Sunday, 7 June 2009

Riders On The Storm

All week the weather was bad,I was thinking of quitting the bike scene and go make an Ark. However I really like the course at Ashover,called "The Butts" it's part of an old quarry.It has been in use for decades for Youth Motocross and latterly modern Enduro.There's a particular hairpin bend I get a huge buzz out of if I get it right and to my delight they've removed the hill straight after due to the recent rain.
As I go to sign in a few people make positive comments re the Youtube video I made -makes the time spent worthwhile.I really think you should photo/video every day out in your life - your memory ain't enough it gets clouded ,full of grey spam work,conflicts,chores. Those pics and vids can bring happy times right back to you just when you need it. So with Mark on camera and tools, Dave with food and as somewhat unappealing brolly-dolly ( no MotoGP pitlane girls here!) we join the other 54 resilient if damp riders.
Straight from the off I feel its too wet to really push it.I try wailing it down a long straight and find myself sliding towards the fence, hitting a fence on a corner is Ok but just too damn comical here.No days of glory mister, its stay on your wheels time and fight to keep those goggles clear, at some points I'm riding one handed holding them off my face to de-fog.The best part is every time I hit that favourite corner I get it right -small victories but finally satisfied after competing three times here.
Dinner break and I just lie on back step of my small van, in my wet jersey & muddy boots,exhausted,incapable of movement. Someone asks "Are you a bit tired?" noooo, I just do good impressions.... The whole hour it rains non-stop and some go home -those of us mad enough return to a quagmire of a track. It's really bad and bizarrely the sun emerges which with my wet weather coat causes excessive fog in my goggles,so off they come.Its like riding on brown oily ice but I manage 3 laps til I get a lock up and bike slews to a halt. Seizure? The fins are covered in mud after all. No, she fires up right away drop the clutch -no motion , chain off? No, the brake plate has exploded, as they do. Park the bike and walk down to the van. No mechanic and no keys to get the tools out myself.Mutter something about plans and wander down the deserted pitlane looking for tools to borrow, no luck. 15 mins later Mark runs over and we get to the bike -he removes the torque arm,rod and what remains of the rear brake. I remount and manage to finish the lap and just in time for another.Horrendous as it is,for the first time EVER I ain't come off. I'm the last man home, the lapcount girls cheer and the day is done. Bike and rider are covered in mud, I've done 16 laps (2 miles each) come a mighty 33rd of 55, lost 1/2 hrs racing and need a new brake. You know what? I still bloody enjoyed it :-)

Video here:
Music by The Undertones/Ash/Charlatans/Lily Allen~The Clash