Not for us the stuffy boardroom, the pitiful sandwiches and corporate backstabbing of the boardroom, no the 2012 Baroudeurs AGM took place in more conducive style at the one-trick menu, french (Italian) maid served, queue round the corner, license to print money, second helpings deliciousness that is Relais de Venise in Marylebone. The nearest we got to corporate backstabbing was a brief (but oft repeated) bit of frisson from the newly British rider, Glen who noted that his name had been omitted from the list of members on Disco’s beautifully produced handout. Indeed, the name ‘Matt’, a man whom only Lowell has met, once, on Box Hill, appeared more times than Glen’s, as did a shadowy figure from Singapore whose name no one knows.
There followed the standard in-depth, high level discussion by which any gathering of Baroudeurs is characterised, followed by pudding. Only then could the business begin. Lowell manfully took the role of Chair, having prepared the handout, and led us through a complex agenda during which two schools of thought emerged: on the one hand, the club as evolving, growing and welcoming entity, keen to expand and embrace; and on the other, the club as pitiless machine in pursuit of THE WIN, crushing the upturned faces of our rivals beneath wheels of steel. No cycling club in history promises to combine these two hitherto juxtaposed idealogical positions so seamlessly; never before have the apostle Paul and Friedrich Nietzsche shared a tandem so harmoniously.
In addition to breaking new philosophical ground, the meeting had a keen focus thanks to the Baroudeur creed of everybody talks, sometimes all at once. Using this method, key roles were assigned. Sadly, the disadvantage of this approach is that no firm conclusions can be recalled at this time. However, it is with confidence that I refer the reader to the ‘Forum’ pages, on which a new thread has been started to enable members to pool their recollections and hopefully establish some facts.
In absentium: Rob Sargent, whose band is on tour. This led to one of the more unusual AOBs from NuStu Pickford who suggested that we too should start a band, with banjos. This was discussed sufficiently late in the evening that I may have imagined it.