I rode the club 10 this weekend. It was a riot. The wind was up on the way out, spiriting the riders along to the turn with a sense of wellbeing and rapidity. The way back was a runny grobble of a ride, cue copious chewing of stem and gnarface.
I bit the bullet and purchased one of those newfangled skinsuits with a shiny number pocket. I had to cover myself in butter to get into it. It’s quite the contortionist’s dream. By the time I had finished swearing at my velotoze shoe covers I was just about ready to roll.
I managed a steady 22.29 for the ten, which I wouldn’t have settled for prior to the event, but was perfectly happy with afterwards. I lost time on the way back; I haven’t got the legs to power through the wind, and suspect I’m not as aerodynamic as I used to be. It was good enough for 6th place on a slow course, where the winner handed in a 21 dead. A few more seconds would have seen a few more placings, so I feel relatively optimistic, given the absence of any racing form.
I won the battle of the wretchedly old people, taking home the cash for first V4. I have to say, I think I could make more money this season by being slower than I used to. It’s an interesting phenomenon, failure as a mark of success. Not unlike this government’s approach to GCSE curriculum change and the lives of young people.
We won the team prize. Although it was quite a chastening experience because I wasn’t actually fast enough to be in the team. Instead it was three horribly young and fast people. The super-young Josh Griffiths, who has yet to be derailed by drink, drugs or women, but hopefully it won’t be too long, was fastest. Next up was Nick Livermore, who has legs like pistons, forged in the crucible of industrial Britain, each thigh bulging with monstrous girth, taut and terrifying, like rippling hawsers holding back an aircraft hangar on the launch ramp prior to a maiden voyage. He also rides a road bike with clip-on tribars, which is embarrassing, to be honest. At least he could make out he cares when smashing everyone out of sight, and buy an honest-to-god piece of bongo weaponry. I asked him this and he said he needed to get furniture. Some people have their priorities all wrong. The last member of the triumvirate was Joe, who looks like he’s just walked off the set of Hollyoaks.
The times are indeed a changing.
I spent some of today doing some family cycling. It’s a beautiful thing, in cliched terms. You go riding with your children and they love it. It’s also chronically terrifying. A 4 year old on a Frog bike, amazing, but terrifying; such speed, fearlessness and joy.