Forget the super fast boards of Manchester. Imagine a track meeting whose roots go back to the year 1314; where the track is only 200 metres and one of the straights is bordered by a burn (that's a stream in Queen's English)... a track meeting which goes ahead even in a torrential rain - welcome to the world of the Highland Games, and one of Scotland's greatest exponents of the form; John Hardie.
The 'Devil' had just started in Day three of the Rotterdam Six Day 2012 when I wandered down the stairs in search of bottles of water (still - no gas), and by the time I got back what should have been ‘just another race’ had become another of those episodes which remind you that as well as being glamorous, the sport is also a very dangerous one.
Ailsa Craig is lost in the low cloud, visibility isn't much beyond the breakwater. The rain is a fine, freezing, stinging mist - it's a perfect day for the last stage at The Girvan 2007. We've just agreed that the guys from Bike&Run London, with their cool all-white kit and matching Looks, opened the curtains and began packing the car for the trip home immediately.
"Sea, sex and sun," sings Serge Gainsbourg on Radio Nostalgi - all very well, but the boys have 640 K to drive, this Sunday morning, it's the TT from Bordeaux to Pauillac. Today's chrono is 52 kilometres, but Saturday's L'Equipe glossy magazine takes us back 30 years to a much shorter effort against the watch - the Olympic one kilometre championship in 'Moscou.'