So here we are. Just over a week until I trust an efficient yet rustic combo of Air Norway and Corsica to deliver me to Le Grand Depart.
The training is done. The steed is sparkling and chomping at the bit. She cruised along effortlessly on Sunday's final long ride. The drive train purred and the new saddle is now perfectly broken in. I will be dropping her off on Sunday for collection into the Corsica bound van. It will be an emotional week apart but our joyous reunion in the Med will be the stuff of fairy tales.
Work on the other hand is far from done. That is where the focus lies from now until next Thursday evening. I should think there are not many bosses out there who will nonchalantly sign off on one of his charge's three week holiday requests and I was lucky to be granted my leave stress free. However with this award comes a certain degree of responsibility to not leave your team mates in a world of pain whilst you pootle around France on your bike. The decks need to be cleared and the usual sources of work flow mitigated.
My CEO was kind enough to give me a platform to speak about the TdF at our summer company event last week. It has been a bit of a poisoned chalice. A great opportunity to promote the TdF and I got as close as I'll ever get (I think) to being a stripper with the kind donations colleagues chucked in my direction after the performance. However, it also put my colleagues on notice of my prolonged absence and work traffic is up significantly this week as they rush to get their matters seen to. Quid pro quos all round. All in all, work have been very interested and supportive of the TdF so no complaints.
In this last week to lift off, it is hard not to think about what lays ahead and reflect on what lays behind. A few thousand kilometres of tarmac in both directions. Current fad seems to be an obsession with hygiene and meds on the Tour. I have gone a little over the top in Boots at lunch. Hopefully all this will stay in the holdall and not see the light of day. Perhaps it is a good thing to be solely concentrating on work this week - it may save me from burning all my money on pointless pharmaceuticals.