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Trinidad & Tobago – Day Seven, Taking Stock

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All night drive-in pharmacies here in Trinidad & Tobago aren’t really the place cyclists should be seen at gone midnight, but Leif liked the ‘skin powder’ the Red Cross guys used on his abrasions so much that we had to pop in and see if we could get some more. They didn’t have any, but it was another one for my ‘experiences’ file.

Like Pete said; ‘if Leif hadn’t crashed and Roberto hadn’t gone home, it would have been a good night!

For me – injuries apart – it was a good night; Roberto’s departure made good copy and the 40 lapper was a great race.

Trinidad & Tobago
The racing is getting good media coverage here.

It would be easy to say that because Pete set up the trip for me, I have to ‘big him up’ – but as well as having two phones bolted to his ear; dealing with emotional riders; riders missing planes; loading and unloading trucks, there’s a lot of other stuff going on which I won’t bore you with.

Suffice to say; not anyone could handle Mr. Jacques’ gig.

On the subject of which, I meet Roberto Chiappa today; ‘come sta Roberto, tranquilo?

Si, tranquilo,‘ came the reply, then, after a pause; ‘but not tranquilo yesterday!

He’s a hard man to dislike, albeit my opinion is that he should have got up and ridden that third match.

Trinidad & Tobago
Roberto has had his fair share of attention too.

Down Town, Port of Spain – hot, sweaty, bustling, where faded Caribbean Colonial ‘lace’ cast iron balconies and the English Gothic cathedral meet seamless Reflectafloat glass and huge satellite dishes.

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Dishes, Fluch glass, and gothic detail all fight for attention.

Woodford Square is the hub; trees, shade, old guys playing chess and a fountain, courtesy George Turnbull Esquire of Glasgow, 1866.

Trinidad & Tobago
We’ve a Glasgow boy to thank for this fountain.

The island parliament is the Red House, a colonial building which was allegedly painted red in error, way back when.

The roof leaks in the rainy season so they’re building a steel beam and cladding structure over it so as repairs can be effected.

Working construction in this heat would be heavy going.

To get more or less anywhere in Trinidad is easy, stand by the kerb, stick your paw out and someone will stop.

Trinidad & Tobago
Hitchin’ a ride.

Heat apart, perhaps the biggest difference from home is the cavalcade of 70’s Japanese cars, many in very good condition.

Trinidad & Tobago
Old and new Japanese cars in Port of Spain.

Albeit with the constant coming and going of ‘fares’ some of the trim is a bit suspect – the plastic cill dropped off in the Crown Custom we were in on the way back.

Peter was a tad off his game in the afternoon; whilst he had a nap, I sorted out my picture distribution – this has become part of my gig.

Walter Perez, in particular, likes to see his own image – I hate mine, who is that fat person?

Trinidad & Tobago
Franco got a good write-up.

In the evening a function was laid on for us, an informal buffet, the highlight of which was Seb Donadio on the Roland organ with MC Franco Marvulli leading the communal singing.

Trinidad & Tobago
Franco and Seb lead the sing-song.

It was good fun, but don’t let the training miles drop, guys – I’m not sure Simon Cowall will be in touch any time soon.

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

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