Last laps

Photo: A rare sight. A post ride beer. David, Colin, Armando & Mike.

We’re packed and ready to go. At 22:00 this evening we’re heading for Italy. With Covid and Brexit uncertainty we don’t know when we’ll be back. We hope to be back in September to ride the postponed Giro di Muscoli, but if not we might not be back until 2021. Who knows.

The uncertainty justified two valedictory rides. Sunday with Armando, David and Mike. A 140km ride through the Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire countryside on a warm day. As we’re normally in Italy in the summer I only get to ride these lanes in the winter. I’ve often said I’d like to ride them in the summer. A gift from Covid-19.

The beer afterwards reminded us all of a bygone age. It seems so long ago since we were able to enjoy post ride chat and a pint.

The second valedictory was my final food bank collection run. I posted that it would be my last for some time and offered to buy a round in the same pub as the day before, The Gatehouse in Highgate. Gino stepped up to be my outrider and Alessandro, Cliff and Dave dropped by for a drink.

Ironically the barman was Italian so my return to the language was hastened as we and Alessandro chatted in Italian. We represented the Italian flag as Alessandro is from Piacenza (green), we live in Marche (white) and the barman is from Sicily (red). Il tricolore.

A cargo bike full of vegetables and a pint. My last ride in the UK until… who knows?

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