Sitting down in the sunshine at Milgrove I had an opportunity to do a quick head count. The final tally was 23 riders, and that wasn’t including Declan or Warby Dog. Considering that we still had quite a few regular riders away on holidays I am hopeful that we should be able to achieve our first 30 peloton sometime in the not too distant future.
The time we spend gathered around our tables, drinking coffee and chatting is one of the most pleasurable parts of each Thursday ride. It might seem a simple pleasue but I am sure that I am not the only one that looks forward to sharing this time together with good friends. It fact the lunch stop has become such a popular part of the ride that it is getting increasingly difficult to get riders back on their bikes for the return leg of the ride. Maybe I will have to invest in a piercing pea whistle to announce when it is down to get back on the bikes.
After several calls the riders slowly started to mount up and wobble off towards the trail. My plan had been to take up a position at the front and then ride slowly so that the pelton could bunch up. The problem was that when I looked ahead I could see that several riders had already bolted and were several hundred metres ahead and rapidly moving away. I tried to see who was responsible for this premature pelotonic fragmentation and was surprised to see that it was due to Glenda. She was flying along with her head held high and her cranks spinning like a whirling dervish. I am well used to seeing such behavious from “Bolter” Mal Dossie Doswell, but could not believe that Glenda could destroy a peloton in such a devestating way.
I tried to catch her to tell her to slow down but it seemed like she was actually pedalling faster and faster. I could only suspect that maybe she had accidentally drunk from Crasher Lewis’ drink bottle at the lunch break. This would certainly explain the sudden increase in her testosterone levels but I was a little worried about the effect that Glenda’s HRT medications would have on Bob. Maybe the increased oestrogen levels would help develop his feminine side.
With Glenda and a couple of chasers disappearing into the distance and the rest of the group still a few hundred metres behind I tried to settle into my own rhythm and ride in the no man’s land between bolters and chasers. It was not until we reached the traffic lights at Launching Place that the riders finally managed to form a combined group. I think it was here that a beaming Glenda revealed the secret behind her suspiciously sudden improvement in form. “Molasses”, she said “they give it to racehorses”. She went on to say that she had bought a 44 gallon vat of the stuff and proceeded to inject another huge dose into her mouth from her molasses filled drink bottle.
I could see Crasher loking on with what could only be described as green eyed envy. I bet he was wondering why, in his 90 year racing career, no one had told him of the secret cycling power of molasses. If Michael Rasmussen had known this secret he would not have had to resort to his dubious pharmacopoeia in order to get up those climbs in the recent tour. Armed with “innocent” molasses the final yellow jersey might have been his after all. I suspect that on the morning of our forthcoming Donna Buang Lungbuster there could be quite a few riders having a molasses breakfast.
As soon as the lights changed to green Glenda resumed her furious pedalling and, once again, left everyone else languishing in her wake. As she disappeared into the distance I could see a sad succession of broken men scattered all along the trail. This was pelotonic destruction of biblical proportions. When I finally arrived at Woori Yallock Glenda was already pouring more molasses into her mouth and looking like she was ready to do another hundred or more kilometres before the day was over. The rest of the riders came struggling in over the next 10 minutes.
The remainder of the ride from Woori Yallock was completed by a much reduced group of only 4 riders, but still somehow managed to lose one of the riders along the way. But that’s another story entirely.