For most of the population of the UK, the first harbingers of Spring may well be the rat-tat-tat sound of woodpeckers, multi-coloured crocuses pushing up through hardened soil or a sighting of a yellow daffodil.
In the Muswell Hill Peloton, there are alternative tell-tale signs:
Big Mig has a smart haircut. (We don’t see his legs until the official start of Summer).
cleans his bike. (Apologies, that is a mistake).
Slayer returns to the fold, having gained a lot of weight over the winter, à la Carlos Betancur, and proclaims that he wants to ride the Tour de France.
Rapid Ben wears a transparent skinsuit bought online from Ann Summers.
Boudicca throws down the gauntlet and rides more Swains Lane reps than anyone else.
Old Grey Socks pronounces that this will be their last season. (He’s been saying that since 1987).
Gray Goliath claims to be harder than Ian Stannard.
Wild Bill puts on the Zipp wheels.
Iron Mike rides even harder.
The Wattmeister wins the RP sprint.