Being the Mayor means getting invited to a whole heap of civic things. This time it was a VIP breakfast before the start of Stage 6 of the Tour of Britain in Frome. Well, as the Cycling Mayor, I could hardly turn that one down, now could I?! Even if it did mean not cycling down with the ACG to watch it – duty calls and all that, right? *grin*. I took Dad as my Consort, figuring that I’d never live it down if I went without him 😉
I wore my long sleeved custom cycling jersey, over smart trousers and killer heels, with the “Bling” over the top – which went down really well. Breakfast was lovely, but that really wasn’t the point… We headed out into the sunshine – it was a truly gorgeous morning – and wandered around the gathering spectators. After picking up a few freebies, we spotted the VIP area – a fenced off area right by the start line – which it turned out we were entitled to be in. Result! Not only did that get us a great uncrowded view, but there was also a large catering trailer with a covered upper deck to it so that you could watch from up above. Very cool 🙂
Nearly as cool as the fact that various of the cyclists and their drool-worthy machines wandered in and out, nonchalantly parking up for coffee, and generally looking way more relaxed than I would have thought they’d be. Talk about bike envy! I was a bit reluctant to just go up and talk to them but I did get my photo taken with a certain Russell Browning – which was a tad groupie ish but hey… He wasn’t chatty, but at least he was obliging enough to stand still for 2 minutes and to smile 🙂
All the teams, vans, extra bikes, etc all arrived a bit after 10.00am for signing up. A few of ’em got lost and they had to delay the start a little, but with remarkably little apparent effort, there they were all – ready to go. There was a real sense of atmosphere. Lots of press, commentary, sunshine, school kids waving flags…a final countdown (guess the music playing…) and that was it – off they went! It was fab to watch all that colourful lycra going past and heading off. I felt kinda jealous! Mind you, I think they’d have dropped me quite early on…*grin*. I followed the race online for the rest of the day, and Russell came in third – which was quite clearly due to my Mayoral influence… 😉
As perks of the job go – this one was the best ever!