2022 Midweek TT Series - Week 3 - A Hill Climb of Hereditary Privileged Proportions

2 June 2022

This could be one of those race reports that drifts from it's 'main topic.' Not that I've been one to stick to it's main topic, mind you.

The Yak hill climb this week was held somewhat accidentally. You can thank a mix of East Lothian Council and BT for that. Addressing the roadworks issue - hopefully, (he says hopefully), the BT works in Gladsmuir should finish around the 10th June and the Macmerry roadworks be pushed a side in evenings. Therefore Plan A on 8th June is the original 5M not 5M TT from Tranent to Macmerry/Gladsmuir roundabout and back. From 15th June, we should (again, he says hopefully) be back to our original set of routes. But as every GC contender says in a Grand Tour, we'll take it day by day.

Nothing that I can think of to report on the #compulsoryweddingchat and #compulsoryhoneymoonchat front. We are off to a wedding this weekend though. It is a military wedding. Which means two things, firstly I may need to be conscious of what I write later on, secondly that I needed a haircut. If I were lined up in wedding photos with rows of prim and proper soldiers, with the shortest of short back and sides, I'd very much stand out. I had gone past the Hall and Oates stage and, considering the setting, I would have looked like the hippy who had dodged the Vietnam draft. I realised I wore my helmet all evening yesterday so you wouldn't have been able to see my haircut. Hannah double-taked when she first saw me. Short and neat hair is a BIG change from the place from which we came. I will now at least look the part in my suit and not like Baldrick from Blackadder had thrust into a tailored 3-piece.

And now, the current affairs section.

The week itself has a few big 'news' items hanging over it. Apparently, the Depp-Heard trial has finished, insert shrug here. Boris Johnson is finally beginning to suffer from revolting MP's - the pun wasn't intended but when I read it back, it now very much was. It's amazing to think over 2 years into the job and Conservative MP's are only just beginning to have 'no-confidence' in him. I am about as confident in Boris Johnson's ability, as I am in having a full head of hair in 10 years time. Yet, his cabinet members are still rallying behind him because it would be terrible timing to oust Johnson now, as it would overshadow the Jubilee (don't worry, I'll to that in a second). Forgetting of course that Johnsons was partying the night before the Prince Philip's funeral. As with anything this Tory cabinet say, it suffers from being something which I call, 'absolute bullshit.' I wonder if Johnson's cabinet members keep coming to his support because they know, deep down, when they glance around that table that one of them may become the next PM. And they know they are the largest collective bunch of useless sacks of public school drivvle that have been elected to public office. Just imagine, Prime Minster - Truss, Sunak, Raab, Gove, Patel, Kwarteng, Zahawi, Schapps, Dowden, Rees-Mogg or Christ forbid Nadine Dorries. One day, one day we may become a normal country again doing normal things. Talking of which, the jubilee....

It's the Queen's 70th jubilee and because of that up and down the UK, well, England mainly. People will collectively begin to loose all sense of judgement and logic, celebrating a hereditary power structure with no actual powers but insane amounts of privilege. With the highest inflation in the G7, some of the worst economic performance in the Western world, prices booming and households choosing between 'heating or eating' - watching a multi-millionaire covered in priceless jewels, being driven in a solid gold carriage is, I'm sure, just the kind of thing people struggling to afford to eat will love to see.

That's before we even mention Prince Andrew. I think Virginia Giuffre has 12 million reasons why not to support the monarchy. Remember, the Queen helped to pay this legal settlement.

The idea of a monarchy, in 2022, reminds me of the below clip from The Naked Gun. I long for the day when the UK becomes a sensible country. The thought of adorning a family with insane wealth because they're born into it, doesn't make sense to me in the 21st Century. If all they are there to do is have their faces on stamps and bank notes, wave at people, shake hands, cut ribbons and get to travel the world in incredible luxury - then I do not see the point. If ditching the royals also mean we get a half-decent national anthem then surely that's another plus. Whenever I hear La Marseillaise, a wave of jealousy wafts over me.

Weeks such as this parts of the British public seem to go a bit silly, adorning everything with Union Jacks or crowns - exhibit A - Platinum Jubilee merch. Is it too much to ask for us to have a sensible, grown up country. Effective democracy where people's voices are heard, the most vulnerable supported, genuine achievement celebrated and a lot less of the public school pandering to little England postcodes?

Okay, I think I got that out my system, until next week that is.

Racing, right racing, that's what you came for isn't it (we all know it isn't).

About 28 riders initially signed up with 9 or so deferring entries or not starting. Which left us with 19 on the start line last night. Apparently there was one dissenting voice from a Female driver. Her complaint was that 'the sun was in the way.' Now, I think of myself as a handy administrator but being able to move the sun is slightly out of my remit. Even I can honestly admit that.

Abigail Corsie was the sole female participant last night, meaning, of course, she was the fastest female last night. She finished 15th in a time of 09:02.

There were a couple of youngsters, Alasdair Easton who won the battle of the Easton's finishing in 07:46, 8th overall and a smidge faster than his Dad Eric who came home 17th in 09:10. The second youngster was our local celebrity cyclist Xander Graham. Xander finished 6th overall in 07:30. Surely it helps, that not only is Xander a very talented cyclist, but also weighs less than my left arse cheek - an advantage in a hill climb.

I was expected a full set of road bikers but there was one rider wearing the TT bike dunce hat. Usually reserved for myself. Paul Rigg of NBCC was the sole TT biker, he finished 4th overall in 07:14.

The top 10 all went under 8 minutes last night. There was a joint 10th of Warren Crombie and Colin Sills who finished in 07:58. 9th was Euan Munro in 07:54. 8th Alasdair Easton. 7th, I am happy to report, without any unfortunate events scuppering his performance this year was Simon Titmuss. He bettered his 1st Yak performance from last year by over 20 minutes! Simon finished in 07:39. 6th was Xander Graham.

The top 5 - Alex Rollings was in 07:23. Paul Rigg was 4th. The top 3 all were under 7 minutes, but nobody got close to Ciaran McSherry's 5:47 from last year. 3rd was Lewis Hutchison, Lewis has a habit of suffering bad luck, be it a crash, forgetting his shoes (seriously) but last night no such bad luck. He finished in 06:34. A handful of seconds ahead of him was Simon Archer of Team Pink-Wafers in 06:26. First, rolling back the years, making it seem like it's a 2019 race report all over again, was Alan Dean of ERC in 06:10.

Many thanks to all the volunteers last night. It was Gerry's first time timekeeping and besides a minor hiccup all went smoothly especially considering the extra logistics involved. Louis Moorehead was a great help timekeeping too. Alan Burke, Michael Perkins, Jonny Noblett and Basil Monks all helped with signs, marshalling, holder uppering - thank you to you all. Then I stood and looked pretty at the start area, handing out numbers - I think I aced it personally.

Thanks to Bob Marshall and Michael Perkins for taking photos. Michael was multi tasking as a marshal and photographer, impressive.

Hopefully back to Tranent next week on the 5M not 5M course. I am away but will do all the usual admin.

Results are here - Week 3 - Results

Bob Marshall photos here - ERC YAK TT 02 06 22 - Google Photos

Michael Perkins photos here - Yak TT 1st June - Google Photos



Corrections corner - Alexander Rollings was also on a TT bike.