2022 Midweek TT Series - Week 1 - The Wee English Fella

19 May 2022

So here we go again, please bare in mind I have covid. Therefore, this will be a little shorter than we are used to (scrolls to bottom and it turns out I've written 6 pages worth......). I was feeling I’d be able to bosh out something elaborate as usual, but the brain is not firing on all literary cylinders.

I will note, #compulsoryweddingchat, is of course back, and on that subject the wedding is still going on despite me coming back from a trip and passing covid onto Hannah. What’s mine is her’s after all. Well, we’ll revisit that exact phrase when it comes to my bike stuff.

I think I will be able to expand on #compulsoryhoneymoonchat too, our 3 week trip to Tuscany is in the process of being booked. It’s funny how many an eyebrow was raised, a throat cleared, water choked on, whenever the prospect of dropping huge wodges of cash on wedding related items. (Though I did go to Savile Row for my suit, so I can hardly complain). Yet when dropping big bucks on Florentine hotels, this prospect doesn’t cause any of my inner-accountant refluxes to kick into gear. No cold sweats occur, no thoughts of spreading payments over 0% interest periods, no care for cashflow planning. Honeymoon booking is a bit like when spending money on bikes.

As a fan of Derry Girls, once I realised that the wee English fella James, reminds me of Sandy. Once it has been seen, it cannot be unseen. Therefore, as well as all the bike fit related comments likely to fall Sandy’s way over the next 16 weeks. He will also be referred to as James, the wee English fella. I do have another one up my sleeve, but that can wait til next week.

I do appreciate the strong numbers we got last night too. The trend so far in 2022 is for race numbers to have dropped, for a handful of factors I am sure. But none can really escape the huge inflation cost of living elephant in the room. Well, I mean, ‘we’ can’t escape it. Our illustrious cabinet can though. Who’d have thought a Chancellor worth £200m, an ex-Goldman Sachs hedge fund manager, married to an Indian billionaire family would struggle to contemplate someone being able to afford to heat their house. I suppose he has to struggle with how many jacuzzies to heat. Time of strife such as these, war, inflation, cost of living crisis, climate change, Northern Ireland – I am really glad, as I am sure you are too, we have such a sensible, switched on, competent government that listens to our problems and has sensible solutions on how to solve them…….

Yesterday for example, one of Sunak’s plans to solve the cost-of-living crisis was to given businesses a corporation tax cut. Wonderful Rishi, top stuff, genius. To put that in bike terms, what Sunak is proposing there is about as useful as you getting a puncture on your tubeless wheelset and instead filling the tyre with new sealant, you fill it with rice pudding instead.

It was all change for the first TT of the season, roadworks caused a change of scenery. From one Tranent layby to a Gladsmuir layby. An upgrade of layby size, I cannot confirm whether the bacon sarnie van was there or not. But said layby usually has enough heavy goods vehicles parked to make a Tory MP blush and ‘accidentally’ google search about. Remember kids, don’t google about tractors in the workplace.

Thank you all for being flexible to race on the new course, especially as it includes more drags and roundabouts compared to the prior 5M TT course. Sorry, but don’t blame me, blame the roadworks in Macmerry.

To kick off last night we had the Crombie tandem of Warren and Sheena who went round in 12:48. Of the other early starters we had the ever supportive Easton’s of Eric and Alasdair, Alasdair at 14 is now at the age where I suspect if I don’t see him for a few weeks he’ll have grown 2 foot, developed facial hair and either sound like Barry White or Joe Pasquale. Eric finished in 14:23 and Alasdair 13:05.

There were a couple of other Female racers last night, Hazel Macleod was on a tandem with Alison Peasgood and they finished in the 2nd best time of the night of 11:15. I was supposed to derive some fancy formula to apportion extra time to a tandem rider, but then I thought, I have covid, I cannot be bothered.

The 4th Female racer on the night was Jadan – Vive Le Velo Loca rider Ricky Martin, sorry, I mean Beth Harley-Jepson. Beth finished in 12:26 as the fastest solo Female (yes, the ‘only’ solo female racer, but as I say a win is a win) and the 3rd fastest road biker.

Talking of the road bikers we had a handful last night, still too many people have forgotten about the n+1 rule. I say n+1, I am at 3 and maxed out at 3, if I ever reached for a 4th Hannah would have that crossed arms, unimpressed disapproving expression on her face similar to when I don’t fold up cardboard boxes properly to put in the recycling bin.

The Top 5 road bikers were, Frank Landay in 13:00, Colin Sills 12:28, Beth in 12:26, 2nd was Gavin McDougall in 12:10. A return to TT’s for Gavin who is a successful Cross racer in the winter, I’d like to think rather than circumnavigating the roundabouts, Gavin jumped off his bike and ran over them. Fastest road bike was Simon Archer of Team Andrew Allen Architecture – not sure why they have bright pink kits, either Mr Allen does some very bold architecting or they’re also sponsored by those Pink Wafer biscuits. Simon also finished 4th overall in 11:19.

The overall top 5 was made up by long sock wearing, 25cm bar and hoods turned in at 90degrees riding Elijah Kwon in 11:24. Simon as mentioned was 4th. James of Derry Girls fame, Sandy Waller was 3rd in 11:17. Hazel and Alison were 2nd. Fastest on the night was John Waller of EH Star. I hear John rode a bit of a Hulk like TT – torn open skinsuit and pedalling with rage. Seemed to work as he was the only rider under 11minutes in 10:55.

Thanks again and see you all in strong numbers next week, for a hopeful return to the normal 10M TT course!