The last time I got invited to a black tie dinner, I think we were in a different millennium. Actually the CTT event wasn’t strictly black tie. The dress code said ‘black tie or lounge suit’. I still had to look up ‘lounge suit’ on my modern friend – google.com. From what I could make out, a ‘lounge suit’ is just a posh way of saying suit. Fortunately, I did have a suit – albeit with several layers of dust; I’ve been toying with giving it to a charity shop for the past five years. I’m kind of glad I kept it now. At least it still fitted me – I suppose one advantage of being a hill climber is that you don’t have that nasty shock of not fitting into clothes that used to fit you 10 years ago.
Actually, when I say fitted me, it was really quite baggy – they just don’t make too many suits for 6 foot 3, 61 kg, lanky hill climbers. I guess the market is pretty small. Anyway I broke a habit of a lifetime and spent some money on smart clothes. I bought a skinny fit, £28 jacket, from Primark. It did the job and I felt regally dressed, even if my trousers didn’t match and I was wearing the same woolly socks I wore in the National hill climb championship back in October. No one noticed, fortunately.
I can’t say I was bubbling with anticipation at an awards ceremony. I love cycling and it’s nice to win. But, I’ve never been particularly enamoured of the getting awards aspect.
In many ways, I rather like the cycling time trials tradition of winning a race and getting nothing more than a cup of tea just like all the other 120 competitors. Nevertheless, I do appreciate the sport of time trials, and it was important to be part of the annual event. To use a cliché, it’s not every year you win a National Championship (unless you’re Michael Hutchinson, of course.) I thought it great that the MC for the prize ceremony was Michael Hutchinson. “And the winner of the National 10, er… well that was me again… Queue presenting himself the trophy! nice touch!” Michael did give a very nice introduction to the achievements of his competitor Matt Bottril, Matt had a very successful 2013, perhaps overtaking Hutchinson for the first time in his career. Continue Reading →