It All Goes Pear-shaped

Muswell Hill Peloton staged a couple of rides this Sunday based around Aesop’s “Tortoise and the Hare”.

The ‘A’ and ‘B’ groups were set to ride the same 106 km route, with the ‘B’ group setting off some 50 minutes before the faster squad. The ‘B’ group, led by Gray Goliath, comprised Boudicca, Flying Jo, the Wine Gum Kid, Pistol, The Cat, and Prickly Tom.

In honour of the previous day’s Strade Bianche, the ‘A’ group were represented by: Big Mig VanMarcke, Fabian Clapham, Iron Mike van Avermaet, Wild Billy Terpstra, Mike de Vlaeminck, Rapid Ben Swifter, and Magnus Forestedt (aka The Wattmesiter). A formidable bunch, though some may suggest that they have seen better days.

The Wattmeister confidently predicted on the MHP Facebook page that the ‘A’ s would nullify the 50 minute deficit and sweep up the ‘B’s after about 80 kms.

It was a gorgeous morning with a slight tailwind heading North. Gray Goliath had craftily adjusted the ‘B’ team’s route to avoid Carbone Hill, but we will concede this point.

After approximately 50 kms, the ‘A’ team were averaging about 29 km ph for the ride when disaster struck. Wild Bill, The Wattmeister and Fabian headed the group near Benington when the unmistakeable sound of carbon bikes and foam helmets scraping tarmac filled the air. Rapid Ben had fallen on some diesel and brought down the other three riders.

Mike de Vlaeminck and Ben were bloodied and bruised and took the train home. Big Mig took one in the ribs and Iron Mike van Avermaet’s Assos jacket sported a nasty tear. This only seemed to galvanise him to rider harder and faster.

Nevertheless, this disaster was followed by a puncture on lovely Raffin Green Lane, and finally, Fabian Clapham came a cropper on Codicote Road but suffered no damage to himself or his bike. Needless to say, the mighty ‘A’ group did not catch the ‘B’ s, but perhaps we will do it again some time….but without the prediction.

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