Tuesday 28th October, a beautiful warm day in late Autumn. Ribble Cycles’ stocktaking sale ends today, with a further 13% off all orders, excluding bikes, groupsets and gears…the exclusions list is too long to mention, suffice to say that the Santini bibknickers that The Wattmeister has had his eye on are only available in sizes xxxxS and xxxxL…in turquoise.
Frustrated, but still disciplined, he embarks on a recovery ride to visit his parents in Chigwell. This means traversing the Badlands (for a cyclist) of Tottenham and Walthamstow and helping out in their garden. Most people wear wellies or something else suitable for this type of work, not The Wattmeister, white Mavic Avenge shoes with SPD SL cleats are the perfect footwear for sowing seeds and planting flower beds.
Suitably clogged up, he manages to cycle unclipped back to Waterworks Corner, before the Topeak Hexus multi-tool is called into action in order to winkle out lumps of compressed peat. After several near misses with pedestrians for whom a stroll in the bike lane whilst plugged into an MP3 is a thrill seeking exercise, like a parachute jump for example, he arrives at the bottom of Muswell Hill.
Why is The Wattmeister so petrified of this 700 metres of tarmac? Only recently, he tells himself, he climbed the legendary Mont Ventoux…twice, Alpe d’Huez in less than two days and the Croix de Fer in a 2litre turbo engined camper van. So, using this process of visualisation, he posted his second fastest time on the ‘Hill’. Truly, a legend in his own imagination.