Today the TroisV splits itself into three cells:
1) "I'm doing my twelve-step program intervals in the evening;"
2) "I'm playing Frisbee in the evening, so I'll ride hills in the morning;"
3) "I spent the last week riding up Italian Alps, so I'll pootle to work on my Brompton, thank you very much."
Nonetheless, "You'll Never [Ride] Alone," [N.B. I resisted the temptation to link to a YouTube video of Liverpool fans there] and for those of us (it's the royal "those", I guess) who did hills this morning, oh what fun "we" had!
First, I graciously accepted a beard-compliment on Camden Road ("That's an awesome beard! I bet it took a lot of dedication to grow something that impressive!" "You're damn right!"). On West Highgate Hill, I was passed by a bus, which then stopped at a bus stop twenty feet (I'm being generous with the estimate) later, forcing me to stop behind it, and to chew its exhaust the rest of the way up the hill. On Muswell Hill was where the real fun started, though. I pulled up even with, and passed just a little, a gray-haired man in a Brooklyn Chewing Gum jersey (oh, how I wished I'd worn that one this morning, instead of my navy blue "mourinho" wool jersey!). We chatted briefly ("This is the tough part," "I'm riding a bunch of hills," etc.) between wheezes, and when he, twenty yards from the top, put the hammer down, he even sheepishly warned me, saying, "This is... where I..." and I finished, "Push hard to the top?" I let him go, keeping my not unreasonable pace; he glanced over his shoulder when he crested the hill, and continued on, putting some distance between us as I stopped to let a pedestrian scamper across the crosswalk. But using my "superior descending skills" (or whatever), I caught up to him just at the bottom of the hill that leads up to Highgate Tube Station, and he glanced at me and said, "Come on, then!" and up we raced! Victory to the TroisV! Hooray! We parted ways at Highgate Village, where I went down West Highgate in order to go up Swain's Lane, and he headed in the direction of the Spaniards (possibly to drown his sorrows? ...Uh, probably not).