Abii, Conscendens Iungeris Victus. (I went, I climbed, I was conquered).

Wednesday 9th December 2015. A beautiful dry and sunny day for cycling in the Surrey Hills, with less wind than in previous days. The 90kms route was engineered by Faustino, one of the all time greats in the over 55 age group on Strava.

It has been a long time since the Wattmeister has ventured to this neck of the woods. Back in 2004, he managed to earn a coveted gold award for his age group in The Tour of the Surrey Hills, and memories of that gruelling event came flooding back as he clawed his way heavily up Barhatch Lane while Faustino bounced lightly on the pedals, his royal blue jersey disappearing into the distance.

The same thing had happened on Ranmore Common Road, Coldharbour Lane and Coombe Lane before he took off like a terrier on the steep part of Crocknorth Lane in search of another, younger cyclist’s, scalp.

If one lesson has been learned by The Wattmeister, it is that a diet of chocolate chip cookies and Salt & Balsamic vinegar crisps, (2 for 1 in Sainsbury’s at the moment), does not a climber make. Which is a shame.

Back in town, after a splendid chicken and bean stew lunch in Look Mum No Hands, Old Street, had melted away the disappointment of handing of the the mantle of “The Second Greatest” to Faustino, both men acknowledged how fortunate they were to have been able to enjoy the fabulous countryside in such glorious weather for a December day.

Let’s hope Faustino lets his guard down over¬†Christmas, so that The Wattmeister and his aged compadres can narrow the gap a little in 2016.

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