Golden times 

On an afternoon in early 0ctober 2016, I was having lunch with my friends, George and Adrian when we came up with the idea of travelling to see one of cycling’s spring classics. We usually enjoy a ride together to coincide with the classics, the gather in the pub to watch the race, but venturing to mainland Europe to see one in person was new territory for me. By the time we’d emptied our plates the idea was gathering steam, so I booked a table in Blackfriars for that evening where we could have a planning session.

Later, gathered around a table by the window, we checked our calendars and quickly decided upon travelling to Maastricht for the weekend of the Amstel Gold Race. As quickly as the beers flowed that night, Operation: Amstel took shape.

I took an unlikely organisational role, setting up the Trello board and filling it with to-do’s and ideas as they came to mind, George booked the appropriate flights, and Adrian found us quality bars to visit and a place to stay on Air B&B in the days that followed.

In fact, the whole thing came together so quickly and was so far ahead of us that, over the winter, it was easy to forget that we’d be kicking off the spring in style.

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Back in the USA!

After a slog of a journey that began far too early on Monday morning, Elisha and I arrived at the Days Inn, Chicago around 18 hours later. I seem to be a bad luck magnet on my trips to the ‘states and a combination of flight delays meant dealing with rush hour traffic during our drive from the airport. Stressful after barely any sleep, but we got here in the end.

Today’s plan is to see a bit of Chicago before we drive down to Indianapolis. We had intended on visiting the children’s museum, but the weather is way too good for indoor activities so I think we will go to Millennium Park and find a skate park.

Sleepless in Philadelphia

At the tail end of May I made my fifth visit to my mutually adopted family and friends in Indianapolis and it proved to be one of the best yet. After last year’s brief trip where I was only in town for a couple of days it was good to be back for a full week to soak up everything that’s great about race week in Indy.

I should have been there for a day longer, too, but the President visited Philadelphia right when my connecting flight to Indianapolis was due to take off, so they told us to get off the plane as we would be held up for an hour. This was disappointing, as the flight from Glasgow to Philly had been a breeze and I’d made it through security so fast that I could actually have made an earlier flight to Indy. There was certainly space on that plane, but the staff told me I couldn’t get on it because I had to fly with my luggage. It would later transpire that this was a rule with a considerable amount of bend in it.

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