The annual May Day cyclist shoot is expected to draw a record crowd this year, as huge numbers of the migrant subspecies pour into Harold from surrounding ring roads.
With their brightly coloured lycra plumage in spectacular condition, organisers hope to bring down at least 20 of the blighters before they reach the relative safety of Dunstable.
“Barristers and stock brokers alike revere the cyclists of Harold”, explained sportskeeper Iliah Evans. “They’re bred for their speed, stamina and easily shootable buttocks.”
Using a combination of buckshot and thumbtacks, keen cyclistists hope to ‘bag the double’ of a downed rider and two punctures with just one shot.
Despite protests, Evans insists that the event is quite humane, with free-range cyclists having a better quality of life before they’re put on the table.
“Anyone who’s squeezed the tender, meaty thigh of a largely organic bike enthusiast will know the difference from an intensively reared, flabby commuter”, insisted Evans. “Besides, if we don’t keep the numbers down we’ll be overrun with empty water bottles and a thick sea of gob all down both sides of the high street.”
Perhaps surprisingly, some saboteurs admit that the behaviour of road racers can be hard to explain. “If they just winged the odd pedestrian or wrenched off a door mirror occasionally, no-one would want to see the peloton culled”, said Evans. “But once one of them gets into a line of traffic they’ll scrape and dent every last car. Even some foxes would say they behave like c**ts.”
At noon, beaters will drive resting cyclists from the Squirrel Lickers car park, towards the paying crowd of tweed-clad outsiders that villagers also hate.
“They come for the challenge, bikes are quick and travel in packs for safety”, said Evans. “And the etiquette can be complex: it’s not considered sporting to shoot them while they’ve stopped to pump up a tyre or pull their pants out of their bottoms.”
“But nothing tops the joy of bringing down a tandem at full chat, as it crowns the hump back bridge over the canal. Unless it lands on the bonnet of a hedgefund manager’s Range Rover. That’s a real cause for celebration, we locals love it when none of them go home happy.”