As I lay in bed unable to sleep, with thoughts coming into my head about how it’s going to pan out tomorrow the 14th of August – with The London-Surrey Cycle Classic. A big event and day for all of us at The Rembrandt Hotel & for 130 cyclists taking part in the dress rehearsal for the London 2012 Cycling Road Race. This was to be one of the most important pre-Olympic test events, for the Hotel & its guests – an inconvenience caused by fully closed roads without any taxis access, for TFL to test if the capitals transport system are fully prepared for the 2012 Games and for me Manager on Duty tomorrow – who has to cope with all the difficulties, without prejudicing guests satisfaction. I’m fortunate to have peace of mind that there is always someone you can rely on & that I’ll have strong team on tomorrow always ready to assist.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to have a sleepless night and my thoughts are with: Mark Cavendish , Asle Arvesen, Sacha Modolo, Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director for surface transport, who also would have been worrying if all their plans & vision of how the day would go!
When I awoke on Sunday the 14th of August from the early hours it promised to be bright, clear and sunny day. The sun timidly crept across rooftops of V&A, knowing that this year’s summer doesn’t want to spoil us to much, so when it happens, a truly glorious summer day, we absorb it all together.
At 7.30am the streets were unusual quiet, no cars, no traffic, & even no people around maybe because it was still so early? Stepping outside I look at representatives of organizers putting up some barriers to protect riders and spectators, close my eyes and smell the crispy air. I know from now on that everything will be alright and it fills me with pride to know our hotel location will be featured for both the pre-Olympics and the Olympics & happening within a stones throw & eyesight of the track.
The race began at 9am at Pall Mall. Our viewing point was in the front of Brompton Oratory Church which is basked in the full morning sun. We were not alone as waiting was all the footfall such an event attracts along with an enormous number of staff, motorcycles, VIP guest cars, BBC helicopter, ITV4 team and only 10 minute later plethora of 130 cyclists speeding down the Brompton Road in a westerly direction.
Standing watching the cyclists approaching it reminded me of blurred images of my childhood. Like the one from the 80s where I stand with my grandfather on the street like today, by the barrier, among the flowers and watching Peace Race (the cycling event traditionally took place in Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia in the 1980s) and whose plethora of cyclists stretched for many kilometers. I still have this image crystal clear
here today in London, a different place, a different race, and within only 30 seconds a compact plethora of cyclists slipped away from our viewing vantage point to be closely followed by international team’s service’s cars carrying extra equipment and spare bicycles on their roof racks.
Applause resounds in my ears from the spectators encouraging the cyclists on, leaves me feeling warm & content for the competing cyclists. I stare at the sky and I’m filled with happy warm memories.
Everything happened so quickly, so fast, but they will be back in 3 hours – cycling back from Surrey. We also will be there, waiting, giving our applause in reward for their gallant efforts.