Since the Festina Affair of 1998, The Wattmeister has struggled to get sponsorship. His two week epic Lands End to John O’Groats tour of 1997 has come under retrospective scrutiny from the UCI and WADA following the goings on in the pro peloton. The longstanding second fastest times up Norbury Hill in Shropshire and Milton Hill near Drumnadrochit, with fully loaded panniers, have been struck from the records. His riding partner and competitor, Ray H, held the fastest times for these ascents, but had somehow avoided the governing body’s backlash.
Therefore, in the absence of a team mechanic, Monday is the day that TW cleans and inspects his bikes after a weekend of non-stop action. Today, he freed up a jammed hydraulic piston on his MTB using just a cotton bud and willpower, and then took the infrequently used bike around Alexandra Palace which had been the scene of Rapha’s Supercross Series 3 race held the previous Saturday.
The Wattmeister believes in cross-training, it’s good for improving bike handling skills. But after falling off three times, once when the dog skated across his path in pursuit of a juicy squirrel, he headed back vowing never to ride a bike again with clearance for more than 23mm tyres. Replacing the MTB in the darkest corner of the cellar, he came across one of the panniers which had been used on the 1997 LeJOG trip. Inside was a 2 kg packet of spaghetti which had been bought by Ray H from Budgens in Moretonhampstead, Devon and surreptitiously slipped into The Wattmeister’s bag.
No wonder the cheeky chappie had been victorious on those hillclimbs!