So, it seems that the Euro City Cycle will not be starting in Trafalgar Square. We will not have the privilege of rolling out of Buckingham Palace in a regal procession. We will not even be getting clipped in to our pedals in the 2012 Olympic Park in Stratford.
No, it appears that after what I can only imagine was an intense and competitive bidding war, the honour of hosting the start of our great European adventure has been awarded to… wait for it… the Holiday Inn, Brentwood, Essex.
While being very practical, convenient even, for our Day 1 cycle to meet the ferry in Harwich, it doesn’t quite have the glamour of other possible departure locations. It’s the equivalent of starting the Tour de France somewhere random like… Leeds!
Selfishly, Brentwood is also a bit of a trek from the Station that I’ll arrive at in London, so my trip will be a little more “interesting” than I had anticipated.
Still, we need to start somewhere, and I can understand why being responsible for a group of novice cyclists in Central London isn’t an attractive (or safe) proposition.
Hopefully our rather more cycle friendly cousins on the continent will make their major cities a little more accessible. It’d be a shame to leave Amsterdam without seeing a canal, or to depart Brussels without seeing a little boy peeing!
With the challenge laid out in front of us, I’m sure the Holiday Inn Car Park will take on new significance, and be etched on our memories as the starting point for our trip of a lifetime.
I can’t wait!