ERC 2021 Midweek TT Series - Week 7 - Alternative Facts

15 July 2021

This could be an interesting report because I wasn’t present at last nights race. I’m in Cumbria, where Hannah and I are off to a wedding on the outskirts of Newcastle today. I’ve started writing this and coffee has not yet been consumed – which means I’ll either struggle to spell the simplest of words or at some point a mash of letters may appear on screen, because my decaffeinated head has hit the keyboard as it's not able to support itself.

Writing this with only the race results to go on means the following could be riddled with ‘alternative facts’, remember that phrase? Frankly, however, the complete lack of truth would mean this report could easily find a home within the pages of the Daily Mail, Sun, Express or Telegraph. As the saying there goes, ‘Don’t let the truth get in the way of anything.’ Actually, the Daily Express wouldn’t print this report because I don’t think I’ll be mentioning Princess Diana.

It’s just gone 8:15, coffee has been sipped at. I need to be out at 11am to leave for the wedding. Got a quick workout to do in the meantime too so I’d better get a wriggle on.

Compulsory wedding chat – being at my parents house these last few days has brought home a couple of things. They need to adjust the costs of their 1986 wedding to 2021 prices, inflation in the wedding industry has most certainly occurred. In 2021, on the ‘Giant Trinity Cost Matrix’ there’s about a 1:1 ratio between Photographer cost and Giant Trinity cost. Nevertheless if our wedding was in the 1980s at least I know my likely terrible hair would have fitted in quite comfortably.

31 riders signed up to race the final 15M TT of the year. I think the change up has been a success so far. I’m keen to see how the 5M and HC TTs go in a few weeks time. The 15s have been there to take advantage of the light conditions. We maybe restricted to June/July, but as the series started later this year every chance we can add 1 or 2 more in next year. Michael Perkins, that sentence was for you. You can pass over the briefcase full of cash next week.

Tranent was (checks metoffice), 20c with a 13mph west-south-west wind, 59% humidity and 1,018 barometric pressure. Was this fast, could be? Is 1,018 pressure good, dunno, I’ll DM Dan Bigham and ask. I saw some comments on Strava that it was indeed very breezy so it seems as ever wind played a part at Tranent.

Of the 31 we had 6 women. Which is a great turnout thank you. Determined to get double figures this year though. Of those 6, 2 were new timers – which again is brill. The fastest on the night was newcomer Beth Harley-Jepson. Beth was also on a road bike. I think it says more about me than anything but everytime I’ve glanced at the super mega spreadsheets to look at results/sign on etc and seen Beth’s name I’ve got a Carly Rae Jepsen song in my head. Beth’s time also put her 15th overall last night, she finished in 39:16. 2nd fastest was Rachael Butcher, I cannot confirm if she swam in the sea and ran up Arthurs Seat beforehand last night but she completed the course in 42:41. Sarah Emslie just pipped Yolanda Solans into 3rd place by 2 seconds in a time of 43:25.

A trio of familiar youthful faces was out last night too. Xander Graham was back from his holidays and I fully expected him to be accompanied by an upgraded team bus, soigneur and press officer. Xander did a 43:28 last night. Thankfully for Xander he managed to avoid the ignominy of being caught by his Dad, Martin who finished in 39:44. 13 year old Alasdair Easton was 22nd overall finishing in 42:47. Cameron Adam of Musselburgh CC finished 14th overall in a time of 39:08.

Of the road bikers last night James Feeney was the fastest. He flew uptown, downtown and he probably even turned the beat around - finishing 7th overall in a time of 36:41. 2nd fastest was Louis Moorehead of Ronde CC - not entirely sure how Louis has the ability to pedal let alone race. Louis did an around Scotland bike packing trip last week where he covered 1,090km in 6 days! Louis was 11th overall in 38:54. 3rd fastest road biker was Neil Bell of ERC in 39:07.

Entering the top 10 – Warren Crombie of Musselburgh CC was 10th in a time of 38:13 – I assume, again, he was powered on by his inner Neil Buchanan by providing his own race number. 9th was Chris Allen of ERC in 38:08. 7th James Feeney, 36:41. 6th Les Evans another newcomer to the series, 36:34.

The top 5 was populated by Mark Anderson of Musselburgh CC in a time of 36:21. 4th was Joseph Perkins of ERC in 35:00. 3rd Leahn Perry in 34:41. 2nd was another newcomer Ewan Brown of ERC in 34:07. The winner for the second week in a row, after knocking over 7 minutes off his course PB at Loch Ken at the weekend was Sandy Waller. Sandy also PBd for the 15M TT by 41 seconds last night. For context his time of 32:58 is nearly 3 minutes faster than his time at the Open 15M TT in September 2020!

Thank you to the volunteers last night. Really appreciate all the help and assistance in my absence. Thanks to Alan Burke and Oliver Teenan for timekeeping. Ian Dobbie for signs and marshalling. Simon Titmuss for marshalling in Macmerry and Rory Downie for sign on duty.

It’s back to a set of 3 10M TTs next week before a Yak HC in August.

Full Results here - Week 7 Results

Hope to see you all there.

Go well