Diary of the Unfit 3: Unfair Advantage

On the drive to Richmond this morning, the weather man on the radio said ‘today is disappointing’ which I thought a little harsh. It was drizzling, and the winds were blustery, but disappointing. It was only 7.30…

Conversation on arrival was all about Dixon’s recent Champion status (of which, more below), Disco and Nustu feeling the same vicarious delight that I’d felt on reading his race report and loving the fact that the B-boys had been represented by the consummate Baroudeur – one could say a Paragon of the art, but I won’t.

Lowell and Nustu were both on their steel workhorses today, believing the worst of the forecasts. I’d packed the car before I’d heard that the day was disappointing, so I had all the gears. Cue an uncharacteristic hour or so of not being dropped, despite Disco turning his Planet-sized gear like it was nothing. On our last lap, Stu threw down a gauntlet – to try for sub-20 minutes. This was a new concept to me, and Richmond will never be the same again. To go 100% on that circuit, riding up to the red without blowing up, to have wind and cars slow you down yet all the time to know that you couldn’t be working any harder, was a revelation. As Stu said, you suddenly realise why Richmond isthe place for race training in London. Twice, drivers rolled down windows to inform me of the speed limit; on both occasions I took their complaints as compliment and nodded thanks as I passed. 19mins 35secs, with Lowell not far behind despite riding fixed. Nustu arrived with tales of a guy on a Look TT bike who had become for him the ‘figure in the pale blue Cycles Goff jersey’ that had so galled and spurred Krabbe’s Rider back in the day.

Tea, coffee and pastry. On the drive home, passed Lowell riding off to change for a date with smile and disco lights flashing. Home by 11am, happy.

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