Amazing things are happening Chez Fiasco. Some fantastic contributions to this site have rekindled memories and reminded us of the club’s bedrock, telling the story to where we are now and directing us forward. And we seem to take giant strides every passing week.
Firstly, we are a club now; we have subscribed members, a constitution, a movement. We are increasingly recognized thanks to our distinctive livery and we are being filmed on our regular Saturday run out into the hills.
Secondly, but primarily amongst the membership, the Etape du Tour is looming and this is the riding goal most of us are currently aiming for. All of us have found our own little training goals, tactics and ideas to manage the day itself. Some, we are keeping to ourselves, the rest is obvious for others to see on the bike. In the peloton there are many discussions on the right ways and the wrong ways but it does not matter as we are all approaching it individually based on previous experience, advice and what we are reading, whilst also venturing into the unknown.
One thing is for sure, we are all keeping a close eye on each other and it’s impossible for a Fiascan to defecate without it being logged on Strava or the IM Board for all to see. Consequently the competitive tension is now at fever pitch; there are the duels (Junior and Bomber), the chuntering (Junior), incredulous claims against Strava’s accuracy (Junior) and the excuses (Junior’s laptop).
Barhatch, Combe Lane, Blackdown and 5 Licks are all alluring in their own right and are the marquee segments amongst the Fiascii. Who does not race to the leaderboards after each crack at them? We have all had that magic moment when you lead the Fiasco board but also know that within 24 hours the Blonde Bombshell will have mounted The Rack and shot down your achievement with apparent ease in a targeted attack. He is that man who watches you defecate.
This bantz will continue well into the event itself. Who will be allocated into which pen? Who will be sneaking into a forward pen (Junior)? I for one will be waiting for the Bomber to cruise past, having latched onto a like-minded Castelli-clad Canyon Train. What if you spot a fellow Fiascii dealing with their second puncture? Do you stop or do you snigger? Which one of us will be bang on form and upset the book? Who will win?
The tension is healthy and it has manifested itself in everyone getting faster, fitter and able to ride further. The improvement is visible in everyone and we will all be ready on 10th July, there is little doubt. We will all win.
Next Week: Confirmed Itinerary and Bike Packing Instructions.