So, for the Newark finish I was down at Rumbles cafe, rather oddly in my work gear, at 8am. As if for a Parkrun but without the tight shorts and feeling that I was shortly going to be in a lot of pain.
I've never before worked on an external event in this job, or indeed any job I've ever had, so it felt weird to be among the public in unflattering uniform...
...as if my own clothes are any great shakes, to be fair.
But I was soon too busy trying to help erect a gazebo for which we had no real instructions in a force 8 gale, and this distracted me from any stage fright. Especially as the glorified tent tended to act as a sail in the breeze, and sandbags and tent pegs didn't seem to help all that much.
Also our display stand, a cunning concertina of magnets and giant fuzzy felt backdrops, also had depressing spinnaker like qualities, and most of the morning was spent putting it back up with all the optimism of a Dutchman with no arms trying to stop a waterfall with his fingers. It also got rained on, as did the rest of us.
We were a crew of 6; 3 recruiters, and 3 fundraisers. The main thrust of the day was recruitment, but early on most of our visitors were OAPS, right up to a 90 year old RAF veteran.
I did ask him if he fancied learning to drive a fork lift, but it didn't appeal to him.
Luckily, the ITV4 commentary crew were on a stand next door. They were much amused by our attempts to put our gazebo up, chatted to us throughout the day, and eventually allowed Yanto Barker, an ex-pro and now pundit, to do our prize draw.
It was still a good day, when the rain stopped and the wind eased, and the race finish was exciting. Fernando Gaviria, the Colombian sprinter, winning the stage. Sadly, and rather inevitably in this area, a few riders found their hopes erased by riding into the back of a parked car.
"It's my effin car I've always parked it ere, I ain't movin it for no effin bike race" - say in the same voice as "Sorry mate, I didn't see you" and that might even be quite close to the truth. Everyone on the route had warnings about parking. But there's always a few...
Best thing, by a mile, was the sheep in a shape of a bicycle. Awesome work there. I also redeemed myself for this slight failure of a day but pointing out Mark Cavendish to a swoony female colleague as he rode past us after the finish.
I say failure, probably very harsh. Weather did not help, and recruiting on a Wednesday, when a lot of people were, er, working, a bit of an issue as well. The visitors were usually OAPS and very rich people on every expensive bikes already earning loads. Not our target demographic.
Still, we've never done this before, and we had some fun!
A big day for the town too!
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 06.09.17