Sunday 22nd November. We have been made to wait longer than usual for our first proper Sunday winter ride. The overnight temperature in London averaged minus 1 degree Celsius, a massive drop of 13 degrees over the preceding Sunday.
Over 55s Iron Mike, FaustinoS, BigMig and The Wattmeister were joined by almost 55, Pistol, with youngsters RapidBen and The Sheriff completing a tight group for the punchy 73 kms ride into well charted territory beyond Barnet and Potters Bar.
IronMike is on the comeback trail after a summer off the bike, and his presence puts the pep into Pistol’s performance. Mike, in horseracing parlance, is a frontrunner. He just loves to dictate the pace, and when he is on song, that pace is normally relentlessly fast and unyielding.
Pistol, in boxing terms, is a counterpuncher, and on Sunday the pair of them made life very difficult for an ailing RapidBen and a Sheriff without his sixshooter.
FaustinoS rates just about king of the climbers in the Strava over 55s category in the North London area and BigMig’s nickname is “The Undroppable” due to his uncanny knack of sticking on a wheel no matter how much it hurts.
The Wattmeister’s palmares has long been in the public domain. His victory in the 1978 Tour of Armitage Shanks is still talked about in select North London coffee shops, (and also in a café in the Half-Jewish quarter of Jerusalem).
His lack-lustre performances in MHP’s Saturday morning sprints have been put down to a religious restriction which only allows him to produce half the watts on the Sabbath due being a Semi-Jew.
Towards the end of 73 kms of lusty riding, the mature rouleurs finished with a couple of vigorous hill sprints on the climbs of Totteridge Lane and Friern Barnet Lane.
It could be that the Elixir of Life is to drink from the Cycling Cup on a Sunday morning.