Monday, 22 December 2008

Can it really be that time already?

Fast forward to Saturday 6th December 2008.

I'm at a party with another drink in my hand. A text arrives from Dave. "Transalp entry online tomorrow 12 noon."

Cunningly, I realise that it'll be 12 noon Euro time, so 11am UK time. Even more cunningly, I tell Dave this. That way I'll be absolved of all blame if (when) our entry is knocked back for being too tardy because it'll look like I really was keen. Next morning I'm logged in to the Transalp site, ready to go through the motions. Pressing F5 over and over is having no effect even though the fateful hour has been and gone. I'm in the wrong window.

Then it's there. LIVE! ENTER NOW! NOW!!!!

This is where meticulous preparation pays off. I don't know Dave's address. His phone numbers are on my mobile. He's not answering his mobile. When was he born? Same age as me. Had his 40th in September. OK - make up an address. No-one will ever know. They'll not check, will they? They are German...

The entry form is a pain in the arse. It isn't clear which fields are mandatory. Why do they need to know which make of bikes we'll be riding, FFS! They are German.

After a good 10 minutes of faffing around and not really paying attention I manage to clear all the client-side script hurdles and our entry is away into a dizzying realm of packets, routers, DNS and probable rejection, lodging itself in 6000th place on a list where only the first 450 are welcome.

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