Last Saturday Carole, K and I took a train into the fourth dimension. Well actually we went to the Smithfield Nocturne. It's a great evening of full on cycle racing, with beer, great company and good food to boot.
Team Addiscombe had two racers in the support race. Sylvain Garde and Toks Adesanya. The race takes place on a very tight 1.1km circuit around Smithfield Meat Market. Right from the off there was trouble as a Rapha rider took the very first corner way too wide and smashed heavily into the barriers. A Dulwich Paragon rider couldn't avoid the crash but he eventually got up and rode on to much applause. All the other riders avoided the incident though Toks very nearly fell victim to it, some sharp bike handling saved his skin.
The race soon settled with Sylv among the front runners. The pace was relentless with an average speed in excess of 40 km/h. After 40 minutes there were five laps called to decide the winners. Sylv was still close to the front, Toks further back in the main bunch. In the final couple of laps, Sylv held on in 6th place before coming round the outside in the final turn. He belted for the line and was just caught, finishing in fine style with a fourth place. A great result. After the race we caught up with Sylv and he said "It was a great race and I thoroughly enjoyed it, the course was brilliant just what I like, and the crowds awesome!"
So, there's two heroes for you, Sylv and Toks. I met more cycling hero buddies, including Huw, Chloe, David, Sean & Ajay.
Just when I thought it couldn't get any more heroic, I turned to find myself face to face with Johnny Green. Johnny roadied for The Clash and wrote a fantastic book about his experiences with them. Several years later he wrote a great book about following the Tour de France. What's a boy to do? I approached him and we enjoyed (well I did and I think he did) a few lovely minutes mixing up The Clash and cycling. Friendly guy, seemed surprised to be recognised and happy to talk. Great fun, one of those special moments.
There are Heroes Everywhere.