At 6.45am this morning I was sitting in a cold marquee waiting for lots of men (and a very small number of ladies) in lycra. It was the Kent Cyclo Sportive – an event to raise money for charity which involves around 800 people cycling 50 or 100 miles around the countryside. Last year I cycled and loved it. This year, funnily enough, I couldn’t get the training in so I offered to help instead. I was allocated sign on duties.
It all started off in a rather boring manner…
‘Good morning, what’s your name? Could you read the waiver and sign against your name you understand? Just here? That’s it. And here’s your pack with your timer and number to put on your handle bars. Have a good ride!’ All accompanied by a cheerful slightly forced smile.
I was bored, they were bored, so I changed the patter somewhat…
‘Good morning, do you have a name? And what a lovely name that is. Could you have a little look at this? *pointing at waiver* Sorry, we did have two but someone liked it so much they stole it (and really, they had). Happy? Lovely. Could you sign against your name to confirm that you are a very happy bunny? Wonderful. And here’s your pack. Put your thingy on your whatsit and you’re ready to go.’
Conversations were started, daftness occurred. Far more fun. I feel a bit bad about the bloke who asked where the toilets were. I told him there weren’t any and that he had to cross his legs. Bless him, he walked away looking slightly panicked and I had to run after him to point him in the right direction (well, I didn’t think he’d believe me!).
The most entertaining part though, was when the ladies the table next to me (and we’re talking 60 plus, not early teens here) almost slipped of their chairs in hysterics. The reason? We’d already noted that the tables were at a slightly unfortunate height. The sort of height where, should a grown man stand the other side, his bits and pieces would be peering over the top. Should the man be wearing lycra you almost had to look. A man had just signed on at their table with, we could only assume, had a lot of padding integrated into his shorts. This had made them smirk somewhat but then they’d asked his name…you couldn’t make it up….the gentleman in question was called Mr Allcock.