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The Great Escape
As London descended into chaotic scenes this week, perpetrated by those lacking sense and reason or, presumably, the ability to get out on a road bike, I was reminded that (Armageddon pending) I hadn’t much time left to ride.
With a few weeks of solid summer left anyway, the opportunity to get out in a jersey (my new Pro Team - really people, it’s fantastic and WILL make you ride faster), Classic Bibs (I haven’t made the leap to Pro Team shorts yet) crisp Rapha Cap (all black) and white socks, is taken with relish, even if it still remains overcast. Forget the looters, the vigilantes and the politicians trying to find answers, I’m off on my bike.
Today I’m Louison Bobet, tomorrow, perhaps, Charly Gaul. Whatever the case, I’m certainly no Travis Bickle or hooded-droog. My monochrome garments make me feel like I’m straight out of the L’Equipe archive, riding past fields of sunflowers, climbing the Tourmalet, taking a sprint victory in… Enfield.
Away from the city walls, along the glass-covered roads of east London, past burned-out cars and into the tranquil lanes of Essex and Hertfordshire, where I can act out stages from the golden years and feel blessed that I’m a road-cyclist. Indeed, our mileage-machine, Ultan Coyle, decided to take a gentle 400km spin out of London on Monday night. Riding through Croydon he saw a mob of several hundred looking to set buildings ablaze and destroy an already neglected suburb of the big smokey. Like anyone, Ultan “buried it”. Rather than attack your local high street, take it out on your legs and escape this madness.
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