Ode to the North Road - by James McAleese

By James McAleese (read out at the Anuual Club Dinner 2004)


Last summer in a bike shop I met a white haired man
He looked a rather healthy chap with an all-round golden tan
"Come out and take a spin with us, on Wednesdays it is pub grub."
I took that spin and said to Don "Now can I join your bike club?"
I looked upon my ally steed with eyes a bit like Lance
Just give me a few more years I said and I'll ride the Tour de France
I hadn't yet put foot to cleat, my aims were oh so high
I rode out with the Sunday boys, first hill they all rode by!
But undeterred I soldiered on, my weight kept coming down,
I wasn't so embarrassed now to wear cycle shorts in town
And slowly and but surely, I reeled the old boys in
You'd be surprised how fast they go after a glass and a half of gin!
A lovely bunch of men they are I owe them quite a lot
"You've speed enough for Saturdays, now go and have a shot!"
So off I went to pastures fresh, to rides and speeds all new
Please always keep a space for me in your Sunday morning crew.
So off to join the big boys and suffer with the best
Or in my own particular case, be schooed on by the rest
The shock is harsh, the thighs expand - I'm getting pretty fast…
I go in for my first club 10 and roll in nigh on last.
So listeners please do tell me, why is it so the case
That all the little rapid boys are taking out the pace?
They say there is a little word that all new boys must utter
It starts with S and ends in R - now go and royally suffer!
I then put in round April time to ride the weekly ten
First downhill, then up Robin's nest, then back to Brickendon
I didn't quite crack twenty threes, though try my best I did
But when the clouds looked rainy, I stayed at home and hid!
So out there in the world I went and rode for club and king
Some twenty fives, some other rides - my bike just seemed to sing
Unfortunately for me it seemed to sing the same old song
"Last again my dear old James?" I used to shout "Be gone!"
Then finally on to Belgium, the Tilff-Bastogne race
It was fairly obvious early on I couldn't hack the pace
So I decided there and then to go a different way
I didn't see the North Road team for the rest of that long day
I've put this pen to paper to tell you what I think
About being in the North Road, this year's gone in a blink
From hardriders in February to meals at Christmas time
From sunny cyclists summer tans to the wet road winter grime.
To Andy, Don and Richard, to Chris and Nick and Bruce
And all the other riders whose names don't rhyme with use!
I want to thank-you so much for all that you have done
To make my first year's cycling so very very fun
I'll make a toast so here it is now raise your glasses please
To being a North Roader - it's simply the bee's knees
Long may the club continue my thanks to all again
The greatest club in all the land - it gets my ten out of ten.


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