Repositioning Cruise

It’s been a busy week; we came back from our US holiday with just a week to prepare for a massive family reunion, possibly the first time the whole of my mother’s side of the family have been together since the family Christmases started getting out of hand once my generation started having children of their own.* Fortunately for all concerned, even though we held the event in Bigtown in honour of the Pepperpots’ new home, I wasn’t on the organising committee (my idea of a party being going for a bike ride instead). Instead, my sisters managed the impressive logistical feat of assembling nearly 30 of us in one place ranging in age from 3 to 85 and did so remotely, and what can I say, I’m glad they did and I’m glad it wasn’t me as I’m shattered enough as it is.

Selfie with family members

My contribution to the weekend was more limited and consisted of helping assemble a motley fleet of bicycles for those who preferred to be pedal powered over the weekend. Bicycles make wonderful transport but they are also a bit of a bugger to transport themselves, resulting in sort of logic puzzle where you’re trying to get a fox, a chicken and a cabbage across a river, but with a big hill instead of a river and a couple of Bromptons, a hired mountain bike, a Paperbike and other machines standing in for the rest of the cast. This meant the weekend started with my sister driving my nephew up to our house, and swapping him for my cousin (do try and keep up at the back) so my nephew could ride the other half’s commuter bike down to Bigtown, and ended with a relay arrangement that for reasons too complicated to go into involved me riding twice into Bigtown on the big bike first to retrieve the Brompton from one spot and then leave it in another (and, the ultimate indignity) actually walk somewhere in between to make it all join up.

The end result of all this is that two thirds of our working bike fleet are now at my parents’ house, and I’ve conclusively determined that Covid has had no effect on my ability to cycle up our hill. We may have to resort to the car to repatriate the last of the bikes (I’ve towed the Brompton down the hill on the trailer in the past but I’m not sure I fancy the return trip) and I might just invest in a combination lock in case we ever decided to do something similar again.

* I recall sending an email out to the wider family after the last Christmas we actually managed to have all together titled ‘a modest proposal’ although, to be clear, I was only suggesting finding self-catering accommodation, not actual cannibalism.


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