One way or another, events of the past week have shaken The Wattmeister’s normally pragmatic stance regarding kismet and preordination.
In another life, TW ran a bicycle shop with his friend, Paul Gage. Young Paul loved cycling, the history of cycling and particularly the pedalling heroes of yesteryear. He was a great stylist whose enthusiasm was infectious. Chat with Paul about bikes and you wanted to go out and ride.
Sadly, Young Paul passed away on Friday, March 18th March 2016, aged 59.
Now then, one of his protegées, a customer of the shop, took up cycling three or four years ago in an age when The Wattmeister was still a marked man in the sprint. The rider in question is known as The Gray Goliath in the cast of The Muswell Hill Peloton Players, and was encouraged, cajoled and hectored into becoming a cyclist.
He is a big lad, let us describe him as “not suited to climbing”. Over a period of time, The GG lost weight and gained it again. Lost weight and gained it…and so on. But all the time he received pep talks from the shop, kept trying and consequently his lap times at Regents Park improved.
Still, as at March 18th 2016, he was nowhere near being Muswell Hill Peloton’s fastest rider anti-clockwise around the Park.
Like an army of other mourners, The Gray Goliath was upset by Paul’s sudden death. It made him angry and sad. On Thursday 24 th March, Young Paul’s spirit accompanied him to the Park.
Against all expectations he smashed, nay, obliterated the club record.
Thank you Paul for being our friend. We will all miss you.