Thursday, 17 December 2015

How to be a Bad Example of Everything At Christmas Part II - Disqualifying Dad

Part II sticks with the boxing day 10 mile time trial theme... because it's the only other bad example I have that's cycling related and we can't stray too far from the topic of cycling.

Just as the previous post, I can't remember many details. It was definitely boxing day, it was a ten mile TT and took place quite a few years ago when I was much much fitter than I am now.

Because I was in the midst of winter training I decided to make it hard for myself and borrow my mum's heavy mountain bike. I made a few minor adaptations, actually one was quite major - I sawed the handlebars down to a ridiculously narrow width (if I'm honest I over did it, rendering the bike a bit of a tricky steer after that) mum wasn't pleased. I've never been very good at measuring things... I work strictly by eye.

Anyway, the bike was now more streamline. Being a bit of a poser I made sure I dressed the part with my Animal hat and Oakley's - important to impress the sheep and one goose spectating around the course. The sartorial theme didn't stop there; my dad and his club mates (of a certain age) had come up with a code of conduct that at the very least had to include a collar and tie - the basic theme was in the style of the Hovis Advert.

Dad went the whole way: suit and tie, bicycle clips and flat cap. He also borrowed a bike from my mum, this time her shopper, and he made a few adaptations, taking off anything shopping related and fixing on a pair of tri-bars (she wasn't pleased with what was happening to her bikes that Christmas)

The course was as before: muddy, gritty, lots of water, tricky down hill section, tricky uphill section - a bit bloody hard as you went round about 4 times - plus some farm animals and dogs, stuff like that. Again, I'll forgo any details about the race, for me there were probably a few hairy steering moments on the tricky descent but it's a bit of a blur.

So straight to the Apres section of the event, which again took place in the pub where the results were read out and prizes awarded (everyone got a prize). I had a lovely glass of red wine, maybe two but this year I managed not to overdo it so I was well in control of the mountain bike (surprisingly so) as myself, dad and my brother set off on the few miles home to my dad's house. 

As we approached the village one of us (I can't remember who) called a sprint to the sign, which meant there was going to be a very silly and aggressive inter-family race to be the first one into the village. In these pointless wars, rules are limited: boxing, drifting (safely) off your line, team work, elbows, throwing the bike dangerously - are all permitted (for the record, I would have never behaved like this in a proper sprint) but this was family, the rules are different.

Just after the village sign is a big junction where the road splits around an island. It's a blind corner so we would be braking hard straight after the sprint - we all knew this, it wasn't a problem. I don't remember who jumped first but I think myself and my brother probably found ourselves in a position to squeeze dad right out of it and fight it out between ourselves, but the next thing that happened was dad, having dropped back, came charging past cutting the corner off and taking a shortened route around the traffic island on the wrong side of the road. I can't remember if he won - maybe in his mind he did. Luckily the road was a quiet one and clear of traffic... My brother and I just looked at each other as if to say, look at our dad - what a typically bad example - then we disqualified him.