All aboard the Skylark
Firstly, congratulations to all Lincsquadders, who over the last weekend, took part in various triathlons and races across England, the Lake District and Wales. It must have been like taking a hammer to the head to bringing those results home! It truly is great to see Lincsquad colours flying high. This upcoming weekend sees the Bomber descend on Brigg and many nations will compete! Good luck to all and safe racing! I spent a bit of time reading Lincsquadders’ reports from the Slateman and they reminded me of the story of Pheidippides. It has been said that after his nonstop run from Marathon to Athens, Pheidippides immediately collapsed and died. In my mind this is the most comprehensive example of athletic suffering imaginable. You might say he gave it 110 %…( insert winky emoji)…Likewise, cycling is a sport with a rich and colourful history, its traditions and codes of conduct have evolved over more than a century. The Velominati Rules are dedicated to maintaining the etiquette of cycling’s culture. The rules cover everything, however in my opinion, the most important is rule 9… if you are out training in bad weather you are bad ass; period. Tonight, at Scawby Brook, rule 5 prevailed…. The very essence of being a cyclist, to persist in the face of intense suffering. Cyclists never follow the path of least resistance according to this rule, and like Pheidippides, tonight 34 racers gave it everything. No one died on the TT attempt tonight however which was very good. Bad luck though Pheidippides on that whole death thing and well done on that there run you savage you.
A fortnight ago, I journeyed from my desk to the office window every now and then to give the weather a good frowning. I wondered which lincsquadder had worn a pair of shorts from their wardrobe and instantly triggered 40 days of biblical storms. There are so many types of British weather…its boiling out there; it was sunny earlier; its colder than it looks; its chucking it down; it’s so grey; quite mild; bit chilly and my personal favourite, its Baltic out there! Well tonight, over the course of 1 hour, we had all varieties of the above!
Did you know that although early bikes were all well and good, they were missing a certain je ne sais quoi? They were designed without pedals! At the start of the race tonight, the early TT riders would probably have preferred not to have pedals as pushing themselves forwards using their legs like frantic frogs may have seemed the correct approach! According to legend and history, an enterprising Scottish blacksmith named Kirkpatrick MacMillan gave cycling the lift off by welding 2 well positioned pedals on! Hecking great work fella! However this story has a sorry ending, because after setting off on his new bike, on a 70 kms ride with his freshly welded on pedals, from his home to Glasgow he accidentally knocked over a young girl in the Gorbals! It was reported by a Glasgow newspaper that the girl suffered minor bruising and the cyclist was fined 5 shillings. Cycling had just witnessed its first reported crash! This story may or may not be true, however I am the TT secretary and what I say goes…soooo..It is true! No crashes tonight, 34 riders left the King Billy and returned safely.
On with the report and as usual I will report the lasses results, while Jon reports on the men. On paper Jon and I appear to be polar opposites of each other. It is my opinion that Jon is a louder version of me, with seemingly the same flow of writing that gets extremely excited and offers some very odd turns of phrase. I probably wouldn’t change my tone of writing if a racer’s head exploded and it turned out they were an alien. I kind of assume that kind of thing will happen during these races at some point. Jon is excellent. He is thoroughly knowledgeable, not only with regards to the racers and their abilities, but also in the science and tactics behind what they are doing. He also has a great tone that is never belittling, and he conveys the action well. Me, on the other hand….. I am a nightmare for both the knowledgeable and the inexperienced, both of whom are soon be completely confused by the fact that what I describe in writing, bears no relation at all to what happened at tonight’s race. So, by the powers of the mythical magical flying Birds Eye fishfinger sandwich, this report is brought to you by myself and Jon, (AKA Aladdin)…..I’m expecting him to pull one of his magic reports out of his lamp or whatever…… I’m not a betting lass but I’m willing to take a punt on these results blowing your mind across more postcodes than the Royal Mail can recognise
The stopwatch on tonight’s TT has stopped. It’s up to God and the timekeepers now. The time keepers tonight were Anna Gibbs, Emma Riby and Jess Porte. …. And God was God. The marshals were Kev Lovett, Jane Taylor, Steve Hall and Sue Hoare, who like most of us, are human beings. Thanks to all for your dedication in foul weather to help this is greatly appreciated. On the injury bench we had Malcolm Dent and Jon Challen. (I found them jobs to do….)
On with the lasses, congratulations to Camilla Morgan of Lincsquad, who finished well above the ladies who were well below her. The time margins between Fiona Fisk 2nd, Jen Worsley 3rd and Vikki Wilson 4th (all Lincsquad) were marginal. She looks like an angel, she rides like a demon, Lincsquad’s TT secretary Pam rode to 5th place. Karen Braithwaite in 6th position had her start off to perfection and drew her sword for the final sprint across the line. Tonight was an amazing time for Catherine Smart of Lincsquad who finished in 7th. Catherine is a lass to keep your eye on as there is definitely more to come from her. Chris Kirkby of Lincsquad…..aka the “fox” was on her race bike and motored well into 8th place. However then came Katie Scutt, also of Lincsquad, aka the “rabbit” hot on her tail and finished in a respectable 9th position. I’ve seen it all now, a rabbit chasing a fox around Redbourne Roundabout. Rita Mooney is a plucky little rider and is afraid of no one, she crossed the line in 10th. Soaked in talent, Gillian Johnston of Lincsquad was just staring at the road ahead with her eyes as she flew past the timekeepers. You cannot buy commitment like Cheryl Orr of Lincsquad who finished the night with a PB and a huge smile. Well done to all the racing ladies and we look forward to seeing your next battle at round 5. Over to JC for an update on the gents ………
The atrocious wet weather of 2 weeks ago, coupled with the untimely showers of Round 4, has reminded me of a story relating to the Steve Jobs, the Apple guy. Over the last decade we’ve become accustomed to hearing the phrase ‘marginal gains’ from those chaps at British Cycling and Team Sky. Now to us mere mortals ‘marginal gains’ may mean cutting down to just 3 custard creams instead of 4 with your mid-morning cup of tea. However, Steve Jobs had a different view on this. The story goes like this ………………….
When the boffins working on the first iPod completed their prototype, they presented their work to Steve Jobs for his approval. Jobs had a good look at it, played some tunes on it and then weighed it in his hands. He rejected it, too big! The boffins argued their corner stating that they had ‘reinvented inventing’ in order to create the iPod, and that it was simply impossible to make it any smaller. Jobs went quiet for a bit and had a ponder. Finally he stood up, walked over to the fish tank and dropped the iPod in ……………… plop! Shortly after it sank to the bottom some tiny bubbles floated up and out of the iPod. ‘Those are air bubbles’ said Jobs, ‘That means there’s space in there. Make it smaller.’ From what I gather the lesson is something to do with breaking down the barriers that prevent us from progressing, just because we are told by everyone else that it can’t be done. Personally I think the lesson is: Don’t give an inventor your iPod, unless you like the sound of Tenpole Tudor at 20,000 leagues under the sea’.
So, on an evening when we would have made more sense to be wearing wetsuits and life jackets, who captained their vessels the best? Bringing his Sunseeker home to the harbour in first place was Richard Walker of Scunthorpe Poly, closely followed by Sheehan Quirke of Lincsquad aboard the Good Ship Lollypop, with Ben Creasy, also Lincsquad, pushing his pedalo along to round off the jetty, sorry podium.
Flying along like Captain Ahab in pursuit of that great white whale was Chris Ware , whist Drew Hobley was heard humming away to the lyrics of Sloop John B. Racing faster than Sinbad across the Seven Seas was Jacob Riby. Replicating a trident missile on the night was Submarine Captain Darren Scutt whilst Rob Walsh was preparing to sword fight those skeletons after successfully navigating the Argo around the LQ10/2 course. Now I’ve run out of seafaring analogies, but mention needs to be given to Lincsquad’s Mark Gollings, Chris Gibbs, Kev Lovett, Ed Smith and Paul Armstrong who all finished within 5 seconds of each other, fantastic efforts guys! As for me, I was stuck in the harbour singing sea shanties, I think I will have that 4th custard cream after all. Well done to all who braved the showers and crossed that finishing line ……….. oh …………hang on …………… I appear to have missed someone, only Captain Horatio Nelson himself, Lincsquad’s ‘Man for all Occasions’, Wayne Beedham. In recent weeks we’ve all been asked to ‘Be like Rob’ and to his credit Wayne took this instruction quite literally by ‘borrowing’ Rob Walsh’s bike when he wasn’t looking and venturing out on to the LQ10/2 course to smash his first ever TT. Chapeau Wayne and thank you for choosing the LQ10/2 for your first TT.
It’s around this time in the report that we like to introduce our TT Guru, the Baron. As you know his identity is a closely guarded secret, so secret he didn’t even tell himself until after Round 2. The rumour is that he was originally cast in the role of Martin Brody in the Jaws film, but that they kept running out of sharks that were tough enough to work with him, so they had to bring in Roy Scheider when filming started. All we know is that he is called the Baron, and he’s here to impart some words of wisdom ……………..
“Have you noticed if we didn’t talk about the weather there wouldn’t be a lot else to open conversations with? This is especially true following a TT race as TT racers intuitively know the speed and direction of which way the wind is blowing with a level of accuracy Dorothy and Toto (not the band!) could have really done with. For info it’s always a minimum of “hard to gusty” and a headwind BOTH ways. Other pearls of wisdom to throw in to assure your fellow competitors are aware of your encyclopaedic knowledge are….. Warmer air means faster times as the air is thinner and easier to push through. Rain makes you faster as the wet surface reduces the coefficient of friction between the tyre and tarmac. Deep section wheels act as sails in certain conditions giving you more speed. Don’t eat yellow snow… or any berries below waist height. Let’s hope for a warm rainy day with a strong back wind with no funny tasting snow or brambles”
Thanks Baron. We’ll hear more from you in a couple of weeks’ time.
The silence in the paddock was deafening. The crowd waited anxiously as we revealed our lone wolf and secret agent for the night was Malcolm Dent! Malcolm was in charge of our on the spot competition and chose Cheryl Orr to win. Malcolm chose Cheryl as she embodied the spirit of the Giro in tonight’s TT. Congratulations Cheryl and thank you Malcolm for helping choose the winner tonight. Speedy recovery Malcolm, Lincsquad hopes to see you back out on the course soon. But wait, is that the smell of burning fish and chips? The atmosphere grew so tense there was hardly enough air for us all to breath as the raffle was drawn! Result! Emma Riby won a bike cleaning kit to clean Jacob’s bike with!
With tonight’s TT at a close, all racers are now home and will soon be realising that just as they have dried off their kit, it will time be time to hit round 5…… Thanks to King William pub for being excellent hosts.
It’s now 11pm which means it is 2 hours past my bed time…. So Jon and I will bid you good night! Thanks for taking the time to read the report. If you like what you have read, then please leave us a comment or contact me direct on firstname.lastname@example.org, we love to hear from you.
Ciao, Ciao, Ciao
Pam and Jon.
|Richard Walker||7||Scunthorpe Poly||20||54|
|Shaun Robinson||25||Lindsey Roads||22||58|
|Phil Burton||26||Viking Velo||23||26|
|Kevin Wilson||24||Racing Team Dawson||23||35|
|Camilla Morgan F||30||Lincsquad||25||44|
|Fiona Fisk F||23||Lincsquad||26||48|
|Jen Worsley F||33||Lincsquad||26||52|
|Vikki Wilson F||17||Lincsquad||26||59|
|Pam Challen F||5||Lincsquad||28||26|
|Karen Braithwaite F||19||Lincsquad||28||48|
|Catherine Smart F||21||Lincsquad||28||54|
|Chris Kirkby F||3||Lincsquad||29||3|
|Katy Scutt F||8||Lincsquad||31||25|
|Rita Mooney F||11||Lincsquad||32||22|
|Gillian Johnston F||29||Lincsquad||33||7|
|Cheryl Orr F||4||Lincsquad||38||9|