Booking my spot

I got so carried away with penning a Facebook piece to announce my entry into PBP, that I lost track of time and almost forgot to actually register. OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration – but I was unusually late getting to the web page.

The problem was that, true to usual form, I’d got to my PC way too early. The Asparagus & Strawberries 400km gave me the ability to pre-register on 10th May 2015. To be precise, at 00:01 as the clock turned over into Sunday. But I’d been sat at my PC since Yoli had turned in for the night, sometime after ten. Having dealt with a few work emails, caught up on Facebook, surfed the web a bit, there was still more than half an hour to go until midnight. And out of nowhere the muse struck. The crazy journey of the last three and a half years rushed through my mind and the words began to flow. I just had to get them down before they vanished again.

The clock was reading 00:03 as I saved the first draft – actually the only draft, since apart from correcting some typos I didn’t go back and change a word. It was all rather presumptuous really, writing my announcement down before I’d even logged on and managed to reserve a place. Somehow though, the nerves had gone though. For the first time in the last couple of weeks, as I waited for the web page to load, I wasn’t remotely nervous about whether I would get a place. The running tally which other riders had been posting on occasion to YACF and Facebook indicated that perhaps 2,500 places had already been bagged in the two earlier waves (for those with 1,000km and 600km pre-qualifiers). With around 4,000 actual riding spots still unclaimed the concern hadn’t been so much on the event filling up, but whether there was a cap on the number of pre-registration spots which would kick in before I got my chance. Nothing had changed in that respect, except for the fact that the moment was now here – the wait and worry were over, and whether I got a place would be answered soon.

Very soon in fact, it took longer to read the web page and decide what start time to go for than it did to actually enter my details in the form and click “Pay“. Two emails arrived almost simultaneously: one confirming that 30 Euros had left my account; and the other confirming my place with a nice PDF attached showing my details and start time.

I didn’t check the clock, but it can’t have been much past 00:10 and the task was done. I sat there a little dazed. A mad thought that struck me back in December 2011 had suddenly become a significant step nearer. I hit “Post” on my Facebook entry and went to bed, hoping that Yoli might still be awake to share in my excitement. I’d booked my spot in the oldest bike ride in the world.


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