Annual Awards 2015
This year’s London Baroudeurs’ Annual Awards were held in the hallowed ground of London’s Olympic Velodrome. Not only were the most coveted prizes in cycling’s pantheon of glories up for grabs (more of that in a post to follow), but the friends and heroes were to ride the famous boards themselves to celebrate another fine year of camaraderie and panache, as part of London’s most barouderus of road cycling clubs.
Before the ceremony, two groups of Baroudeurs were briefed and fitted with bikes, then drilled through the protocols of the track. For many, this was an abrupt introduction to the mysteries of the fixed wheel, with its rewards of seamless immediacy but unforgiving of the novice who forgets to pedal…
Besides one or two moments of surprise, everyone rose to the challenge with aplomb and were soon swooping up the impossibly smooth banking as though born to it.
Then it was down to business – a flying lap. 250m against the clock. The course record (for bikes with this gear) is 16.3 seconds, but we were told that times below 17 were excellent, below 18 very good and below 20 commendable. We all had something, apart from that thin black line, to aim for.
Once it was all over, and results discussed, hands shaken and that bittersweet feeling of how fast you might have gone, if you’d just… It was time for the Awards. But that’s another story. For now, it was enough to look at those sweeping banks and dream of that Hour, not so long ago, when another rider rode this lap at a pace that would have been top three on this, our evening. Except he would do it again and again, for an hour. Unthinkable, and wonderful.
We’ll be back.
See how it all unfodled at the Awards Ceremony.