Flights, Strikes and Nerves

In a startling return to the 1970’s we’ve got a broke economy, hideous music industry (the X-factory product Joe is surely a new low) and vicious industrial relations disputes. Thierry Sabine ran away to the desert in 1976 and invented the Dakar Rallye – good plan.

Until BA’s (poverty stricken on 56k a year) cabin staff decide to go on a 12 day strike. On the 27th December I was planning to fly from Edinburgh to Heathrow, then Heathrow to Buenos Aires – all on BA! Duncan Tweedy has been a star and lined up some alternative flights but they’ll cost £1300 and while the Unions and BA battle things out in court and boardroom we have no idea whether our flights will happen or not. At some point we’ll just have to take a deep breath and decide which flights to go for (and I’ll need to find a new way to get to London).

Five years of building up to this race and all the stress, training and cash expended  – there’s simply no option. If we have to swim to BA (that’s the capital of Argentina – not the soon to be insolvent airline), at least it will be good training. Fly the Flag…..

Strangely I’m not worried about the Rally now. I’m completely freaked about all the logistical nightmares that can intervene before the start. Do I have all the right paperwork? Have I got/can I get all the safety kit? My FIM race licence has still to come through but at least I now have the required Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. Will my funds hold out?

Scrutineering and administration time for me is 9 am on 30 December. I kind of hope I can get that all done in one day and have the 31 December to chill out – we shall see.

Once the race starts on the afternoon of 1 January, assuming I make it to the start, the riding bit will seem easy by comparison….

….always going to be another mountain……


Have fun


Some photos taken by Graeme Warren while mountain biking at Innerleithen on a glorious day last Saturday – sometimes the training is fun too – he takes great photos see

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and some more photos from Le Harve showing bikes all crated up for the boat trip – and the thing I don’t want to see – the sweeper truck…!

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