A not-quite-so-brisk-as-yesterday morning greeted the 15 strong peloton gathered at Snives for the off. Yes, 15.
Of particular note:
- no-one was awake at home to wish Clutters a happy birthday. So we all did.
- Wilson looking resplendent aboard the new Paris, Di2 equipped
- NNNick looking similar on a remarkably similar steed
- B1 driving the magnificently restored Peugeot, rightfully thrilled at the turnout to his “shortest day, longest ride” suggestion
- The great VD had returned temporarily from his travels, responding to the lure of the Flutter – great to see you back mate
- Drastique disappointed the throng by not turning up on the SS MTB
- The proprietor of the TSS sported his (newest) Colnago Master
- Dobbo, rumoured to be starting an ER Epping chapter, made probably the longest haul to the start line – kudos muchos
- Schleck looking to put everyone and anyone to the sword aboard the Movistar Pina
- Velo 2073 there in droves – Jim, Clive and new boy Phil – talks of a JV prevailing
- B1 out to show that he’s more than just a 200km on the weekend pony
- Clutters’ mate Mark out to dish out some pain
- and I was there to take the minutes
A lovely run down into the depths of Akuna – no problems with visibility with 15 hella halogens all on bright – and everyone arriving at the bottom safely. Saw another few pelotoa passing the other direction, but none as well turned out as our ER throng. Poor cousins we assume.
The climb out of Akuna saw Drastique playing Hansel to Clutters Gretel by craftily keeping all challengers at bay – “the birthday boy will be teary if we kick his arse up here” I heard commented. Gold Medal Clutters, daylight, well moonlight, second.
A quick regroup and roll call at the WH turn off – everyone looking spritely and toey for the downhill ahead. Good speed through the undulations of Church Point with NNNick dishing out pain by the plateful through this section – obviously keen to see if we could intercept Our Captain on His bus along Pittwater Road, unfortunately not to be seen hanging out the window offering abuse.
Not one to take on the relative flats of Pittwater Road, Clutters took us eastward through a number of hills which was certainly worth the pain – the sunrise over Narrabeen was sensational, with the temperature ramping by the km – not sure these coast dwellers know what a fresh morning is.
To the Manly seafront, equally spectacular, Drastique feigning a puncture to give the group a breather – regroup, on through a new section that again we let our Birthday Boy dictate.
There the fun ended.
- A bloody big hill.
- Hidden by trees until you were half way up.
- No end in sight until peaked.
- Rumoured to be “Col de Clutters”.
“By the looks of some of the faces I’m not sure that was the best move”. Too right. Lucky it was your birthday otherwise you may have heard some of the abuse pent up.
Breathing restored, defibrilators stowed, on through the Spit, up Parriwi, through the poor parts of town to the Bridge, coffee convened at the B&T at 8.15am where Lunchie was skillfully shuffling the pews for our arrival.
A great spin, kudos to all, motion to make a more permanent fixture in the weekly itinerary – possibly cutting out some extended sections to help those who need to be at work a little earlier.
Well done B1 Mike for the concept, Clutters for being born on the darkest day, and everyone for joining in the fun and frivolity in the name of the Tomato and Egg.
Return flights taxiing for 5.15pm and 6 bells.
Have a good one all.
Mark / Satnav