You normally associate barbecues with charcoal encrusted food, luke warm beer pulled from a bucket of tepid water because the fridge is too full and if you are really unlucky a case of jelly belly due to under-cooked chicken. You don’t normally associate barbecues with cycling.
This year I’ve been to three barbecues already and I must say the food was fantastic and the alcohol properly chilled on all three occasions, so none of the above applied to any of the venues or chefs.
The first was a small family affair at my brother’s house and despite my best efforts he refuses to ride a bike at all, even though he does try to keep reasonably fit through a family gym membership (I assume he goes, not just let it hemorrhage a hundred odd quid a month from his bank account.) I have in the past let him sit on my Defy 2 (note – sit not ride, an offer of a ride on it was never going to happen) but no that didn’t give him the bug. So no cycling related conversation there . Although I did enjoy it because he lives forty odd miles away we don’t get together anywhere near enough, so it was good to see our kids playing together.
The second was at Rutland Water (they have barbecue stands there – what a fab idea) and was a much larger gathering for my wife’s grandma’s birthday, I was talking to my wife’s uncle who does triathlons so lots of cycling talk took place, we even managed to sneak off to the Giant (brand) store located there and drool over some serious carbon, so a good result.
It was barbecue number three that was the most exciting though, I have toyed with doing a Lejog (Lands End to John O’ Groats) ride at some point before my fiftieth birthday to which my wife has always put the mockers on due to expense, time away from the family, worries about my fitness levels, etc. This third barbecue was at the parents of one of my son’s school friends. The host and another dad are keen cyclists and one announced that he was thinking about a Lejog in the next few years, by the end of the night we had almost convinced the other one to join us and talked our wives into thinking about letting us do it.
So all I need to do is work out how to get three blokes, three bikes and a load of camping gear to Lands End, then back again from John O’ Groats, convert my winter bike to a tourer complete with front and rear panniers, save up the necessary cash and perhaps even recruit my wife’s uncle to the cause, all of which will be a doddle after getting over the massive hurdle of obtaining a ‘maybe’ from the Mrs.