Mithrasmas Mass and the need for amphibious bicycles

The Thames Path on Tuesday morning was almost as wet as the adjacent river. Torrential rain deterred many of those who had previously expressed an interest in joining the xmas day ride through London. Not even the promise of movie stardom could persuade them otherwise.

For the 13 who departed from Cutty Sark Gardens in Greenwich, and the 26 who proceeded west from Southwark Needle by London Bridge, the ride was “a bit soggy”. But the 2012 Mithrasmas Mass – the second such ride without its founder Barry Mason, was by all accounts enjoyable, and it brightened up for the last stretch before Putney. With fair weather we might have had 100 punters, but this year even prospective marshals phoned through their apologies.

A scene from the start point of the Mithrasmas Mass…

Still, I, together with the Black Knight, Bermondsey Bill, Werner and a couple of others guided the diminutive group of rain-sodden velopedists toward their first goal, being the Duke’s Head pub by Putney Bridge. There we were met by a cameraman retained by RSA Films for Oscar-winning director Kevin MacDonald’s latest project “Christmas in a Day”.

With pints of winter warmer in hand a few of us spoke to camera, following which photographer Nathaniel accompanied the remaining riders as far as Hyde Park, occasionally stopping to film us as we whizzed by on the road. Eight finished the ride with a Lebanese meal in the Sannin restaurant on Edgware Road.

Hunger sated, I made my way home through Southwark with Bill, who had a beer can or similar thrown at him by a gobby wee Irishman full of xmas cheer who stopped his car for this very purpose. After threatening to beat the crap out of us, the exuberant young chap got back into his vehicle and drove off, at the same time expressing the opinion that we were “a pair of faggoty bastards”. Peace and goodwill to all men? Oh yes.