The same thing, yet oh so different

Compare and contrast the following account of the same event as this posting on my blog (I am assuming my fellow rider will not mind me reproducing below her account!):-

Mission accomplished!  Paul and Annie are proud owners of  two wonderful medals for completing the London 2011 Nightrider challenge.

We set off from Crystal Palace just after 11pm on Saturday night and made it back just before 7am on Sunday morning for breakfast, having completed every centimetre of the  108.75 kilometre route around London (that's nearly 70 miles in old money.

We had four breaks along the way where we were able to keep our energy up by scoffing bananas and chocolate frogs and other delicacies the organizers had for us.   We spent about 6 and three quarter hours in the saddle, but only five and three quarter of those actually moving as the many many traffic lights and junctions and  traffic hold ups added about an hour.  It was an evening of contrasts and a little drama when Annie's handlebars   collapsed but Paul's emergency stop meant that all was well and his tool kit  saved the night.

There are so many highlights of enjoyment and inspiration that we just can't fit it all in here so we'll share just  one part of the journey which was special  for both of us: finally the traffic had died down as we worked our way up the long climb to Alexandra Palace around 3am.  It was cold and clear and even Annie could sense the wonderful views.  We pedalled hard and passed many cyclists dismounting to walk  the last steep incline feeling rather smug with our fitness and preparation as tandems are not an advantage going up hill.  As we finished our hot drink  the rosy fingers of dawn appeared in the sky so we mounted our trusty bike again and left and began a magical descent through Highgate and Hampstead, swooshing through silent streets listening to the glory of the birdsong.  Unforgettable!

On the occasions we were not enjoying things, mad traffic, blaring horns, car stereos and scary drunken pedestrians, we were kept going by thoughts of all the support and encouragement we had from all of you, n not to mention your generous donations.  It meant such a lot to us and although we don't have the final figure yet, it looks  as if with gift aid we could be approaching £1500 for our chosen charity Mind.   Please accept a heartfelt and sincere thank you from both of us.  We couldn't have done it without you.

Best wishes, and if you haven't yet, try a tandem one day!

It really interests me how these two pieces of writing, whilst relating the same events surely objectively identical (I was on the front and partner on the back, but we shared everything about the night really).  Yet I believe the version above to be far and away superior in terms of engaging the reader and, as my sister put it, you could almost feel you were there.

I plan on looking at them side by side and seeing what I can learn!