The bells of St Mary’s were pealing rather than tolling. The members of this peloton were the antithesis of Donne’s ‘islander’. They needed each other and they knew it. With each successive lap of Hyde Park in the early Sunday morning sun, the lead changed as each athlete jockeyed for the position mapped out by their coach – or their Dad.
As they careered around almost deserted city streets, there was desultory applause from pedestrians who were, yet again, inconvenienced by the requirements, not so much of the athletes, but the city management who had hired the streets out to provide an income stream. Fog-horns bellowed at the occasional transgressor who desperately needed to be on the other side of the street.
The thin titanium wheels zinged as the finely crafted calves pushed down on the pedals. Conserving their energy, there was no muttered conversations. Just a steady inrush of air.