Wisely, I opted to wear my overcoat (from Ireland) rather than just a hoody, or maybe I could have died. You never know.
Mind you, there were about a thousand cyclists wearing various combinations of very little, unless you include Lycra, of which there was a mind-numbing amount.
Maybe it's because I'm not involved in the sport, but I do struggle to understand the attraction of all this skin tight shiny madness. I understand the reasoning behind the shaved legs (I've been told, so I know) and I understand the padded underside (I get sore on even a short ride) and I guess I understand that baggy clothing would cause more drag, but... it's all a little much to comprehend when you put it all together.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, it was so very cold. So so very cold that I felt like every one of my muscles was clenched together causing everything to get stiff and sore and OMG how much longer ????
Kurt looking positive and excited despite the conditions
Moving on from Lycra, the next thing I don't understand is why you have to turn up for an event 2 hours before it's actually going to start. We arrived just after five, and "kick-off" wasn't until seven. Apparently you "had" to be there by six or else, but nothing magically happened at six. Nobody said "that's it, folks! If you're not here, stay out, the gates are closing".
And I'm not saying that Kurt made it up - not at all, it said so on the website. It said be there, or just don't come, or something like that, and one of Kurt's Very Experienced Cycling Friends said "I'll be there at five" and that just compounded the urgency of we must, or we will miss out.
Folks, I don't think we would have missed out. Even I, the wise one, thought that we left at a sensible time, given the website's Decree, and the friend's Opinion.
Also, given that there were no gates, it was a bit of a free for all. One of Kurt's cycling mates turned up, telling me "oh, I'm not doing the ride, I'm just going to join in for the first twenty k or so". Okaaay then. And the organisers didn't seem to mind. Which begs the question, if anyone could turn up, and at any time, why, o why, did we have to be there so early when it was so bloody cold???!!!
My lovely husband wisely chose to wear sweatpants and a hoody over his sexy lycra, which made him somewhat warmer, although the bare feet and thongs (flip-flops, people, keep your minds out of the gutter) rather spoilt the "keeping warm" effect. He did elect to wear socks for the ride, thank goodness.
Unfortunately, having pondered the meaning of life for the last few days, he decided to pack his leg-warmers and arm-warmers and wind-breaker and gloves into his bag for day 2 (forecast to be colder) which was then packed onto a coach to be delivered to where they camp tonight. We didn't realise just how cold it was going to be this morning. Did I mention how cold it actually was?
Okay, it probably wasn't colder than about seven degrees, but that's pretty cold, for two hours, especially (and I can't complain, I had an overcoat, like I said) when you have to strip down to 100% lycra short-sleeved cycling jersey and knicks. Maybe the socks helped?
Someone told Kurt that the RTCC was super super organised. They're so organised, Someone said, so much more organised than other rides.
For instance, when dropping the bag off, all of the trucks had coloured dots on them. All you have to do is match the dot on your wrist band to the dot on the truck, and voila! See? We're organised. Except that Kurt's wrist band had three dots on it. Pink, green and black, and there was a pink truck, and a black truck (I guess the green truck didn't make it?) and he was in Tent Zone C and oh dear, the purple truck said Zone C on it... Eventually we went with the purple truck, for want of a better idea - at least he knows which truck it's in ! (This issue came up again at the start line, where you were directed into Zones to start - blue, black or pink. Whoopsie, same issue, folks!
After breakfast (supplied by the Ride, which was nice) Kurt had to go down to his Zone for start, and I went and stood on the nearby roundabout to watch him go past. Half an hour later after interminable talking (did they not know it was cold?) they were off. I tried to take a picture but was unable to distinguish him amongst the hoard of lycra-clad helmet-wearing blue-jerseyed cyclists.
They were through at 07:02, at 09:14 he messaged at the 40k mark, and at 11:11 after 66k he stopped for lunch... so I presume it won't be too much longer until day 1 is complete!
And then he has to camp in the very-very cold - I do hope he is warm enough with the stuff he brought. And I went home to eat leftover Chinese Takeaway for breakfast, feed Lily and then go back to bed :)
Tomorrow, another 100k to the Finish Line, where hopefully I will be waving and cheering him on :)