nofearParticipant2 October 2013 at 17:20Post count: 604
Seems like a few people want to get out for a ride after the RR………. don’t forget that it’s the Johnny Helms Invitation TT on Sunday and Dennis, Ewart, Dane, Caroline and me and previous winner Carl are all taking part. There will a good crowd watching and some stars from the past and present taking part on a 5.2 mile circuit centred around Allostock Village Hall. Looks like it may be the last running of this event so don’t miss it. It’s probably Ewart’s first TT since the early 1970’s I recon and back then he was a seriously fast National level time trialist!!
First team is off at 12:03, Dennis is off at 12:06, Caroline and me at 13:12 and Ewart and Dane at 13:33 and Carl at 13:50. It’s 20.8 mile TT completing 4 laps around Allostock and Goostrey.nofearParticipant6 October 2013 at 20:37Post count: 604
My last race report for a few month’s so it could be a long one! 😆
Another warm and dry day for the Johnny Helms which was just as well as Caroline and I were riding out. As usual when we get to a race early we spent 90 minutes gassing in the HQ before the start and then rushed to get a 10 minute warm up. This course is 20.8 miles long and it’s 4 laps of a 5.2 mile circuit designed to give the spectators as much viewing time as possible when the teams go by. Great for the spectators but for the riders there was a strong headwind down the A50 and the strong tail wind on the back of the circuit made the bumpy potholed Booth Bed Lane a bit of a Paris Roubaix experience (slight exaggeration). 😉
The race was a “Grand Prix De Gentleman” which is an old type of race rarely seen these days, where the older less fit rider sits behind the younger thoroughbred racehorse until 1 mile to go and then the old portly gentleman takes them both to the finish line. The format doesn’t quite work these days as MAMIL’s (Middle Aged Men In Lycra) and even VOMIL’s (Very Old Men In Lycra) are now lean and mean and beating the youngsters who spend far too much time twittering on Faceache (or something like that)! 😳
However Dane is no faceache and he is pretty lean and mean so he took on the unenviable task of towing our very own man mountain Ewart around the course. If you think Ewart is strong now, he was an extremely talented tester (& roadman & trackie), in the early 1970’s and today was his comeback after a 37 year layoff from the “Race of truth”. The pair recorded a very respectable 51:49 (23.622 mph) on this sporting course which was good enough for 16th place overall and highest placed Weaver Valley team by a country mile. Looking forward to seeing Ewart back to his old winning ways in time trials next season!!
Carl Ruebotham rode with his usual partner for this event young Derek Hodgins of Stockport Clarion who is a sprightly 79 years of age. Derek is a very good friend of ours as Caroline used to ride for Stockport Clarion many years ago and we remember this very overweight, cigar smoking and extremely unfit 50 year old bloke turning up with a personality to match his large frame. Derek retired from a stressful job as MD of a company because his doctor told him he needed to change his lifestyle if he wanted to be around for his 60th birthday. He lost all the excess weight and gained fitness very quickly and when he was 60, instead of being a victim of too much “good” living, he broke the Age related World Hour record on Manchester Velodrome. He’s still a force to be reckoned with on the bike and a smashing bloke as well. Carl and Derek posted a quick 53:28 (22.893 mph) came 22nd overall and were 3rd fastest team on standard.
Dennis Hornby rode with fellow trikie Alan Shuttleworth of Altrincham RC. On a course with many twists and turns and narrow lanes, which is about as bad as it gets for one trike, let alone two but they still managed to beat evens recording an excellent 1:01:07 (20.027 mph). Both riders have had more than their fair share of bad luck with their health this year, so it was a great way to end the season.
Yours truly and Caroline were one of only three mixed teams and the other teams contained superstars. Simon Bridge was riding with Ruth Taylor of Manchester Wheelers and the other team was Wilko and his wife Jillco of Port Sunlight Wheelers. The Ladies were supposed to sit in behind the lads although Bridgey got it wrong and sat behind Ruth until 1 mile to go. She was a bit peeved afterwards when we broke the news to them, but I assured her that sitting behind Bridgey in a Time Trial would have been a far worse experience!! The Wilkinsons predictably trounced the rest of us with a 49:46 (24.595 mph) giving them 12th overall in the time trial. They had a slight domestic in the HQ afterwards, Jill saying to somebody, “How the hell does he expect me to ride at his pace, so I had to keep telling him to slow down”. As usual Wilko rode his pimped up mountain bike and just to add insult to injury he had a large saddlebag on the back and mudguards.
I rode 78” fixed (59 x 20) in an attempt to even out our ride. Unfortunately this made the headwind down the A50 feel easier so Caroline still had to restrain me. We rode a pretty evenly paced race though and ended up with a 56:21 (21.721 mph) for 32nd place just 2 places and 29 seconds behind Bridgey and Ruth. That’s by far the closest I’ve ever got to Bridgey so I’m happy. We also finished 22 seconds and one place behind former Tour De France stage winner Martin Earley and his 24 year old son Joe so that was quite nice.
I think this will be the last Johnny Helms Invitation TT which is a pity because there is always a great atmosphere and it’s a privilege to ride in the same race as former pros and legends of our sport. Caroline’s mum and dad would also have been chuffed to see her riding this event, as her mum was president of Warrington RC and Caroline and the rest of her family were members for years.
Great end to a great season and looking forward to new adventures in 2014.
DaveEleanorParticipant6 October 2013 at 20:44Post count: 252
Fabulous report, thanks Dave – the Guardian will miss hearing about the Fearons’ exploits during the winter months!
Well done to everyone involved, sounds like an excellent and slightly offbeat event – I’m still trying to iamgine what it must look like seeing two blokes on trikes doing a two up…Andy WoodParticipant6 October 2013 at 21:12Post count: 1066
Great report will miss reading these on Sunday nights! Congrats to everyone, great ride from Ewart & Dane. Good to see all those training rides paying off for Ewart.
Shame to hear it will be the last one! Any reason why? Always gets great press & riders.nofearParticipant6 October 2013 at 21:40Post count: 604
I’ll be writing about you next season Woody! Why not try out your new TT bike in the M&DTTA Christmas 10 on 8th December. I’m the organizer so send your entry form to me. This event always has a great atmosphere as well, as it’s a one off out of season test and we hire the main hall at Goostrey village hall to take all of the riders and the many club riders who come out to watch, to get their closed season fix of testing. There are fancy dress prizes as well and everybody always has a good laugh.
I think the Johnny Helms is finishing because it’s a big event to organize and it costs quite a bit to run as the prizes are big and the riders pay no entry fee as it’s invitation only. Also it has probably run its course now as this was the 4th edition since Johnny passed away and the big names are getting fewer and fewer each year. There were probably only about 300 people there this year compared to a couple of thousand for the first edition.
Thanks for the shout and enjoy the STRUCTURED training this Winter. 😉
DaveAndy WoodParticipant6 October 2013 at 21:48Post count: 1066
Cheers Dave! Will put the Xmas 10 in the diary!DaneParticipant10 October 2013 at 15:12Post count: 50
I paced the Big Man Ewart Howkins round, this windy, sporting? 20.8 mile course.
My preparation was somewhat hampered by firstly flu, then cracking a rib on my new CX bike, then a week away working in deepest darkest China. All in all, this meant nearly a month without any serious training, apart from the hill climb, which was the day after I cracked my rib, meaning breathing was particularly difficult!
However, it was an honour to be invited, and I was determined to do Ewart proud. My last minute attempts to borrow a TT bike failed, so I chucked some Tri bars on the road bike and made fine adjustments in the warmup – can’t beat full preparation!
Ewart was greeted at the sign on desk with “where have you been for the last 32 years?” and was generally wished well by everyone he met, most of whom he remembered 🙂 Our only rivals were the talented Steve Fidler and Dave Hinde, riding for DHRT, who Ewart was desperate to beat for local pride.
The course was 4 laps of around 5 miles, with the main A50 stretch being into the teeth of a headwind, the rest of the course was cross/ tailwind, but with quite a rough road surface and a couple of tight turns it was not as fast as it could be.
3 Laps in I was starting to tire and Ewart could tell this, and shouted up, “I feel guilty”, I answered him with “just enjoy it mate”. And enjoy it he did! I saw a pic of him sat on my wheel as if he was on a club run! I joked with him at the start to try to at least make it look hard, especially in front of the home crowd (thanks for the cheers by the way)!
By the start of lap 4 into the headwind, we were caught by the fast Barry Charlton of Lyme RC, pacing the living legend Les West. The customary ‘dig in’ greeting was given as they came by, we tried to give some encouragement too. Les, a former Tour of Britian Winner and World Road Silver medallist was taking the corners a bit less riskily and we managed to overtake later in the lap. All 4 of us were caught and passed by the very tall Marcin Biablowci, a UK youth rider and his partner. They were on their way to a very fast time. This lead to the last lap being a sort of spread out 6 up TTT.
After the last corner, the ‘1 mile to go’ sign appeared and I waved Ewart through for a big finish, Ewart was hesitant, so I shouted at him to go, as I knew he thought there was still a lap to go. As soon as he realised, the hammer was put down and we motored to the finish. Recording a time of 51:49, beating our local rivals time of 55:02
A truly great day out and hopefully it has re-awakened the sleeping Tester inside Ewart 🙂
The forum ‘Time Trial’ is closed to new topics and replies.