Sometimes things do not always go to plan. Last night, the clocks went back, this morning, MHP’s group was swelled by a number of infrequent riders who obviously benefited from the extra hour of sleep. It was a pleasure to see them.
As the day’s ride leader and route finder The Wattmeister outlined the course and recommended a steady pace. No sooner had the word ‘steady’ left his lips, than Iron Mike and Rapid Ben sprinted off down Coppett’s Lane, setting new PBs for the descent on Strava. Ignited by this duo, Big Mig and ‘Killer’ Kay made off in the hottest of pursuits, and before you could say ‘Djmoladine Abdoujaparov’, the field had been split asunder only to re-group under the big red sign of B&Q at the top of Friern Barnet Lane.
The Wattmeister recalled the career of attacking French rider Jackie Durand, who would often break clear of the peloton right from the very start of the race. On one famous occasion, in 1992, he triumphed in one of the five monuments of cycling, the Tour of Flanders, after leading solo for 217 kms.
MHP pressed on up Barnet Hill, down Camlet Way up Ferny Hill and on towards Cuffley, still at a good pace, but ‘gruppo compatto’ as they say in Italy.
And then it all went pear-shaped. Rapid Ben’s wheel seized up, and three riders including The Wattmeister stayed back to assist. The rest of the group continued along the prescribed route under the expert guidance of Big Mig.
Ben decided to call it a day, Bob Hewitt appeared out of nowhere and joined the remainder of our original group for a most pleasant continuation of proceedings, including a traverse of Bread and Cheese Lane and Buck’s (Fizz) Alley, both of which served to remind The Wattmeister that he was a tad hungry. Fortunately, there was some leftover kebab stuck in his beard which afforded enough energy to power home at an average of 205 watts at 142 B.P.M.
Good to see some new/old faces…