The day dawned dismally, with frequent showers that belied the few small blue blotches on the Metservice rain radar.
As I headed out the door to forage for doughnuts, Matt Sinton called, demanding a cast iron guarantee of fine weather. Donna assured him of blue skies in Otahuhu, which was only true if you were looking in one direction.
Returning from the doughnut run, I found Simon Foster-Moan, parked in the street with his Gianni Bugno-era Bianchi atop his equally-beloved Holden Kingswood. He was already levitating with excitement, so being a responsible and caring host I gave him more coffee.
I put out a few interesting knick-knacks to keep the multitudes distracted (a Nakagawa road frame and some grubby Campagnolo pedali con denti, but Kim Sinclair upstaged all of my Show & Tell items with his set of 1974 Bianchi Campagnolo team cards.
Russell Milliken, wearing Liquigas-Bianchi team jersey and shorts, but riding the first ever Benson frame, won the draw for the celeste bike ribbon.
Matt Sinton finally arrived at 9:30, complaining about early morning churchgoers clogging Spaghetti Junction, so we got off to a late start, compounded by me leaving the front door open. While we waited for Donna to deal with that problem, Allister Worrall made some last minute adjustments to his mint '83 Specialissima that was probably being ridden in the rain for the first time ever.
Given the weather and delays I decided that a loop around the flats near Ardmore would be sufficient, but coming out of Alfriston it started raining in earnest.
With Matt bemoaning the wet stripe on his nifty Zieleman jersey, we headed straight for the cafe at Ardmore, where a quantity of pies and cake was consumed.
After the ride, we had a weigh-off, proving to Kim's satisfaction that Bianchi's have got heavier in modern times:
Kim Sinclair____________ 1975 Specialissima 18 1/4 pounds
Allister Worrall__________ 1983 Specialissima 19 1/2 pounds
David Benson ___________ late 80's 20 1/2 pounds
Simon Foster ____________1992-ish 22 pounds