bunny, broken runner Collector of exercise DVDs & equipment. Cake is my weakness together with cider (Westons only thanks)and brandy. Noisy spectator of running & cycling events. Owner of Tribby the campervan

Sunday, 19 April 2015

A Big Adventure

Last weekend we spent the weekend away in Tribby - our annual pilgrimage to Roubaix for the Hell of the North bike race - Paris Roubaix.    For the last 2 years we've had the comfort of staying in a hotel, but now we have Tribby we were really keen to head away from the finish at the velodrome in Roubaix and spectate on a cobble sector (or pave).

Before we left there was the small business of picking up my birthday present - a brand new Specialized Dolce Triple,

 which was then stored away carefully in the man cave until we returned on Monday!

On the Friday, having dropped the dog off at my parents, we drove to Dover for our overnight stop before crossing over to Dunkirk on Saturday morning.   We stayed at a lovely site not far from the port in Martin Mill called Hawthorn Farm , lovely big pitch with electric and very clean facilities which we used instead of using our own - why not it's all included in the pitch price!

The next morning we headed to the port for our crossing, parked on the ferry and headed for the first class lounge - oh how I love the first class lounge!   Piece and quiet for a couple of hours and endless cups of tea and coffee and snacks and a selection of newspapers to read.   There's supposed to be free WiFi but I've yet to work out where the best place to sit in the lounge is.   An uneventful crossing and 2 hours later we were on the road to our weekend spot in Rumegies at a lovely site called Camping Le Petit Clos .

When we arrived at the site we had a choice of pitches - all on grass (or mud in one case) with electric hook up and water serving each pitch.   We chose the smallest one !

Our home for the next 2 nights!   It was very peaceful and the dawn chorus the next morning was lovely!

Sunday morning we were up early to drive to Beuvry La Foret where we'd decided to watch the cyclists come through Sector 14.   First of all we parked up on the kerb but whilst I was cooking breakfast the Gendarmes asked us to move as we were in the wrong place!

Before breakfast we went for a wander towards the start of the sector

Those cobbles kill your feet walking up them!   Breakfast consumed and Tribby moved to a safe parking spot we packed our snack bag and headed for our spectating spot

One thing we've missed the last two years is the passing of the event partners with all their freebies - we managed quite a stash for our first year on the course including two new baseball caps and a drawstring bag.

After the cavalcade the junior teams cycled through - a good warm up to the pros cycling past.

 After the excitement of the cavalcade and the junior race there only remained the passing through of the pro peleton.

Bradley Wiggins
Geraint Thomas

It's really hard to convey the excitement of the peleton cycling through and the team cars thundering past trying to keep up with them!   The noise is phenomenal, even from the bikes and the shouts from the cyclists when they hit a bad patch of pave or shouting instructions to team mates.   Watching the riders is always exciting and being on the pave was as good as sitting at the velodrome.   We had no idea who won until we got on the boat the next day.

Being on the course meant I could pick up a souvenir (no, not a cobble - although tempting for next time)

The only other excitement was witnessing migrants being removed from the back of a lorry in a service station on the way back to Dunkirk on Monday!

An absolutely brilliant weekend as usual - can't wait to do it all again.

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