Are you getting tired already of all the cycling related stuff on this blog? No? Great, because there is even more to report. I'd like to finish the cycling week with an interview with brian palmer, the brains behind the ride of the falling rain, formerly known as the Gran Fondo d'Ardbeg. The interview wasn't my idea but Lynda Henderson's from For Argyll. The Ride of the Falling Rain won a forargyll award in the category best event in 2008, reason for Lynda to interview brian for the feature article on their website. The title of the article is "Ride Islay, Ride a century, Ride Social, Ride Rain". A quote from the interview:
Last year there were 40 riders. This year there'll be more. They come from everywhere. Brian Palmer, whose inspiration it was, back in the 'nineties, says that the Ride: 'â€¦has quite a prominent position in the psyche of world cycling, mainly because through no fault of our own, we are remarkably well connected with people higher up the food chain'. This year is to see an entrant from Alaska. And no. It's not Sarah Palin, even though she's just become free to do it. Continue reading......
The logistics must be awesome. Sorry? Logistics? This is Islay. The ever-cool Palmer shrugs off the very notion: 'We try very, very hard to do as little organising as possible, verging on none at all, so aside from me sending out updates every so often and producing the illustrated map, that's about it'. Yes, butâ€¦ Well, OK. There is more, 'Make sure Debbie opens half an hour before the start, that Ardbeg have enough whisky on hand for a free dram at the old kiln. Oh and we give Francois numbers to have a munch at Port Mor in the evening'. Like we said, this is Islay - full of invention, heart in the right place, priorities in the yellow jersey, stamina for the long haul and no hassle.
Riders in the event stay in touch with the Velo Club dâ€™Ardbeg. Do they stay in touch with each other. Probably. Palmer hasnâ€™t a clue. This is Islay. What happens, happens. Whatever - theyll be back. Of the personal highs and lows in his experience of the event,Palmer needs no time for reflection: â€˜Managing 100 miles in the rain. Thatâ€™s enough highs and lows for anyoneâ€™. And of his own relationship to cycling? â€˜When I moved to Islay, I didnâ€™t own a car so I cycled everywhere. iâ€™ve now come out the other end of child enforced car ownership and am back to being carless again. On an island of the size of islay, itâ€™s quite easy to be a cyclist. itâ€™s character building and allows you to be very smug with little reproachâ€™.
Make sure to read the full article, it's great.
The Velo Club d'Ardbeg members in their Welcome to Great Coffee Jerseys