The Rulebook of Muswell Hill Peloton.

Where to begin? That is the question. The definition of a rulebook goes something along the lines of : a book containing the official rules/ standard of behaviour for a profession, organisation or activity.

Muswell Hill Peloton could be loosely described as an organisation but is perhaps more accurately presented as a functioning disorganisation…..one whose core activity is road cycling.

The weekly rides which form the club activities take place around Regents Park on Saturday mornings from 06.20 a.m….in all seasons, and on Sunday morning rides into Hertfordshire from 08.00 a.m, once again, throughout the year. The favoured method of communication for members regarding route choices etc.  is via an invitation only Facebook page.,

The membership is comprised almost entirely of young men, middle-aged men and men of a certain age. However, the club does have one regular female enthusiast who is esteemed and respected by one and all.

Despite the lack of subscription fees, written constitution (and therefore, in theory,  rulebook), things seem to progress and evolve in an amicable fashion. Common sense generally prevails, and the ‘membership’ continues to grow steadily.

So far so good…..yes? Well, on this weekend, the rulebook which at present resides in The Wattmeister’s head,  has had cause  to be referred to on two separate occasions.

The first instance concerned an opportunist move by Young Peter Batchelor, henceforth known as Maverick Pete….and please, not to be confused with Pistol Pete who is more of an agitator than a maverick.

Anyway, imagine the scene. Come the final lap in Regents Park on Saturday morning, Maverick Pete seized the moment and nipped clear of a chasing group comprised mainly of dribbling, gasping, fibrillating middle-aged men at Physician’s Corner in order to steal a much cherished but ultimately worthless sprint ‘victory’ at Camden Gate…..some 450m away into a stinking headwind

“Good luck to him”, thought The Wattmeister, “rather him than me!”

But Big Mig had another opinion and immediately raised his right arm to call for a “Regrouping” and then upped the stakes with a ‘Stewards Inquiry” on the grounds that the pursuants had to slow down significantly to ensure that the sharp left turn was traffic-free and therefore safe to negotiate……thus ending their chance for glory.

As it turned out. Maverick Pete didn’t even have the decency to win the sprint as The Ringo Kid reeled him in effortlessly, so judgement of the case has been deferred….but we will be keeping a close eye on Pete.

However, it did not take long for Maverick Pete’s free spirited tendencies to manifest themselves  again. For the Sunday ride, via Facebook, he proposed a novel spin on the MHP default route to Redbourn by suggesting we ride it in reverse. IN REVERSE! Most of the guys/girl have ridden the 77 km route a hundred times and STILL GET LOST.

What does it say in the rulebook? Is there a precedent? Who is this troublemaker? Questions, questions but little in the way of answers.

On Sunday. thirteen riders assembled outside the Everyman cinema in Muswell Hill, our new meeting place since being served with an ASBO. Who turns up late? Maverick Pete,

We set off less as a club, more as a group of individual time trialists….but return with ‘gruppo compatto’ …it was fun. Monty claims the ride is hillier back to front. (It’s not). Michael’s Garmin only recorded half of the ride, (yes, Redbourn Reverse is the Herts equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle). John Joe and Lyes followed another group of riders missing a left turn in the process.  Despite these hiccups, the route was a great success….who needs a rulebook?

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