So there I was... busy stringing out the peleton along Elizabeth Street in Richmond, as other whacky racers desperately to hold my wheel and hide in the shadow of my massive Ortlieb. A lone rider (a fellow rider from my office) had already arrived at the Elizabeth/Hoddle lights after making an early break through the previous amber lights.
We exchanged pleasantries as I pulled up and I took a moment to fill my lungs to prepare for the assault of the Col d'Albert Street. There was the familiar, slow *click* *click* *click* of freewheels as other riders pulled up behind us, followed by a much faster *ZZZZZ* as one of the riders I had dropped earlier pushed their way to the front and right out into the intersection.
I think to myself "Look buddy, you might have a shiny new Giant road bike and I might be on a 20kg MTB tourer, but short of running the lights, you're not faster.... plus, no socks is VERY un-pro".
The lights are red.
Mr Giant clips in and wobbles forwards.
The lights remain red.
Mr Giant wobbles right into the intersection.
The lights remain red.
Mr Giant wobbles and unclips.
The lights go green.
I let my colleague lead off and we roll up behind Mr Giant who's pushed off and is trying desperately to clip in again. Now my approach and, from what I can see, the approach of pretty much everyone who rides this intersection is to find a gap between the cars and sit right in the traffic as we take the S-bend. There's a Mazda 3 at the front of queue and I intend to sit in front of it as we move off.
Mr Giant on the other hand has other plans, when he finally clips in, he swings hard left, headchecks right, sticks his hand out to indicate forwards, then tries to wobble back into the traffic... which happens to be the spot which my colleague and I are currently occupying. My colleague slows, I hit the anchors and my BB7s howl, I hear curses from the rider behind me. This puts me in that horrible spot right beside the Mazda as we take the s-bend.
Mr Giant takes off as we all sort ourselves out and thankfully, we all get through the intersection safely. My colleague calls out to me "OMG, we're gonna have words" and sets off in pursuit. I see much hand waving and head shaking from my colleague as he blows past Mr Giant at the base of Col d'Albert Street.
Meanwhile, I'm at the front of the main bunch again as we steam along Albert Street to the base of the climb and the Crapenhagen lane. Mr Giant has decided to keep it in the big ring for the climb and grind away at about 40rpm. Of course the peleton soon catches and swamps Mr Giant halfway up the climb. The guy who almost rear ended me, pulls past Mr Giant and calls out "Good work ^%$#%head". A few other riders also share some choice words as we all swarm past.
Ahhh the festive season.
Merry Christmas ya'll.