ERC 2021 Midweek TT Series - Week 4 - "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.."

24 June 2021

Another week of racing, the rain managed to stay away and the course was 55% more fun! #Science

I, unlike others – which I will get to shortly, started the evening on the right foot. I cycled in the correct direction this week. Tell you what, it worked a treat. This whole going towards your intended destination thing is quite effective.

However, the feelings of pride in myself that I wasn’t embarking on a journey to a different Council area were somewhat subdued, because upon leaving the house two teenage girls walked by - looked at me. Looked at each other. Looked back. Then proceeded to giggle incessantly. I was a bit offended, I’m not sure what about my appearance was odd – the rather long gentleman’s aero socks? The wearing of a skinsuit in a suburban area? My ‘Death Star Operator’ style helmet? Or that I had all of this and a rucksack on? Even though I was actually heading towards Tranent this week, my thoughts were preoccupied by being made to feel 2 feet tall. Admittedly, by two girls who probably think that Harry Styles will casually pop into Dalkeith one day, profess his love for them, marry them and they'll have lots of babies. You can tell I haven’t taken this personally at all.

Thank you all for all the kind words congratulating my fiancee and I on our engagement - either through emails, comments or face-face last night. That’s really nice. If you want to send any ‘commiserations’ to Hannah you’re more than welcome to, she needs your support at this time. It’s beginning to dawn on her that she is stuck with me. Forever.

The prospect of organising a wedding has filled many a thought these last weeks, most notably when cycling actually. Any time I pass a large house, stately home or castle I find myself thinking – ‘oooh I wonder what the capacity is?’, ‘hmm, would we need a marquee?’, ‘hopefully the beer at the bar isn’t crap’ (note – there will be no crap beer at our wedding) and ‘ah, which limb do I need to sell to afford this’ – I’m looking at your Archerfield House.

Upon arrival to Tranent this week I was greeted by Leahn Perry (goes well with cheese on toast), and guess what? – I was presented with a bottle of Worcester Sauce. What a guy, that totally made my night. Thank you Leahn.

I think the other notable thing last night, (honestly, these reports write themselves some weeks) was that Lewis Hutchison had forgotten his shoes! Forgotten his shoes! Who forgets their shoes?! Luckily, he sourced a pair from the spare PE kit & thankfully nobody insisted he compete in his vest and pants. Once Lewis had acquired shoes and then changed his pedals to accommodate the different cleats, he had time to wish me ‘congratulations’ and tell me Lucie didn’t know who Mathieu van der Poel is (for context, in an Instagram post announcing our engagement I mentioned my deep mancrush for van der Poel). I’m sorry. Forgetting your shoes is one thing but not knowing who MVDP - that rocked me to my core. What is going on in the Hutchison/Hrnickova household?! A shambles I say, absolute shambles.

8 ladies competed last night, which was fabulous and the most of the year so far. We had 12yr old Kasey Park competing for the first time, the first time! – A slight baptism of fire having to do the ‘drag’ twice but a great effort nonetheless she finished with a time of 50:30. It would have actually been 7 but Claire Cameron, arrived saying she had entered (admin page says differently) but wasn’t on the startsheet. Thankfully a DNS and Gerry’s quick thinking meant we could assign her a start position and she finished in 42:34. Claire - we’ll send round the heavies for the £4 later. Sarah Connolly was the fastest on the night, 39:58 which also put her 16th overall. Katy Tweedie was 2nd 40:15 & 18th overall and 3rd was Sarah Walker 40:29 & 20th overall.

As well as Kasey we had 4 more under 16s. Cameron Adam unfortunately punctured and was a DNF. Alasdair Easton, aged 13, finished in 40:37, Xander Graham, aged 12, 42:20 and Theo Cunningham, aged 14, 44:27. It’s great to see as many juniors and women as we have had these last few weeks, please keep it coming!

Of the road bikers last night, James Feeney was the fastest in a time of 36:10 and 11th overall which is a solid result. Louis Moorehead of Ronde, who is more used to riding 360km at a time was 2nd 38:15 and Simon Russell 3rd with 40:15.

Entering the top 10 - we have Mark Anderson in 10th, 35:27. Yours truly back on his TT bike in 9th, 35:26. Lewis Hutchison (with a rolling start which I docked him 10 seconds for) was 8th, 34:55. Ian Dobbie 34:26 was 7th.

6th and below all were sub 34mins. Which would have got you 3rd or better in the September open TT ERC ran. John Waller was 6th with 33:45. Leahn Perry, my favourite person was 5th 33:43. Alan Dean 4th 33:40.

The top 3 was Joseph Perkins with 33:32. Sandy Waller in a time of 33:25 was 2nd, which was 1min 37s faster than his time in September – faffing around incessantly with stack height obviously must work. 1st was Coach Rory Downie in a time of 32:23 which was over 2minutes faster than his September TT! Blimey. Rory has said he’ll be volunteering soon, so someone else will be given a chance to win.

Many thanks to our volunteers last night – Chris Allen for timekeeping and printing numbers. Chris Howie for assisting. Gerry McGuire the Don of sign on/pen & light checking/general cat herding. Lucie Hrnickova, Michael & Gema Perkins for marshalling at the Macmerry roundabout and Stuart Lockey for doing signs and marshalling too.

One final thing – Chris Howie, a stalwart of this parish, suffered a terrible crash in Yorkshire a couple of years ago which resulted in him being air lifted to hospital. Chris is OK now, well I say ‘now’, he did decide to volunteer last night – which was also his wife’s birthday. So, assuming Chris is still in one piece, he, Stuart Lockey and Michael Perkins are replicating the journey Chris took in an ambulance but this time by riding the 330km from Leeds to Edinburgh, in support of Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Wish them a ‘go well’ and if you’d like to support the cause then the link to the donation page is below.

Full results here - Week 4 Results

See you all next week for more 15M TT fun

Go well