I will attempt to relate the story of this morning’s outing without too much self regard. :))
We met up at the shop as arranged at 06:45. On the way, I overtook Ian outside the new ‘Le Creuset’ store. He didn’t know it was a race, but I am claiming the win.
Mig, Ben, Ian, Patrick and I departed on time and picked up Dan at the top of Onslow. We were overtaken by a guy on a hybrid in full rain gear with a waterproof pannier outside Buildbase, but he had very little chance of holding off Muswell Hill’s finest aboard 30 grands worth of carbon bling. (But it was a close call). The pace ratcheted up along Hampstead Lane Westbound, despite a tricky headwind. Naturally, I was shielding the youngsters from Nature’s fury, but still had enough in the legs to record 31s for ‘En Guarde’. This burst of raw power split the group leaving Patrick and I to arrive at the Park ahead of the others. I let the lad take the sprint. It would not be fair to crush his spirit when he shows so much promise.
After about half an hour, the group arrived, and I set off at a leisurely 41 km ph (into the headwind), with the others strung out like knickers on a washing line. Sadly, Patrick punctured so we eased off for one second before leaving the lad behind to learn one of life’s hard lessons. On the way we encountered Mike and Alex who had arrived late at the shop with some spurious excuse. For some reason, this spurred me on to higher heights than a 55 year old man could reasonably expect, and I upped the pace (into a headwind) and we never saw them again.
Patrick was still messing about with his wheel on the next circuit, so I kindly gave him a hand to finish the job. I hate taking a break when cruising at 180 bpm, but one has to deal with the vicissitudes of life. Back on track, we set about catching all the fuckers who had passed us by whilst dealing with Patrick’s travails.
I did a massive turn on the front (into a headwind) (about 3 laps), and we caught and passed the bastards. One or two joined in and did a nice job of replacing Ian!! and Dan who got shelled out by the ferocious pace being set on the front. I have to admit that following young Patrick through was a good work out, my HR peaking at 254bpm. Nevertheless, I had already decided to again gift him the sprint as I am that type of fellow.
At some stage we were stopped at some traffic lights, which was rather unfair, as it allowed the others to catch their breath whereas I was just warming up. Never mind, I decided to gift Ian the sprint too, because I am that type of fellow. Meanwhile, I must put in a good word for young Miguel, who worked his socks of for his team leader. He never flinched, even when I took a 5 second break from leading out into the wind.
Finally, we called it a day. The youngsters were flagging and it would serve no purpose to ride them into the ground. I conceded Swains to Alex and Patrick, feeling that it would encourage them in the future, but passed Ian just to show who is really boss. On the sprint from Cranley Gardens to Fortis Green Road, by chance Will Grayburn was handily placed to witness the gulf, the separation, the chasm, the void between my back wheel and Ian’s front wheel. Not bad into a headwind! (The wind had changed direction).
I hope you get the gist. I have done my utmost to describe the ride in as impartial manner as possible.