It was a beautiful evening - warm, still, inviting - and a dozen lucky riders got to do three laps of Horne in search of late season glories. While the evening was not high on competitive drama it did yield a few interesting talking points: a mountain bike, a fixie, a slow moving articulated lorry and another handicap victory from an MTB rider among them.
Nathan Chamberlain was first off and while a veteran of proper TT riding and bikes, gave Horne its first MTB test of the season. He mounted a £169 mountain bike with tyres that look like they were in the bargain bin at Poundland and despite this, he still pulled off an excellent 27:37. I remind MTB riders that there is a record out there to be beaten on a knobbly tyred mountain bike... around 25:01 I believe.
Stuart Bunt, looking fresh and fit from a summer full of epic challenges (with a few still to come) was looking good for a strong time but on his very first lap got stuck behind a large articulated lorry monkeying around on Brickhouse Lane. He ploughed on philosophically still recording a highly creditable 23:23.
Graham Brash who has shown all season what a rider used to the knobbly tyred ways can do when they mount a racing bike with vigour and determination, took the handicap victory again. He shaved a further 7 seconds off his PB. He's been working keeping his his upper body still to preserve all that precious kinetic energy and (as the picture shows) gave it full beans.
Young Matthew Ferguson once again recorded under 22 minutes to underline his potential to be a real contender for the scratch title within the next few years.
It was also great to see Roly back at Horne and back on form after a nasty accident in April. He looked sleek and fit taking the second best RCC scratch time of the night with a 21:42. Chris Stone also looked a picture of fitness clocking a 22:46 in style.
Fresh from the National 25 Championships, Matt Peel was hoping to improve on his own PB of 19:07 but missed out by 3 seconds recording exactly the same time as last week at 19:10. I reckon he was still holding a little back for the National 10s.
Fresh from his own superb performance at the Brompton World Championships, Alan Miles rode the course on his fixie and was just 2 seconds outside a sub-23 minute time.
Once again, a supportive showing from Russell and Jacques of OCC and nice to see Paul Drake of ACC putting in a very strong 20:47.
A fabulous evening and if Graham keeps improving, we're all set for some intrigue in the Handicap competition with Andrew Murray currently leading the way.
Photos of the evening for anyone interested (and they are unedited so all the wonky shots are still in there, I'm afraid) are at: https://adewebb.smugmug.com/RCC-TT-series-2016/RCC-TT-100816