I scream, you scream 12 TT racers scream for ice cream!!

TT report Round 9

My Irish grandma on both sides, as well as my mum, my aunties, my cousins, my sister, my nieces all say that nothing really cools you down as much as a cup of tea.  Personally, I think this is false news!  In my opinion, nothing cools you quite like an ice cream!  Just ask tonight’s dozen racers and marshals who attended the LQ10/2, whether they thought the ice cream was cooling! Lincsquad paid for us all to have an ice cream!   The thing about ice cream is that it’s all very well biting off a big chunk of your poke, but then you’ve got to swallow it! Size is important! Never bite off more than you can chew!  Before we get to the easy job of swallowing tonight’s results, here is a little context to achieving marginal speed gains.

This last week, in response to an email which I received from Mr Mak E Mcfaster who enquired about whether he should shave his legs to gain speed on his TT bike, I set about concocting a little experiment.  This experiment involved using Jon fully clothed in a Chewbacca outfit (found it in the dungeons of TT towers) as a lab guinea pig err control subject………The research involved timing him as he rode his TT bike around the Kelsey’s route.  The route is approx. 13 miles long and is flat.

This is not the first time that I have experimented with Jon; a previous attempt saw Jon eat nothing but onions for a full day before a 1:15:1 duathlon race.  I promised him that this would make him ride faster.  He missed the mischief in this and took the experiment at face value.  To my knowledge, there were no methane powered race bikes on the duathlon series, however that week, the marshals did wonder.

We got the wheels rolling on Thursday night of last week, due to there being a regular ambient balmy temperature of 28 degrees from 18:00 until 21:00. I considered the ethics of carrying out this experiment on such a small sample, i.e. Jon, however decided to go ahead anyway.

Research Topic Hairy extremities impede fast TT times
Research problem Are shaved extremities faster than non-shaved extremities
Literature Search I didn’t have time to be fair to do a proper literature search about the subject; however I did find this completely unrelated piece of research!  A Dutch shipmaster used heat to concentrate wine in order to make it easier to transport the wine, with the idea of adding water to reconstitute it when he arrived at his destination.  However, he discovered that concentrated wine was better than watered down wine!  This resulted in “burnt wine” or “brandewijn” in dutch becoming very much a hit!  Called it brandy for short! Who knew?
Hypothesis Shaving excess hair increases TT speed over a pre-determined distance
Design Experimental
Method, results and discussion Thursday evening from 18:00 through to 21:30.  Air temperature maintained at 23 degrees.  Jon to wear Chewbacca outfit, also helmet and to ride his TT bike over a distance of 13 miles.

Route was the Kelsey’s Flat route (approx. 13 miles)

First lap:  Jon wore Chewbacca outfit, helmet and rode his TT bike…..32 mins

Second lap:  Jon wore Chewbacca outfit, (One leg shaved) helmet and rode his TT……33 mins

Third lap:  Jon wore Chewbacca outfit, (both legs shaved, front only)   helmet and rode his TT bike…….28 mins

Fourth lap:  Jon wore Chewbacca outfit, (both legs shaved front and back) helmet and rode his TT bike……..27 mins

*experiment called off at 4th lap due to Jon being unable to continue, displaying signs of heat stroke……


Extrapolating conclusions from the data, Jon completed the first 13 miles in an incredible time of 32 minutes, this was the control, any increase/decrease in time could be attributed to the hair shaving.  Shaving one leg made little difference to his time as the second lap was 33 minutes.    He flew in the third lap, with both legs shaved (front only) recording 28 mins.  The final lap proved beyond reasonable statistical doubt that shaving legs front and back reduces drag on the bike, increasing speed.


Conclusion and recommendations This was a small experiment, using just one sample study victim.  Ethics were considered, and the experiment was stopped after I had recorded the data that I needed to prove that shaving legs does improve TT speed.  This conclusive evidence confirms that statistically speaking, shaving legs does improve TT speed! That or just don’t wear a Chewbacca suit to TT in on the hottest day in the UK!!  Also, brandy may or may not improve TT times.


On with the ladies’ results, I’m not sure if she is a Rolling Stones fan, however just like Jumpin Jack Flash, life was a gas, gas, gas for Caitlin Bower of Swansea Uni,  congrats on your first place.  The pendulum swung in favour of Jayne Baldwin of Don Tri who roared over the line in second.  Slum dunk into third, Jane Taylor of Lincsquad whooshed across the line.

He’s in a league of his own. He silences all the critics. He silences all the naysayers. He’s Lincsquad’s spark plug. He’s Lincsquad’s role model. He understands his role on the Lincsquad team. He’s the consumate team player. He’s a good guy to have in your locker room. He’s a steady player.  It’s Jon with the mens’ results.

Hairy legs, a topic of debate for decades. Just why do cyclists shave their legs? Do all those tiny hairs really slow you down? Do shaved legs really help with hygiene when the inevitable road rash occurs? Do they give extra definition to those overdeveloped bulging calf muscles? My personal choice is not to shave, for one simple reason; I don’t want to waste valuable energy re-growing them all again. End of.

On to the results. Top of the pile, with legs like Gandalf’s beard was Sheehan Quirke in a time of 21:32. Giving Brian Blessed a run for his money was Kev Wilson in 2nd place, and rounding off the podium with legs like Santa’s chin was Chris Ware. That’s enough of the hairy leg analogies for one night …………….. well ……………. there’s probably room for a few more. Making Sophocles look relatively clean shaven was Jacob Riby, whilst auditioning for Charles Darwin the musical was Malcolm Dent, meaning keen that movie goers Tony England. and Drew Hobley were paying tribute to Hagrid and Gimli respectively.


Baron! Baron! Please save us from this hairy madness with your fortnightly words of wisdom. Some say that he invented the disposable razor, with nothing more than his mind, a stick and a beach to draw his ideas on when he was shipwrecked on a desert island. His beard had grown so long that he was able to plat it in to a fully working bike and turbo trainer. When the rescuers finally found him (after 3 years, 8 months, 5 days and 2 hours) he’d clocked up a mighty 201,000 miles. Good job they didn’t rescue him a week earlier when he was still on 199,000. Anyway, he’s the mysterious Baron and he’s here to make sense of another week in TT land.

“Bonjour a tous.  Avez-vous tous apprecie le Tour?  Un festival de performance, de courage et de tout ce qui est francais.  Toutes les deux semaines, nous voyons un example similaire a notre proper TT mais moins francais.  Je ne peux penser a aucune plus rande marque de respect que de donner le meme effort que Alaphilippe Pinot Bernal….. Rohan Dennis.”

Mais oui Baron…….. voulez vous une Ferrero Rocher?  Post race, we all gathered in a little circle, gently singing Sweet Home Alabama.  It struck me that the raffle is just as tense as the actual race.  Faces became anxious as we nervously fingered our tickets, would we be successful in this game of chance….. Every child (and adult) knows that play is nobler than work. They know too that the worth or merit of a game is not inherent in the game itself but rather in value of that which is put at hazard. Games of chance require a wager to have meaning at all. Games of sport involve the skill and strength of the opponents and the humiliation of defeat and the pride of victory are in themselves sufficient stake because they inhere in the worth of the principals and define them. But trial of chance or trial of worth, all games aspire to the condition of war for here that which is wagered swallows up game, player, all.  Fiona Fisk won the raffle.  Well done that lass.

Bish bang whallop that concludes tonight’s TT results.  Thanks to all marshalls on the night for volunteering your time.  Thanks as always to Cathy for your support.  Thanks to the King William pub for being excellent hosts and ice cream experts.

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Ciao, Ciao, Ciao

Pam, Jon and the TT team


Name No Club Min Sec
S Quirke 4 Lincsquad 21 32
Kevin Wilson 12 Racing Team Dawson 23 13
C Ware 6 Lincsquad 23 39
Caitlin Bower F 11 Swansea Uni 24 0
Jacob Ribey 1 Team Sportslab 25 45
Jayne Baldwin F 2 Don Tri 26 17
Jane Taylor F 10 Lincsquad 26 27
M Dent 7 Lincsquad 26 42
T England 5 Lincsquad 26 45
Drew Hobley 3 Lincsquad 26 46
V Wilson F 8 Lincsquad 27 11
Fiona Fisk F 9 Lincsquad 27 12