Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Pemberton, I love you, but you're bringing me down
To Pemberton where I spent my weekend watching a load of very skinny boys ride past me very fast on very expensive bikes. To my slight surprise it was great fun (and not only the bit where I got to legitimately spend a day staring at one of my favourite things in the world: skinny boys). It has, however, put me off my One Day plans to watch a stage of the Tour de France because, without the commentators to explain what's happening, it is, to put it mildly, fucking hard to work out what's going on.
My spectator chum, Marnie, and I spent several hours curled up on a handy park bench in what we thought would be an advantageous spot to watch the race. We were half way up a big hill so we got to see the riders dying on their arses on the way up and then moving scary fast on the way down. In between the laps when we saw nobody I re-read Madame Bovary and she read something on her e-reader, shivering in the freezing cold. (And damnit if don't now kinda want an e-reader, having spent so long railing against them).
Anyway, it was all fine when the riders went off in their respective groups at the start but by the time they came around for Lap 2 we had no idea whether the lone riders were completely shit stragglers or amazing riders who had pulled off a one-man breakaway. Should we have clapped or averted our gazes politely? We chose the latter. Adding to the, er, fun, was that several riders got completely lost and would ride by at random times, looking confused. To top it all we managed to miss the finish and didn't realise the race was over until someone cycled up to tell us so. Brilliant.
The best/worst bit of the weekend, though, was our motel - which I won't name here lest I manage to defame ten types of hell out of them.
Clearly I am a massive snob - I must be, I've never stayed in a motel. But the weirdness started with the man at reception ("Just don't leave any sugar out, or the ants will come") and ended with the cleaning lady who performed her duties while wheeling a wheelbarrow. No, I don't know either. Adding insult to injury was that when we went out for breakfast at the Lavender Farm (exactly like it sounds) the next day we discovered they rent out some darling wee cottages with a view of the lake and, yes, the lavender. Opportunity missed.
I guess what I'm saying is that I am already planning my return trip to Pemberton for the Pemberton Classic road race next year. But this time I plan to book ahead at the Lavender Farm. And possibly bring some binoculars. Those skinny boys are worthy of a close up.