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Cycle Analysis - Old Ports Reliability Ride
22 December
Monday morning, Feel Good cafe, West Wickham. Two cyclists are meeting for coffee. Their bikes are propped against the window. Helmets and gloves are stowed beneath their chairs. Outside it is windy with a light drizzle. Inside it is warm and the light lemon drizzle cake is soft and still warm. Coffee steams. The two cyclists discuss their week-end.


'How was it then?'

'Rubbish, one all. Aguerro got a late equaliser.'

'Not the football. The reliability, you know the Old Ports reliability.'

'Oh that. Yeah, it was great.'

'And?'

'And what?'

'Details, man, how 'bout some details?'

'Well. It was sunny and bright with blue sky, cold but not cold if you know what I mean. Must of been oh, 150 riders, maybe more. It's a bugger of a route - 100k, lotta climbing, lotta climbing.'

'Who was there?'

'Oh, there was loads - Meridian, Avanti, Kingston Wheelers. Big Foot, Phoenix, De Ver, lot of Oxted, Catford, Beckenham Rugby Club, Brixton, Kent Velo Girls, West Kent, South Eastern, Sydenham Wheelers, Dulwich Paragon, loads.'

'How much was it?'

'It's only a fiver man, I couldn't believe it, still only a fiver. And at the end, bacon rolls for a pound and tea and cakes at 50p. Fab cakes 'n all. I mean, you can't say fairer than that.'

'You can't say fairer than that.'

'And at the Ashdown there was tea and fig rolls, home made banana cake, brownies to die for, blueberry muffins, bread and butter pudding, Haribo - you know those rubbish ones you get in a packet when you buy something from Wiggle? I tell ya, someone's done a lot of shopping at Wiggle, get all of them.'

'You can buy them in the shops, you know.'

'And jelly babies and the sharp ones - what are they called? Tango?

'Tango? That's a drink.'

'No, they're like sweets, chewy sweets, Tang something.'

'Tangfastics.'

'Tang what?'

'Tangfastics. They're Haribo too. They're like... tangy.'

'Yeah?' Anyway, them.'

'I love Tangfastics. I should have gone.'

'Me too. One thing, though.'

'What's that?'

'I couldn't have a pee.'

'Dehydrated?'

'No, I couldn't have a pee at the tea stop. They had all these signs, you know - 'no toilets.'

'Well, it's not a toilet, is it? It's a tea stop. They don't want pee everywhere. it's a tea stop, not a pee stop.'

'Good point. Still...and then Toys! Oh man, I couldn't believe it. Killer. But good though, you know what I mean?'

'Yeah. Good killer, not bad killer. Like sick.'

'I wasn't sick. So, where were you then?'

'When?'

'Yesterday. You were gonna come.'

'I know.'

'And?'

'You know, this 'n that. Are they doing it next year?'

'Yeah. It's an annual event, so they gotta do it every year.'

'I'll definitely do it then. When is it? And will it still be only a fiver?'

'Sunday, 4 February, Knockholt Village Hall. And yeah, still only a fiver plus an extra pound for charity in memory of James Staples, an Old Port who passed away in 2017.  

'Defo then. Count me in.'

'You coming then?'

'Yeah. You out tomorrow?'

'Prolly. Usual place?'

'Yeah. Bi-annual - is that twice a year or every 2 years? I can never remember.'

'I think it's every 2 years. Like you know, flowers.'

'What's it called if it's every 6 months then?'

'Dunno. Every 6 months I think.'

'Makes sense.'

'See ya.'

'See ya.'


The 2018 Old Ports Reliability ride is on Sunday 4 February at Knockholt Village Hall. (Entry is still only a fiver plus an extra pound for charity in memory of James Staples).

The views of Lanterne Rouge are his own and do not reflect the club, the committee or any particular member. LR wishes all members and readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and looks forward to a clean 2018 cycling season.  


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