Thursday, 31 August 2017

Day 2: Denver CO - Kearney NE

If you were, like me, OCD enough to watch ITV4's full live coverage of every stage of the Tour de France this year, you would have recognised a pattern in the flatter stages of the race, viz.

  1. TV's Gary Imlach, Nice Chris Boardman, *** Boulting and Super Dave Millar start proceedings with some dodgy jokes.
  2. *** and Super D do a spot of commentary before handing over to Matt Smith and his hostage guest in  a broom cupboard in That London, while they themselves clear off for an extended lunch break.
  3. *** and Super D come back from lunch smelling strongly of Drink and utterly fail to show any evidence of being interested in the day's futile breakaway, even if it's got housewives' favourite Petit Tommy Voeckler in it.
  4. Nice C pokes his head round the door and makes some more dodgy jokes with ***, while Super D sulks.
  5. Bethany (7) will make a perspicacious comment on the likely outcome of the stage*.
  6. Marcel Kitteh Kittel wins it.
Today was a bit like that, only without *** and Super D, or M Kitteh, or Bethany (7), or the strong drink, or...  Well, OK, it was flat. Because if you are foolish enough to head east from Denver, instead of running smack into the Majestic Rockies soaring skywards like big soary things, you will find yourself going imperceptibly downhill until you get wet, because you have driven into the Mighty Missouri.  About 500 miles away.  Here is what some of eastern Colorado looks like:

The big road is US-36, and a bit later on, in Kansas, had a Lightning F-40.  On it.  Unfortunately it was going the other way so with a relative velocity of about 90 mph I could not get a picture.  So instead I got a picture of Thomas, whose world travels with a Lady of Letters have clearly had an influence:
"Makes a change from hanging around the bins", noted Thomas approvingly
That was in Joes CO, but northwest Kansas and southern Nebraska are similar, which is to say dead rural and having terrain varying from "mildly lumpy" to "Fenlandic".  It was, however, a sight more interesting than covering the distance on I-76 and I-80.

Those whose memories stretch back e'en afore the inception of the Automatic Diary may have realised that it is ten years almost to the day since a combination of sleep deprivation and caffeine tablets led your humble author to proclaim himself Mayor of Mortagne au Perche.  Thus it was most appropriate that on the doormat of Larrington Towers on Tuesday I found this:
Sorry about the slightly ropy image quality - I think the camera autofocussed on the wrong thing, but big ups to Lindsay Clayton and Chris Smith for finding same and posting it just in time for it to become yet another barely-explicable in-joke.

* Bethany (7) is actually real, but her only genuine contribution to the Tour this year was to request that The Man not disqualify Crazy P Sagan.  Anything else credited to Bethany (7), and Bethany (7)'s Mum, and Bethany (7)'s friend 5, and 5's Mum Syrah, and Bethany (7)'s hippy grandmother, and Bethany (7)'s Cool Uncle Joe, and any relationship between Bethany (7)'s Mum and Warren Barguil, is entirely fictional.  Sorry if this disappoints.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Day 1: Fort Larrington - Denver CO

Today it rained, at least around Fort Larrington.  Not to Houstonian standards though; I'm really rather glad the honest burghers of YACF talked me out of going there this year.  They're still digging up many, many roads between Fort Larrington and Thiefrow, mind, which meant I was treated to a round-the-lanes detour to places I've never seen before in spite of the Fort having been in the family for more than forty years.  And it was a manky Toyota hybrid, not the Mercedes to which I have become accustomed.  Bah!

The good news is I managed to bag a seat twenty row for'ard of the one BA tried to give me, and with the extra leg room you get from being at the front on the bus cabin.  The bad news is the couple next to me had a small and noisy child much prone to shrieking.  In French.  We Larringtons are made of sterner Stuffs these days, even though I can no longer render myself unconscious with Strong Drink, and I did actually manage to get some kip.

Unfastening seatbelt to sparking up first fag: 55 minutes.  Standards are slipping, in spite of what we've been told about He Who Must Not Be Named in the Awful Office.  And Nice Man Victor at Avis actually has a convertible for me.  But he, like all car rental type is an Imp of Stan.  And I succumbed to his insidious temptations and general evil, so instead of the standard 3.7L V6 Mustang I have the 5.0L V8 version.  If the Internets are to be believed, this has 435 horsepowers.  Which is quite a lot.  Hurrah!  And guess who else is pleased?

It's a trap!  There's two of them!
The original 2D Thomas - the one who toured Leftpondia with me last year before visiting Captain Cook's Mistake with Professor Larrington - is on the left.  I think he must have shrunk in transit or something.

More Stuffs tomorrow, Stuffs fans, as I head for Places I Just Missed Visiting On Previous Trips Because I Didn't Know They Were There.  Not, I grant you, the snappiest theme, but you get what you pay for, right?