Yet another gorgeous day on the Costa del Dorset and our first point of interest on the Sunday family ride was the church depicted in Moonfleet – the smuggling tale I think most of us read at school. I certainly did. I can still picture the cover, seems like yesterday, or perhaps the day before.
Getting a kettle installed in the Palace of Westminster is a big ask of either the antiquated wiring, the modern procedures, or both. Whatever the reason, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson now appears to be in the home straight when it comes to getting a cup of tea into the office without running the risk of spilling it. Winner of 11 paralympic gold medals in successive games, Dame Tanni was appointed as a crossbench ‘People’s Peer’ in March last year.
We’re both early for the APPCG meeting entitled ‘Disablity cycling – how to increase participation’; Tanni’s the speaker. Resting on the green leather bench outside room five I’m glad of the chat, calming my nerves after having barged in on the Coastguard ten minutes earlier.
Westminster Palace is so popular with visitors this afternoon some of the attendees are stuck in a long queue for the security check. Luckily I’d been fast tracked and given a guide to pilot me round the circuitous step free route to the committee corridor – shortcuts for which Tanni, over several months, has now got memorised. Anyway, the rooms are in constant use so Co-Chair Julian Huppert, MP for cycle friendly Cambridge, makes a start and introduces the Baroness.
It seems such a long time ago now – pre-winter – before temperatures were all prefaced by a minus sign and we kept the beer in the fridge rather than the microwave. In fact, it’s been a while since I reported on anything in the world of inclusive cycling, but I seem to be getting back into the saddle now, so on with the
Milling around outside The Forum we attracted a number of people interested in the cycles. Tom who works in the building services department there came out for a chat. He’s touring the coast of Britain on a part time basis, picking the route up again at Thurso at the next opportunity.
We were able to introduce him to Chris of the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind. The NNAB’s cycling outings have tailed off recently because they’re down to their last tandem pilot, something Tom has been thinking of volunteering for – serendipity strikes again!
What a cracking day for a bike ride! Seven of us assembled at the front of the youth hostel on Saturday morning, five had arrived the day before, Mai Ling came out on the train to meet us, and Jim, ever the canny accountant, made the most of his travel card to get part way out of London by train, riding the rest of the way.
Only one trike out – Ruth’s new Mission Space Genie – Lee Valley Park proving to be a good traffic free area to get more familiar with it. Unfortunately, the ensuing logistics of an aborted camping trip the previous week left nobby and myself arriving by car with Brigitte and folders rather than by recumbent trike. Roger (not pictured – on another lap of the park!) also arrived on Friday afternoon having ridden all the way from central London.