ERC Midweek TT Series Week 18 - What the hell do I do with my Wednesday's now?

5 September 2019

So here we are, the final report and a bit of a bumper edition. At this point if could you just all imagine ‘The Final Countdown’ by Europe blaring in the background. Do me a favour, open a YouTube video of the song please and start reading from the beginning. Thanks.

After 18 weeks I was really thinking I’d be at a point where I’d have to default to write a personal blog mode and then a few lines about the TT. I think this will be a bit of a mix.

I was meant to be racing last night but my Lady Luck decided to stick her middle finger up at me at the most inconvenient of times. My car got a rear flat, it’s a new one on me but I did genuinely inflate the tyre using a bike pump, can’t teach an old dog new tricks ey. I think it was more of an upper body workout than I can usually handle at the gym.

I’ll mention this now because I slightly, ever so slightly, overlooked properly thanking her last night – so another big thank you to Emma Borthwick for collecting me and saving my evening. You should all thank her too because No Emma would have meant no cookies.

The last TT of the series also meant the Ian McCulloch trophy, sorry that should read the ‘can somebody give Adam Wild a free ERC membership because otherwise Alan will win again trophy’ is up for grabs. On a chilly, blustery and damp evening, it is September now after all, 17 riders ventured out last night with 11 from ERC challenging for the trophy. As the plans of putting Adam Wild in a Leo Sayer wig and claiming he was me didn’t come to fruition, you guessed it folks, Alan Dean won the Ian McCulloch trophy with a time of 21:40. There was a joint second fastest (cue gameshow ‘oooooooh’) with Ian Dobbie & Andrew Scott, fresh off filming the next season of Fleabag, both posted a time of 22:11.

Second in the Ian McCulloch trophy standings was Lewis Hutchison with a time of 23:41 and third was Eoghan Maguire with 23:48. I can only apologise to Eoghan after the most epic of brain farts descended on me and I butchered his name to such an extent, that butchery had not been seen on such an epic scale since Daniel Day Lewis in Gangs of New York.

Lucie Hrnickova was the fastest female of the evening with a time of 25:35, the look of disdain on Lucie’s face after Lewis had pinned her number on to an unsatisfactory standard would pierce the hardest of emotional armour. Hollie Begg was second fastest with a time of 27:55, this was possibly the highlight of Hollie’s evening after suffering multiple punctures on the way home. Not pleasant, but I can now reliably inform you a car puncture costs a lot more.

The ever improving Elijah Kwon, 14 year old Elijah Kwon, finished in a time of 25:53. Now this is pretty good going but especially so after he unfortunately crashed on the double roundabout section. So that was a pretty special ride. He did also pick the evening to crash when a first aider and doctor were present, tactical crashing. Elijah’s major concern when being patched up was how many days off the bike he had to take, he’s clearly a committed lad – I’d be hamming it up and trying to get my mum to bring me food, drink and fluff my pillow not be worrying about if I’d have to miss tomorrow’s training session. Maybe that shows that Elijah is going places and I am not.

Karolis Dedura was the fastest road bike of the night with a time of 24:30. The Veep Euan Munro was second finishing in 25:33 and third was Chris Allen, clearly because of the skinsuit, in a time of 25:53.

Now despite all of this clearly the highlight of the evening was watching a tandem which was supposed to have been piloted by Warren Crombie and Paul Davis crossing the finish line with only Paul Davis riding it. Many questions entered our heads, what had happened to Warren, was he not pulling his weight and Paul literally kicked him off? No, apparently the tandem suffered a puncture and Warren sacrificed himself. The one man piloted tandem with a flat tyre finished in 33:19. Which I’d say is both hilarious and pretty bloody impressive.

Thanks to the volunteers from yesterday Rae Captieux, Sandy Waller, Neil Lawson, Emma Borthwick and Alan Burke. Special thanks to Alan who’s volunteered 8 times this year without riding once, he’s been vital in filling volunteering slots and his help has been greatly appreciated throughout.

Overall standings will be released in due course but for now I thought I’d throw some stats at you:

  • 88 riders rode in the series this year
  • 15 times Sandy Waller adjusted his saddle height, pad angle, saddle for/aft and stack height
  • 5 times where the level of my sock choice vastly outweighed the level of my TT performance
  • Countless times I’ve been able to recycle jokes such as, the Alan Dean inevitability trophy, Gerald Maguire/Jerry Maguire, David Lewendon being the worlds most accidentally forgetful thief, Kim McGillivray being mistaken for a women – these have all helped me pad out these reports
  • At least 10 Radio 2 style shout outs to people who said they ‘enjoy the reports’. Actually in the spirit of such things Martyn McWhirter emailed me today saying he enjoys the reports so a big shoutout to him.
  • The 10 fastest times of the 2019 series were:
    • Adam Wild 19:40
    • Alan Dean 20:37
    • Alan Dean 20:50
    • Arran Gannicott 21:08
    • Ian Dobbie 21:20
    • Alan Dean 21:25
    • Alan Dean 21:31
    • Alan Dean 21:33
    • Alan Dean 21:40
    • Ian Dobbie 21:44
    • Ian Dobbie 21:44
  • The most improved rider of 2019, and it gives me a lot of pleasure saying this because he’s such a nice guy, was Chris Borthwick who’s slowest to fastest time was an improvement of 3m:51s or 13.94%. The average across everyone was about 5%!

Per the title of this article I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with my Wednesday evenings now, oh, wait, no I do know actually. I have accountancy lectures to teach from next Wednesday evening until Christmas.

I can only thank all of those who rode, helped out and provided me with support throughout the season. It’s been a load of fun, I’ve loved doing it & I look forward to next year where I will try and throw some new things into the mix.

See you all next year,