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Published: February 14th 2016
For those of you that have read our travel blogs you know we normally sign off with the final word. Leading up to the event I did not fully appreciate the enormity of my undertaking, nor the life changing experience that it would become.
I am sure I have done the best I can with this blog but it is extremely difficult to explain to people who haven’t completed the RAB what it is like inside the bubble and I do not have the literary skills to do it justice but I hope I have conveyed to you some of the experience. Not all of the event was pain and suffering, in Ludlow I laughed so hard I had tears rolling down my face, whilst in pain using a foam roller to massage my IT bands but the jokes wouldn’t mean anything to people that weren’t there, the fellow riders who I was laughing with didn’t know me and I didn’t know them but it wasn’t important.
People make this event, from the organisers, staff and participants this is the RAB as much as it is the journey. Paula, Tony, Simon, Dave and Rob were a few of the
names I learned, others I didn’t but we shared time on the road, the owner of a restaurant in Berkhamsted and the girl from St Alban Velos and the girls from Barton in the Beans were some of the many people I rode with or spent time with over the nine days.
I am personally very proud to now call myself a RAB’er and it’s an exclusive club, we think of ourselves as special. At the airport for the flights home and whilst waiting for luggage the sight of the wrist band that some people could not bear to take off and the coloured cable ties and numbers on bags were our badges of honour. We would catch each other’s eye and have a knowing nod. At the end of the event I said to Meg “if I ever say I am going to do this again shoot me in the head”, and I meant it at the time but in the two weeks since then I have downgraded this to a slap round the face. I can see why people go back again and again. Daddy Mack loved a quote, and at each nightly briefing we would get
two or three so I think I will sign off the same way.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
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