ERC 2021 Midweek TT Series - Week 2 - Are those shoe condoms?

10 June 2021

First things first, the title. I know, bit odd, even for me. There is an explanation though. I was getting ready to cycle over to Tranent (sorry but I'm not driving each week, you're not going to have the luxury of a fold out table to sign on every week), and putting on a set of Specialized Warp Sleeves, basically a rubbery cover for my shoelaces #aero. When I was putting these on my partner asked, "Dan, why do you have shoe condoms?" To be honest, of all the spray-on lycra and various aero clothing I have, I was a little surprised that it was the shoelace covers which finally raised an eyebrow.

As ever with the Tranent course the conditions played a vital role, so, the Week 2 'Holy Trinity weather check'. Dry - check. That's it. 1 of 3. Raise your hand if you died many a death through Macmerry on the return leg...

37 riders signed up but even with a handful of DNS' 30 still competed. Keep it coming!

I think before I get into the business of writing about the racing I have to give a shoutout to Chris Howie. Chris kindly sent me a message last week complimenting my race reports. He'd even tried to get his wife to read the report, but she refused, naturally. So this week's report is, of course, dedicated to the Howie's - I fully expect Chris to print copies of the report and place them strategically around the house; that's what I'd do anyway, resistance is futile!

Of the early starters we had youngsters Xander Graham, Cameron Adam and Alasidar Easton set off. Cameron, aged 15, did a very impressive time of 23:49. Alasdair, 13, 26:39 and Xander, aged 12, the same height as his bike and has to use a junior chainset the size of a saucer did 27:27. Which quite impressively is exactly the same time as last week. That's consistency for you.

Kelly Rhodes was the fastest female yesterday, posting a time of 27:54, an improvement of 1min 26s from last week. Nice work, keep it up!

The road bikers may have more prominence this week because I raced on a road bike last night. Last night I did wonder why anyone would race a TT on a road bike, I thought time trialling was an excuse to purchase a new bike. But with mine currently crankless (c'mon SRAM, send me my warranty replacement) I thought I'd give road bike TTing a whirl. Note to self, don't have average speed on your garmin, it's just going to induce feelings of sadness and despair. You might as well just listen to a Radiohead album whilst racing.

I think we can all say the way out was quite nice, cross tailwind, not gaining the full effect but a nice boost nonetheless. But oh man, the way back was like heading towards Mordor - no offence Macmerry & Tranent, I don't think the Tranent Aldi represents some kind of Eye of Sauron or that the local populus is full of Orks. When cresting the drag and heading into Macmerry I had to double check I hadn't deployed a parachute, though I was reasonably confident the Giant Propel didn't come with one inbuilt.

I was the fastest road biker on the night with a 23:27 - not often you hear the words 'Dan was the fastest..' unless they're followed by 'to the buffet', 'to get a freebie', 'to take advantage of a discount' or 'to grab a second slice of cake'. And I can also safely say, I am very much looking forward to getting back on my TT bike. Chris Banks was second with 24:38 and Colin Sills third with 24:55.

Everyone in the top 10 was sub 23 mins and we had 8 riders go under 22 minutes yesterday, many taking advantage of the nice cross-tailwind on the way out and hanging on for dear life on the way back. Joe Agnew 21:52, Leahn Perry - goes well with cheese on toast 21:36, Oliver Teenan 21:31, Ian Dobbie 21:24 and John Waller, narrowingly losing the Battle of the Wallers, was 4th with 21:15.

Sandy Waller was 3rd with 21:03, a new PB fuelled by his second AstraZeneca vaccine earlier in the week. I'm sure the Bill Gates 5G tracking technology played a part.

Alan Dean pipped Sandy to 2nd with 21:02. I saw last night on Strava that Alan had been declared a 'local legend' of the ERC TT course segment, not a truer word has been said.

The winner on the night, fresh from his 19:37 at the GTR open 10M TT, was Coach Rory Downie who almost went sub 20 - something I've only seen once before at Tranent, with a 20:08. Not much more to be said really, that's a great time and nearly a minute faster than 2nd place. I feel I may be typing 'Rory was 1st' quite a lot this year.

Thank you to all the volunteers - Alan Burke & Andrew Sinclair for time keeping. Ciaran McSherry & Ruari Black for another week of roundabout marshalling success - in their own words - "two weeks, no deaths". Can't argue with that. Sarah Emslie for marshalling at the A199/A1 junction. Finally a big thank you to Giles Oakley for taking time out of his busy schedule to be on signs & marshalling duty. He's usually flying around the world visiting posh hotels with Monica Galetti. The Loch Centre in Tranent may not be the Royal Mansour but your help was much appreciated.

Full Results here - Week 2 Results

See you all next week

Go well