The Weather Forecast

Image by Denis Yeo

…said rain, and rain it did. Aside from which, the ride also began inauspiciously as certain B-boys, extolling a 7am at Richmond start (with the words ‘lie-ins are for losers’) then pulled out last minute! Fortunately, sense prevailed, and 8 o’clock was agreed upon. I had some fun fitting mudguards to the Peregrine to keep me dry, during which I was drenched, and arrived at 8.30, meeting Stu (on fixed) and, star of the Hour, Frank Hardy, back from India and a long time off the bike with Knee Issues. There followed a sunny ride to Col de Bôite at a pace that varied from conversational to red-faced. Stu peeled off to wend his way back to his Forest on the Hill, whilst Hardy and I hammered home at a cracking pace. He’d clearly been pretending about his knee.

Once back into Richmond Park, my enthusiasm for the downhills led to near disaster. Appoaching the hill, traffic was far away enough to allow speed to build up and I was soon plummeting like a Peregrine’s stoop. Sadly, the presence of a police officer, standing on the grass halfway down the slope with a handheld speed gun, caused the traffic to slow suddenly, leading me to take evasive action and veer off the road onto the grass bank at about 35mph and career directly towards the policeman, who had to step smartly out of the way. He shouted at me to stop, which I did, and told me he wasn’t going to get excited. This may have been in response to my panting crazed-eyes descending face. He then said he knew the difference between riding a bike at 20mph (the speed limit) and 40mph, implying that he had first hand experience. This I felt sure was a lie, but I let him continue. He was pretty nice to be honest, didn’t want to ‘be a party-pooper’ etc I said ‘sorry’, and ‘yes, I know,’ at the right points and off I went, receiving smiles and even congratulations from other cyclists I passed who’d seen the whole thing.

Home by 1pm, eat eat eat. Round to Paul’s with Jude for Giro. Happy days.

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