Friday 5th December, The Wattmeister took advantage of a day off from jury service to visit the UCI World Cup track meeting at the Olympic Velodrome.
From Tottenham Hale, a gentle ride along the towpath of the River Lea via Walthamstow Marshes passing charming narrow boat communities was a soothing prelude to the vibrant atmosphere in the VeloPark.
What a great way to spend a day. Non-stop qualifying races across a variety of disciplines held his attention for hours on end. Background noise, the hustle and bustle in the centre of the track and an excellent commentator were complimented by two large screens with compelling time comparisons for all the competitors.
The freedom to stroll around the stadium in order to gain a different aspect of the action gave spectators the opportunity to drop in and out of the proceedings at will. The Wattmeister was in his element. As he drank a flat white, a Dutch fan of mature years approached and asked for his autograph, believing him to be Herman Ponsteen, a renowned track cyclist from the Netherlands who won the silver medal in the 4000m pursuit at the 1976 Montreal Olympics
It is true that there is a passing resemblance between the two men, but despite The Wattmeister’s denials (in fluent Dutch), the fan would not be persuaded otherwise, so TW reluctantly signed the man’s stroopwafel, which is a type of syrup filled biscuit with a grid-like surface popular in Holland.
Writing on a stroopwafel is probably the calligraphic equivalent of riding a bike on cobbles, so The Wattmeister’s experience of riding the famous cobbled surfaces of the Paterberg, the Koppenberg and Walthamstow High Street stood him in good stead……..finally.