Blame a bottle of Merlot or somesuch for this. We’d already done some damage to it one dark Saturday night when Neil picked up a copy of the "Cycle Traveller" supplement that came with Cycling + magazine in January2007. As usually happens when he is allowed too much to drink on a winter’s evening he began to whine on about the emptiness of his soul and the need to pack it all in to run a smallholding in France/cyclists’ hostel in the Lake District/away altogether. In this case it was the last. His watery eyes came to rest on a double-page spread about the EuroVelo Network. "We should do one of these, you know," he said, "before we get too decrepit." Kathryn, whose main reaction to Merlot is to agree with stupid suggestions, agreed. Well, usually these daft schemes evaporate in the light of day but somehow this one stuck. Now, just over a year on, the plans are falling into place and it’s really going to happen. We must be completely bloody crackers….