The day started well with no arguments at check-in in processing my bicycle in it's large polythene bag. After saying goodbye to younger daughter, who works at the airport, I forgot to take my phone out of my pocket at security, so ended up enduring a search. At least he didn't put the latex gloves on! My ticket allowed me entry to the B.A. executive lounge so I didn't have to mix with the plebs!
The Pinot Noir was very good.
I had an exit row seat so there was no shortage of legroom.
I expected to have to endure a queue for security at Heathrow but it turned out to be just a quick passport check and straight into the international departures hall.
My plane was a 777-300. An enormous beast.
The new premium economy cabin is very smart and, in my view, premium economy is well worth the extra cost. In this case, because I was taking my bike in addition to a checked suitcase, there was no charge for the bike as in this cabin, 2 pieces of checked baggage are allowed.
The seats are wider, very handy in my case, and there is acres of legroom. I was able to stretch my legs out fully. Also, the TV screen is larger and our menu was the same as the rich folk in business.
I had fillets of sea bass with a nice white wine. A very nice meal.
Being me, I had to endure a couple of irritations. The woman sitting on my right spent most of the trip chewing gum at a high rate of knots with her mouth open. I was relieved when she reclined her seat and I couldn't see her any more! Unfortunately, the woman in front of her reclined her seat and I spent much of the rest of the flight seeing her constantly rotating her hair out of the corner of my right eye. Grrrrrr.
She looked thoroughly displeased when. I asked her to put her seat upright so I could get into the aisle. Just for fun I did it again a couple of times.
On the positive side, there was a young boy of no more than 3 or 4 and he didn't make a noise for the 8 hours of the flight.
The stewardess was most accommodating when I requested some extra G and T.
Despite having been late in leaving, we arrived early. It took a full 15 minutes from landing to actually getting to our terminal. Big airport.
My bag came off quickly but I had a longer and slightly nervous wait for my bicycle. I had a chat with the next Rory. McIlroy; a young man from Cumbria who is in Alabama on a golf scholarship. Can't be bad.
The bike arrived with some tears in my bike bag but appeared I damaged so phew.
Steve Lange was waiting for me and whisked me to my hotel which. I had booked through Booking. Com. Of course, when. I got there, the reception staff told me they only had a record of a cancelled booking, from when I had changed my booking from a 2 night to a 1 night stay.
They said they had a room but it would cost an extra $70 over and above the price on my booking form. Fat chance. I used their business centre to access Booking's website which confirmed the 1 night booking and then used the hotel phone to ring Booking.Com. All sorted, installed in my nice room, then down for a beer with Steve.
I was quite pleased that, despite it being after 9pm by this time, or 3am my time, I was still feeling quite fresh.
After Steve left, I unpacked my bike and found all in order, rearranged my case etc, had coffee (mistake!!!) and went to bed at 10.45.
I was wide awake by 2.30, got back to sleep and started typing this about 6. Oh well, it's just as well Dan Koch is driving today.