The Wattcock crowed at 05:30 a.m on this freezing cold Saturday morning in late November. Disdain infiltrated The Wattmeisterin’s symphonic snoring. His heart rate, according to Reuter’s, sat at 48 beats per minute.
Cosseted by a sumptuous doghair quilt, the thought of getting out of bed to meet up at 06:45 a.m in order to ride around Regent’s Park with the young brigade of The Muswell Hill Peloton was easy to resist. But, last night’s delicious Yukgaejang from Dotori’s in Finsbury Park burned like a fireball in the pit of the Wattmeister’s belly…..no time to lose….this was one sprint he dare not lose.
Heart rate has increased to 85 bpm,
Still, there was 75 minutes to get ready.
Grabbing his kit, comprising fiery red Santini Twist Gel bibshorts, Sealskin merino waterproof socks, Adidas mesh vest, Vangard windproof baselayer, world champ’s thermal cap with Northwave earwarmers, BBB Aquashield gloves with extra liners, BBB Hardwear overshoes, Mavic Avenge extra wide fitting shoes (to accommodate the thick socks AND a layer of kitchen foil), Northwave deep winter jacket and Asender brushed Roubaix thermal tights…..plus all the other paraphernalia…..Garmin, lights, reading glasses, money, phone, spare tube, multi-tool, tyre levers…..well, it was no wonder that The Wattmeister was three minutes late…..and everybody had already gone.
Did he mention the spicy beef stew from Friday evening?
Heart rate measured 118 bpm.
Thus, burnt out, weighed down, overheating from the inside and the outside, the intrepid super veteran traipsed down to Regent’s Park alone. In the distance, he spied the twinkling red light of another loiterer who he guessed to be Venerable Pistol Pete.
The duo teamed up, it was too early to converse, but they were soon joined by DelBoy and C5 to form a stylish chaingang of four. However, The Wattmeister’s rear gear cable had snapped, probably due to a frozen nipple, but maybe it was just petulance, leaving the maestro just two gears with which to operate.
Heart rate 150 bpm.
Unfazed, he alternated between spinning the gear like a loony and pushing the big gear like Sisyphus. There was no question of contesting a sprint finish, the main obstacle now was how to ascend the hill back up to Highgate?
Swerving steep Swain’s lane, The Pistol, C5 and TW opted for the more gentle slope of Fitzroy Park, but even this narrow lane finishes with a gradient approaching 15%. Desperately clinging to his compadres’ wheels, The Wattmeister heaved his way to the top.
Pistol shouted, “I love the sound of crunching knees in the morning!”
Heart rate 180.