I was supping Madeira wine in Madeira when I looked up and saw this:
A full moon now sparks one thought: FNRttC.
I could have done it you know, I could have done it. I could have dropped off my luggage at friends in Brighton beforehand, done the last FNRttC of the season and celebrated Simon getting a London Cycling Campaign award. Then I could have gone round to the friends, swapped bike for luggage and made my way to Gatwick to catch a 1PM flight to Madeira. Plenty of time!!
But of course that would run the risk of a FNRttC ban 2011-2013. Imagine, a holiday, postponed multiple times because of an 'imminent' knee op and several consultations, a vacation you both desperately need, and especially together, you come in from work on a Friday evening and you tell your partner: "I'm off for a night ride and I'll meet you at the airport tomorrow. Don't worry, I can sleep on the plane." No, that would not be right.
Anyway, this gave me an opportunity to be an armchair FNRttC'er.
So, we were sitting on a terrace on the Saturday evening, when I noticed the outdoor wifi hotspots everywhere. The sight of the moon had already made me wonder how it would have gone this time: rain? not too cold? many punctures? any severe mechanicals? how did the newbies get on? would Simon's health and safety routine have been the best ever? did StuAff come off his bike? any pictures up? .... I was quietly going to do a little browsing.
It didn't take long for Sarah to cotton on: "Are you reading about FNRttC or something?". Darn, I shouldn't have pointed out the moon! "Oh, just checking, 5 mins ...." Sarah would carry on chatting on and off. And I would make sure I gave her all my attention. Wasn't good enough though, she still ended up saying: "Am I disturbing you?".
Then I nearly fell off my chair when I realised how I had missed a trick!! The Madeira Cafe!! What a lovely tenuous link! Me raising a glass in Madeira while the FNRttC'ers would have raised a glass in the Madeira Cafe, and that under the same full moon. Now I can feel part of it.
I love tenuous links. I was reading Rob Penn's book: "It's all about the bike". Rob's dream bike needed only one compromise. He could not get a 32-spoke rear cassette hub from Royce and had to settle for a 28-spoke hub. The reason? The maker, Cliff Polton, was on a beekeeping course and therefore no hubs would be made for several weeks. Marvellous!! Sounds like an intensive commercial beekeeping course abroad to me.
And here comes the next tenuous link: from bees back to Madeira
At Mercades dos Lavradoros
At front of concert hall
At back of concert hall