Vanity Crumbles in the Face of Reality

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Above is a photo of The Wattmeister’s choice of bike for his second comeback race. Organised by Hackney CC , the race took place on tarmac at the Olympic Velopark. Alas, a bling looking bike doesn’t guarantee a good placing.

The Wattmeister signed on with fellow MHP members, Slayer and SavilleRowAlex. The first blow to his vanity was delivered by the lady handing out safety pins and race numbers. “Father and son?”, she asked cheerily as he and SavilleRow stood side by side. In truth, it is a possibility, but of course The Wattmeister believes that he sees the world through the eyes of a 30 year old, whereas the Rest of the World sees him as a 56 year old (but well preserved).

98 riders lined up at the start of the race, 97 of them younger than our ageing rouleur. Naturally, the first lap was a mad sprint. After about three laps, TW found himself in last place. A couple of laps later, there was a nasty crash and the race was neutralised, which allowed him to rejoin the slightly diminished group.

Another seven or eight windy laps whizzed by on the tight and technical circuit before another accident persuaded the organisers to abandon proceedings. Some riders suffered bad cases of road rash and an ambulance was summoned. Slayer got caught up in the first meleé and was forced to drop out.

Racing is inherently exciting, but in addition to mental and physical fortitude, riders need a large measure of luck to avoid trouble and plenty of courage to take and hold a good position.

Three cheers to the youngsters on the hairpin bend supporting all the riders, especially encouraging for the old boy at the back of the field.

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