|Perfume and its copiously stamped and cheerfully spotted box|
Then at the start of the year, Clare announced her intention to compete in the
|Bradley's podium moment - source: cyclingweekly.co.uk|
'When Sir Bradley Wiggins got up on the podium at the end of the Champs Elysées, with Chris Froome and that bloke who came third, a load of dignitaries, the sprinter Maurice Green and two skinny birds in yellow frocks carrying daffodils and stuffed toys, he addressed the gathered millions, and suggested that it looked like time the draw the raffle numbers.
He did it for the British cycling fans who’d travelled to
This is a perfume of parts. I wanted the scent of a crowd on a hot day; coffee, tobacco, hot tarmac and linden trees of the Champs Elysées; oiled bicycles; marmalade on toast. I’m not sure if Sir Wiggo had marmalade on toast for breakfast but I’d like to think it was his petit dejeuner of choice the day after.'
I didn't sample Time to Draw the Raffle Numbers the day I met Sarah on our sniffing expedition, but I thought that as a card carrying Bradley fan, Clare simply had to try it. Try it and very likely wear it on her ride to
Then, with just three days to go before the event, Clare fell while cycling at 17mph and badly hurt her leg, as well as all but writing off her bike. Having seen photos of how much her leg swelled, I thought her hopes of riding so soon after her accident must have been scuppered, not least because of the mangled bike. But a local cycle shop spent seven hours the following day wrenching it back into shape, and by the following Sunday, Clare was - if not good to go exactly, for her leg was still heavily swaddled - thoroughly determined to do the ride.
The day was not without incident, however, for Clare fell from her bike again before even leaving
'It confused the hell out of a first aider when I fell off at a set of lights in
But that fall did not deter her, and I am happy and amazed in equal measure to report that Clare did indeed complete the course, helped by the whiffs of Eau de Wiggo which she caught periodically rising up from whatever you call the equivalent of décolletage on a woman attired in top to toe Lycra.
'I could detect the special Wiggins perfume at every pedal. Even above the all pervasive aroma of Deep Heat. I explained to my husband that it would spur me on and that I would be like the pre-knighthood Bradley, not this year's quitting Bradley. I would be that gritty Bradley. "You want to be Fat Gritty Bradley?" he queried, mishearing slightly. He has been calling me that ever since.'
And how does it smell, you may be wondering? Well, like sweet orange-flavoured Shimano gears would be my best attempt at describing it, ie hot oily metal - and there is also a muzzy earthy feel to the scent that might be the tobacco. Comforting for sure.
Of course I had to write to Sarah again after the race, telling her the good news that my friend had made it to the finishing line despite her set backs, and quoting her take on Eau de Wiggo.
'I did wear the perfume and I could smell it while I rode. Loved it and am sure it helped.'
To which came Sarah's delightfully pithy response:
'It must have worked then.'