If I’ve woken up in a strange bed, sun streaming through a strange window I must be at Eurobike. If not exactly gorged on sleep we’re considerably more refreshed than the last few days and making full use of the facilities, mostly the shower free of naked Germans, only helps things further before we pedal out of town back to the halls. The last few miles are done through a long tailback of vehicles wanting to get into Eurobike, the irony of so many cars queuing to get into a bicycle show is not missed. This is the one thing that makes living in a camper-van hell worthwhile, parked metres from the exhibition halls our journey time is minimal. Because Eurobike is so big accommodation is hard to find and people have to travel in from afar meaning journeys of two hours in and then back are not uncommon, it’s a five minute walk for us if we amble.
Today is the same as yesterday, and the day before; write words, cheese and ham roll, look at bikes, coffee, see people, cheese and ham, write more words, pretzel, look at some more bikes, coffee. The routine is spiced up a bit by doing some filming for the website, which mainly involves wandering around the place pointing at some of the interesting and pretty bike related things that have tickled our fancies and offering up possibly useful but definitely irreverent comment for anyone that cares to watch. It’s work, it’s also mucking about quite a bit.
At this stage of the game it gets a bit difficult remembering what you’ve seen and what you haven’t, and a little tricky recalling and pining down all the information you’ve inhaled. Was that really cool feature something to do with that carbon seatpost or the techy chamois in those new shorts? But despite all the weariness and tired jaded eyes it’s still possible to have your heart skipped a beat by something sweet, and I’m not talking about the tight lycraed and body-painted casual sexism that Europe still uses to promote bicycles, a detail here, a colour scheme there, a insatiable desire to ride a bike just because it looks right and willing. The excitable school-kid inside can still find time to come out to play.
The finish of Friday essentially means the finish of the show for most of the media, the public day is too much of a scrum to get work done on the floor, and as a traditional end of term treat we go upstairs at the Fizik and Brooks stand for mojitos, unsurprisingly they remember us from our professional scavenging last year and give us all the cones of mortadella and bread snacks to finish off. Again it’s suitably Italian, the drinks are of a certain standard and we make the place look scruffy by lounging on aged and trendy sofas whilst men in immaculately tailored shirts and women with an elegant manner talk business. You can feel the nearly-finished relief in the air, or maybe it’s the cocktails.
We then head into town for a proper supper, it should be a jolly affair but we’re all too worn out to engage in much banter, and tired tempers start to fray when the food takes a while. The insertion of decent non pork-and-dairy related cuisine with actual vitamins in it does a lot to brighten the mood. Even sleep is looked forward to as half of the team have left and so we’re back to packable numbers in the camper-van and we all manage a decent night which manifests itself in a certain reluctance to get up for the last day. Let’s bring this baby home.