24 eager riders turned up on a quite pleasant spring afternoon to test their legs and machines prior to the club TT Championship in a couple of weeks time. Long Swamp Road provided a fairly wind-free 15km against the clock and certainly proved to be a much less challenging outing than last weeks’ Boorolong ordeal.
The club welcomed new rider Ben Simmonds for his first race, and the Simmonds family replaced the Harris lot with four members, as opposed to three. Hayden Freeman also made a welcome return after a long absence with injuries. A lot of riders are taking this TT business seriously (stop laughing, Kirky!) and a few machine modifications attracted a lot of scrutiny. Clint assured all and sundry that Mark Bullen himself checked and measured his bike and declared cut-off saddle and weird set-up lengths “perfectly legit” – and of course we all trust Bullo to know the rules….
Swanny took TT modifications to a new level by adding bars to his GRAVEL machine and matching the fluoro paintwork with equally striking shoes. His result surely makes him the early favourite for the spring classics Gravel race, so make sure to mark that date in the calendar.
As always, a few latecomers played havoc with the starting order but we finally got underway with Jane heading off into the distance, followed by Jacqui who went about 50 meters before losing her chain and coming back for a restart. Wilfried kept everyone on their toes by varying the starts from the near- professional “10-5-4-3-2–go” to “oops-go”, causing Kirky to take-off to his own internal timer (what universe does he live in?).
Lots of banter and psyching-out shortened the waiting time and finally everyone was out on the course. The ever reliable Col made sure the turn was clearly marked and safely navigated, unfortunately I was not able to decipher his Scots-Gaelic report to provide some details of how it all unfolded. Richard has obviously mastered his TT machine and put in a blistering effort to cross the line first, reeling in the four riders starting before him. The 30second time gaps on the short course ensured that clumps of riders were finishing together and it took a bit of sorting to (hopefully) get these
times right the old-fashioned pre-GOPRO way.
Michael Harris averaged just over 42kph to record fastest time of 21:25 (passing 11 riders) and Pat Ferris made good on his pre-race threat to “smash” Holly. It was impossible to tell whether each rider crossing the finish line was smiling or grimacing, proving that there is indeed a fine line between pleasure and pain.
Congratulations to Mick on a lightning fast time and another impressive win. Thanks to all the participating riders, and especially to Wilf & Col for running the race and compiling the results. Hopefully this weeks race has wetted everyone’s appetites as handicap racing returns next weekend for 45km on the Long Swamp course.
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