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Published: June 24th 2022
"What time do they arrive?" I asked . It was a lovely warm June morning and my thoughts had been around the fact that the month was halfway through. We were racing headlong to the longest day when it would be halfway through the year . The days would remain constant for a few weeks before they slowly would start to draw in. July was just around the corner . We still have two months of Summer left so best enjoy it whilst we can . " What are you doing ?" I asked . I had reached the main road and had seen the signs for a cycle race . There was a gazebo set up on the corner with much activity going on beneath it . I was told the bicycle riders would be starting to come through at around 8.45 to 9am which gave me ample time to walk up the main road and out of their way . The cars were being emptied of crates full of water bottles . These were being laid out at the feeding station to provide refreshments for the riders on the Triathlon. They were setting out from nearby Malpas area on
the first part of the race and would be coming through in dribs and drabs .
My walk took me not on the wild side but along the main road . There were few cars on the road which would have been a godsend for the riders . I knew I would get out of their way as I had planned to come back along the quiet backroads . A walk of an hour just me and my thoughts . I did not envy the riders . It was going to be a hot day and they would be riding quite a few miles along the main roads to Whitchurch . They would then continue the race by running and swimming in the local lake . Plenty of opportunities along the way for spectators . Yet there were none .
I stopped here and there and took a photo of the clouds , the flowers I saw along the way and pondered on the by elections coming up . Honiton a blue constituency with a massive majority . Given the current crisis in the Tory party and the state of the economy I wondered who would win that
one . By elections are notorious for going the opposite way to what you imagine they will go . A mid term crisis . The sun was blazing down and it was barely 8.30. Should I continue walking the way I was heading ? Under the railway bridge or go along the old line . The farmer had locked his gate . But he had left a gap . A gap just large enough for me to climb through . I prefer this walk as i never see a soul. I have the railway line to myself .
At the other end as I climbed down the embankment I started to see the riders whizz by. One at a time or two together . It seemed obvious they were being timed rather than going out all at the same time . All those riders on the road at the same time would have caused havoc . Some waved to me . Others shouted hello . There were those who did not even acknowledge me . I continued to walk taking the odd photograph of them passing me by . Rather them than me I thought .
I arrived back at my starting point . The group at the feeding station had been busy whilst I had been walking . The children were playing or sitting around under the gazebo. They had erected a portable toilet stop and also put up an umbrella to protect them from the increasingly hot sun . "How long will you stay here today ?" I enquired . The last rider would go through our village around 5pm . The leading group would be at Alderford Lakes were they swam and ran . Many would finish by lunchtime . Others mid afternoon . The feeding station attendants would clear up , move to the lake and then finish the night off at 11 pm .
I stayed for a while and watched the riders through . I envied them and their stamina . I hoped they all finished the course . And again I thought Nothing goes on in Wrexham does it ?
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