The Wattmeister has spent a bomb today. He could have bought Rapha’s most expensive clobber plus the latest carbon framed Colnago equipped with hydraulic disc brakes and still had enough for a two week five star training camp in Majorca. Instead, he chose to exercise his non-cycling leg muscles by passing the day on foot. Thus, he found himself himself inside Burlington House, Piccadilly, home to the Royal Academy of Art since 1867.
After passing through the exhibition rooms having cast his inexpert eye over the the works of art, the Wattmeister felt the unmistakable sensation of the ‘bonk’. This situation arises when an athlete does not hydrate and fuel sufficiently during exercise. He felt unnaturally weak, so lacking in energy that he needed to sit down. He spied a white chair in the middle of the room and placed his bum squarely in the centre of the seat. His leathery backside registered a prick of something, together with the sensation of having a stone in his pants as opposed to his sandals, but years in the saddle had toughened this area to such an extent that he thought nothing of it.
Nothing that is, until a curator approached the stricken senior Grand Tour man like an exocet missile. He had sat on an exhibit! And what is more, he had damaged the installation by crushing an upturned pearl earring which had been delicately placed just off centre. He would be obliged to purchase the work of art, and it would cost him £52,000….fifty two grand! That is more than all the prize money he had earned in a lifetime of breakaways into a headwind.
But the Wattmeister was made of stern stuff. He would re-mortgage his house and auction his three Paris-Brest-Paris finisher medals together with his hardly used and barely stained Assos bibshorts. There was some old campy stuff knocking about in the cellar which would raise more funds and finally, he could count on a sizeable sum for the sale of his Tour de France musette.
One thing is for sure, it will be a long time before The Wattmeister goes for another walk