4 seasons in one TT…..
A few people have asked me about how long it takes to write these TT reports. My answer is that you can’t pitch up home ten minutes after the race, warm up the computer and wing this gig. The race results, CTT affiliations, Lincsquad’s members list and weather details need to be scoured. We always quickly trawl through social media for rider opinions and talking points.
Some TTs, Jon and I are buzzing post-race from the rush of commentary ideas that we have and it seems as if we are wired by a couple of triple espressos. However, at other TTs, we feel as drained as the riders. Tonight we had a near miss on the pre-race ride check. We always check the course pre-race to ensure there are no hazards on the night. If there are, we complete the risk assessments required by CTT. Tonight on the check ride, Jon was unfortunate enough to hit a rabbit with the front wheel of his TT bike. It turned out to be the Easter Bunny! The candy and easter eggs that it was carrying in its basket flew everywhere across the road. We are both animal lovers so we stopped to see if the rabbit was hurt, unfortunately it was indeed dead. I told Jon not to worry, and searched in my musette for a spray can. I sprayed its contents onto the furry animal. Miraculously, the Easter Rabbit came to life, jumped up, picked up the spilled eggs and candy, waved its paw at us and hopped off down the road. 50 metres away, the Easter rabbit stopped, turned around, waved and hopped another 50 metres down the road. Again he waved. Jon was astonished and asked me what I had sprayed the bunny with. I turned the can round so that he could read the label: “Hair Spray. Restores life to dead hair. Adds permanent wave”!!!! In contrast, Sean Kelly was asked what his strategy was when riding a Tour de France Time Trial and his answer was “er, basically to ride as fast as possible from A to B”. That’s the formulae that Jon and I follow to structure these reports. Who made it from A to B the fastest is important, however importanter to report is who is making steady progress and who is smashing their PBs into the outer galaxy, and I don’t mean the chocolate bar type!
If we were to have a slow motion replay of the racing tonight, the racers wouldn’t appear to move so fast. We predicted that the TT would be a proper llama drama ding dong and that’s exactly what we got. Conditions were Irish at best and Irish at worst. The Devil himself must have cast his net to capture the worst weather to hit Scawby Brook at 18:30. 40 racers lined up at the sign on desk, alphabetically by height. It was a sight that reminded us of cattle in a mad way, however cattle that were about to ride bikes. A pretty safe assumption is that if history has a habit of repeating itself, then we should expect the same results from this week’s TT as last time. However, tonight’s TT had all the human drama of cycling passion that we have come to expect on a Wed night.
There’s a thin line between a numerator and a denominator. If you laughed at this fraction joke, you are definitely a math person and the results of tonight’s TT should pose you no problems. However, did you know that people were using fractions to keep track of amounts of things as early as 1800 BC? That equates to when Jon started racing TTs so we know we are in safe hands as he counter checks time keeping times!
Shingaling shingaling, shingaling, shingaling lets go to the lasses’ results. It has been said that no one is perfect, however they also say that practice makes perfect (I wish they’d make up their minds), well Caitlin Bower of Swansea Road Team got it hecking perfect as far as the conditions allowed, she led the ladies home in a time of 24:53. Ruth Wilson of Racing Team Dawson is a lass who gets up at 6am in the morning regardless of what time it is to start her training! Congrats on 2nd place, Ruth’s just a 6am kind of dude. In the words of D Moody, “we are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we don’t have to tell anyone that it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining, they just shine” By heck Camilla Morgan of Lincsquad in third place didn’t just shine, she lit up the LQ10/2 and the whole of the Scunthorpe grid with her power output. Look whose coming up in fourth, little Vikki VT Wilson making her bike quiver like a horse when it sees a sugar lump. Jane Taylor also of Lincsquad in 5th position cruised over the line with huge panache. Jennifer Worsley and Claire West followed closely with tenacity. The remaining ladies showed an extraordinary power and wisdom out there on the course in conditions that I am sure Sean Kelly would have returned home, binned the training and made a brew!
Since the last report, I was wondering why Jon had been covering himself in mud, gaffer taping bricks to his road bike wheels and then riding 1 and a half laps of the lanes while asking me to hold up spare wheels for him. To add to my confusion, he then asked me to photograph him, at the end of the laps, when he was absolutely exhausted. It transpires that he was emulating how the Springs Classics racing would feel in real life. (If you want to see the photos, send me a message….) Hold off on the cracker barrel for a moment Auntie Bethany, Jon is sitting up in his commentary position like a TT King, I’m passing him cups of tea and notes on tonight’s riders. He is untouchable in his majesty as he prepares to dispense instant justice from tonight’s men’s’ results.
All of this talk from Pam about wildlife reminded me of a rather significant ‘other’ 24th April from many years ago, 3,203 years ago to be precise. For those of you who don’t remember this date (24th April 1184 BC), as you were too busy staring out of the classroom window dreaming of riding your push bike instead of paying attention in your history lessons, let me divulge. Exactly 3,203 years to the day of Round 2 of our humble TT, 30 Greek warriors snuck in to the city of Troy hidden in a huge wooden horse. Once the Trojans had packed up for the night and gone to bed the Greek warriors tip-toed out of their hiding place, opened the gates (to let in the rest of the Greek army) and ransacked the city, thus ending a 10 year siege. Fortunately these days we don’t have to sneak around in order to enter a city of our choice, or even to compete in your favourite time trial. However, now that we’ve had 2 rounds you will need to be a member of an affiliated club to continue racing in the series, if you’ve used up your 2 ‘come and try’ passes. But fear not, don’t construct a huge wooden horse and have your pals push it down to the paddock behind the King Billy, just join a friendly local club, say Lincsquad for instance, and you’re good to race to your heart’s content (or your lung’s capacity) all season long.
So, just who were our Greek warriors from Wednesday night? First out of the horse leading the way was 2019’s Odysseus, or Richard Walker as we like to call him. 2nd, taking on the role of Diomedes, was Sheehan Quirke, with Sthenelus, aka Shaun Robinson, in 3rd. Just off the podium, but giving justice to his namesake Anticlus, was our former Chairman David Hinch, anxious to get the job done as quickly as possible to have more time sightseeing around the city of Troy, or rather propping up the bar in the King Billy. But as history will tell us, that horse wall full to the rib cage with warriors, just as the King Billy was on Wednesday night. Cracking rides from Thersander (Steve Hall) and Philoctetes (Kev Lovett) saw them just as inseparable outside of the horse as there were inside it, as were Neoptolemus (Jamie Moss) and Eurypylus (Ian Berridge). Hats off (they certainly were in that wind) to young Menelaus (Jacob Riby) who was our first junior male rider on the night.
So, history lesson over, now time for a lesson in life, the universe and everything from our resident philosopher. The word is that the local bookmakers are starting to offer odds to anyone wishing to guess his identity. I can tell you that it’s definitely not Victor Campenaerts, so don’t be putting your 50p on him. However, they do say he was the guru entrusted to whisper those last words of wisdom to Victor before he tore away from the line to break the 1 hour record. What we do know is he’s called The Baron, and here he is …
“My role as an international arms dealer means I get to travel the world and from my Monaco balcony I find myself pondering the requirements of the perfect TTer. The heart of a lion is an often used analogy. But let’s think outside the box a little here and use the hummingbird resting heart rate of 125bpm rising to a palpitating 1200bpm. Couple that with the muscular legs of the Ostrich to reach 70mph and all we have to worry about now is the aero. Ears folded back like a stalking cat and a nose shaped by a kingfisher (used by designers of the Bullet train to reduce turbulence when entering tunnels) and we basically have someone who providing they can turn up at their specified start time will smite all before them. Obviously such an abomination will be riding SRAM equipment I hear sirens…. I must go…..”
Thanks Baron, enlightening as ever!????!!!! As always post TT, the King Billy pub smelt of wood smoke, pine and home cooking. Hot food was available and it really is worth hanging around post TT to enjoy. As the raffle was drawn, I got thinking about pizza. It is my opinion that people who don’t like pineapple on their pizza actually have a lot in common with people who do. They may seem like bitter enemies at first. Pineapple pizza people often think of the anti-pineapple crew as just a bunch of restrictive haters putting arbitrary limits on a favourite dish, and the pineapple free team tend to view pineapple people as defilers of an already sacred and perfect food. But both share something very, very important; a love of pizza. I digress, with a smile the size of a pizza, Camilla Morgan shared her bag of celebrations, donated by Cathy Walsh, among the grateful crowd of TTers. Thanks Cathy and let’s celebrate Camilla!!
The sun set somewhere over round 2 behind the threatening freezing rain clouds. Genuine thanks to Lincsquad TT team for their excellent both behind the scenes and in front shop. As always, thanks to Jon in chaperoning duties with young Jacob, Jon is improving time wise and I suspect that youth has become the teacher. Thanks to The King Billy pub for being excellent hosts. Big thanks to all the riders for coming home safe and sound on what was a challenging night. As ever it’s great to send you all out there to race your socks off, but it’s even better when we count you all back in. Finally, thanks to all our marshals on the night.
If you like what you have read, please leave us a message in the comments or contact me direct on my firstname.lastname@example.org email. We honestly love to hear from you. Speaking of emails, this week’s excellent TT email comes from Mr Cwof Wee who asks me, “Do you drink coffee and why?” TT sec “I have many reasons to drink an espresso or two; 1: it tastes of hopes and dreams; 2: it perks me up; 3: other people talk to me and expect a response; 4: it helps me to mimic socially acceptable behaviour…… Co-incidentally these are also reasons why I drink Proscecco!”
Bless up and we will catch you all at Round 3 TT!
Ciao, ciao, Ciao, Ciao Pam and Jon
|Richard Walker||9||Scunthorpe Poly||22||19|
|Shaun Robinson||21||Lindsey Roads||23||28|
|Kevin Wilson||24||Racing Team Dawson||24||22|
|D Busby||35||Barton Wheelers||24||39|
|Caitlin Bower F||11||Swansea Road Team||24||53|
|Nigel Stones||15||Scunthorpe Poly||26||26|
|Ruth Wilson F||28||Racing Team Dawson||26||40|
|Camilla Morgan F||14||Lincsquad||27||30|
|Vikki Wilson F||25||Lincsquad||28||8|
|Darren Binns||34||Barton Wheelers||28||9|
|Jane Taylor F||36||Lincsquad||28||12|
|Rob Danson||27||Barton Wheelers||28||17|
|Jennifer Worsley F||38||Lincsquad||28||19|
|Claire West F||26||Lincsquad||30||16|
|Catherine Smart F||29||Lincsquad||30||23|
|Chris Kirkby F||3||Lincsquad||31||7|
|Karen Braithwaite F||20||Lincsquad||31||8|
|Rachel Brothwell F||13||Lincsquad||33||27|
|Shirley Hall F||2||Lincsquad||34||18|
|Katie Scutt F||18||Lincsquad||34||20|
|Sue Marshall F||4||Lincsquad||36||45|