This year the task of selecting our route was devolved to 'Malcolm' who is known by some as Lucifer or 'Diablo' for the wry smile he presents when watching his fellow riders suffer.
It is said that Lucifer fell from great heights, well this one descended on a Canyon Racing bike and wants nobody to return to the paradise that a summit might offer.
He would carefully select gradients to keep his disciples legs burning from his 'Velo Hell'
Malcolm also put in his order for some gale force wind and squally rain to stack the odds in his favour.
Prior to our departure some of our club members started to drop out perhaps knowing 'The route', Malcolm, the weather or all three!!!
I am no climber - but I can climb.
Knowing my limits I tackle these beasts as slowly as I can, often reassured that there will be some who will suffer more than me. For this trip I knew I was to be the 'Lantern Rouge'.
Those who elected to go or were drugged by Malcolm were all related to Mountain Goats, where I was a prairie dog.
Maybe .......the thought passed my mind. I would be Lucifers first Victim?
Malcolm was already hatching his next devilment by the time I arrived at the top, shaken and stirred and in need of some splints for my legs that felt like 'under set' Jelly.
Malcolm knows us well.
He gives you just enough pain - but not too much, to ensure that he gets to choose the route next year.
Isn't that what the devil would do?
Thank You........ Lucifer