“Those ridiculous men, with their ridiculous legs and their racing machines!”
But first some tea…
It’s just what the doctor ordered: a leisurely commute to the track, followed by a cup of tea; with plenty of time to prepare for the race, and a catch up with friends.
There’s even time to check out groovy brake lights whilst setting up the ‘rollers’ for some warm up sessions. Clearly, it was taken far too seriously.
Big Chase isn’t having any of it. Trained in the sciences, he commandeers the training-timetable and proceeds to instruct the Baroudeurs to do this properly, or at least try to. Before too long, but not without a lot of fuss coming from Chronos and Captain, the boys are underway. And looking quite good at it too. Chronos shows his skills as he jumps the bike off the rollers, and onto the side, without falling off.
Just when you think it’s okay to sit back on the rollers, Inspector Big Chase is on the case! Here’s the Captain and Chronos being assessed on their accuracy and preparation plans. Let’s hope it all comes together!
It isn’t the speed, nor the great numbers that race this evening, causing a stir. It just happensto be 6 pairs of hairy-scary legs rolling around the tack as if it were a party.
We gain greater confidence when Imdad, Mark and Mike come to join us for the celebrations! With only 30 minutes and 3 laps in it, there’s no messing about tonight.
It’s a hot evening that has attracted a lot of part-time racers tonight. The car parks full. The changing rooms are buzzing and the cafe hasn’t got an available seat in it. There’s no other option, but for the crowds to spill outside, by the track, where we are about to race on.
From the start, a number of Baroudeurs join the early break. It’s short lived, but makes a few hearts, in the peloton, skip a beat.
The next 15 minutes I see the flying-B’s giving a turn up front. First Chronos, then Captain, followed by Big Chase. Naturally.
Mike smoothly rides his way up the peloton, but we lose Mark. On the next turn we find him. He’s down, but not completely out. Good man, is giving it all he’s got.
By half-time the team is split, and totally disorganised, as hordes of racers swamp every free-inch of the track. In the process, No.147 gives me a fright as he manoeuvre his way on top of me. I give a yell, almost a cry of despair, and thankfully stay upright.
Before we know it 30 minutes has come and gone, and in the corner of my eye I can see the official raise a placard to signal we’ve got only 3 laps to go. The peloton surges up the hill, eager to gain position. Lap 2 comes and goes in the blink of an eye. The mass of bodies and bikes choose another gear, as Big Chase leads us all home. He reveals later, this wasn’t what he had planned!
Half the peloton is now before me, and it’s not till the final bend can I find a spot to call my own. Trying to avoid the mistake I made last week, I choose a more familiar wheel to lead me out. Someone I can trust. Failing Chronos and Big Chase, I somehow manage to swing round behind Ben. The lead is good, but I’m not. I get spat out and get lost in the fallout.
Mike’s spot has his name all over it, so I turn to his wheel for support. Head down, shoulders up, we all make it for the line.
Big Chase, Captain, Chronos and Mike secure some desirable positions on the finish line, but a win is not to be.
We regroup by the car, and before we can congratulate each other, No.147 comes up to apologise about the sudden move that could have wiped me out of this world. I say thanks and wish him well. It’s a relief to not to have crashed out, and to have a fellow racer be good about it. More people make their way home, leaving only us behind. The team finally gets to talk about the night.
All in all we’re all agreed it was worth coming out for. We didn’t win, but we made it an unforgettable evening.