Of men and meetings - Pottering round Poitiers - in the rain - CycleBlaze

Of men and meetings

Yes, yes... a meeting. But this one's about bike-touring
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THEY'RE a pain, meetings. Cycling meetings are better because at least you're talking about something interesting rather than a proposition by Dwayne from Building Services that form 270b should be redesigned, leading Eric from Accounts to ask if he thinks money grows on trees. Whereupon a row breaks out, quickly joined with most enthusiasm by those who know least about it.

At bike meetings, you come on your touring bike
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My own meeting was the annual decision-fest of Cyclo-Camping International, an excellent organisation of true bike-travellers that deserves to be better known. It's based in France but it's open to the world. And on top of that, it has a wonderful two-day film festival - the biggest cycling film festival in the world, I think - with associated debates, exhibition and, this being France, food.

Well, we weren't going to go all the way to Poitiers, halfway up the country, and then lock ourselves into a meeting hall, without getting at least a little cycling out of it. We could have ridden there, which would have been fun, had I not had to take along the hefty computer on which all the films are stocked for the festival. Because, the day after the annual meeting, a group of volunteers proposed to spend another day in a closed room to decide which to show and which to decline with thanks.

Poitiers - pronounced Pwutt-ee-yay - is a small city but a regional centre which has stood there since before the Romans. To be honest, the countryside around it is harmless rather than of a breath-catching beauty. But who's going to turn down a chance to get out on a bike?

Not us.

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