Monday, 8 November 2010

Los Alicantinos

El Castillo de Alicante-climb in  noon heat for hangover cure!
I never thought when watching Hercules ( Alicante's larger football team) in February that they'd be playing Real Madrid in La Liga (Premiership) in October. A last-gasp promotion was achieved and so here we are.Another miracle and we also get face-value tickets on the night.Sadly miracles don't always last and Hercules, despite taking the lead,get beaten 3-1. Still what an experience and we head out into the Alicante nightlife.A beautiful city,hundreds of bars,thousands of people and no idiots.
Well, there's always one.
Next morning a vile young Glasgow Rangers fan threatens Dave (for no reason). In the evening we hear manic loud drumming, and enticed, we aim for the harbour. The World Youth Kick-Boxing Tournament is on and the teams are gathered. Each country's team has a band of drummers who display their skills in turn. They march out and perform,firebreathers and light-dancers making a mesmerising spectacle.Surrounded by youngsters who have trained for months,some who will engage in honourable combat,and all are smiling. The following afternoon walking Alicante's small playa,the Mediterranean Sea laps my feet,cleansing,as the serenity of beach & sun are absorbed. Further up the coast (Benidorm area) the train deposits us behind the beach in a concrete nightmare of scores of tower blocks.Some people's idea of holiday appartment dreams - seems more like a council estate to us!
The bars look much like drinking in a shopping centre. Sun,Sea,Sand, -Soul not included.
On the bike front -very little- only a Honda FTR 223, nice Flat-Track style and a model not imported to UK, or how about this hub-centre steered Italjet scooter (why?).
Anyway -so long as you're Ok with brunettes, there's much nicer things to see in Alicante!

The Peasants Are Revolving

It's not often you have the chance to rub shoulders with the Aristocracy but out of the blue (blood) our club were invited to race at Gawsworth Hall,in the Elizabethan Walled Garden no less.The club rang and asked if I wanted in, as being a Grass Sprint it'd be a good return race.The RM100 was readied for it's first event and we arrived at 16th Century Gawsworth Hall to be given a welcome speech by the owner, Rupert, who was himself into bikes  and old cars,and later on raced with us. Apparently the grounds had been used for jousting in the past ,kind of appropriate really! It was good to see all the usual faces and chew the fat,to talk bones and bikes.
Any doubts that I'd be somewhat tentative after the leg-break were immediately dispelled at the first corner.I flung it in with the usual,er,'gusto'. The little screamer ran faultlessly and absolutely flew down the back straights.After so long,it felt good. Really good.Up against all the 250s and above I was never gonna shine and finished 25th of 33.I did beat my mate Les by 0.08 seconds and we matched up in the run-off heats. Two mad old buggers on the line,revving,creeping, "Wait,WAIT for it...". GOOOOOOOOOO!!!! He wheelies and I get the start but his 250 Pursang overhauls me into the 1st corner, I'm all over his back wheel but can't pass. We go over a small drop -he lands all crossed up 'Wow he's pushing it I think' -until I do the same.
Great fun had by all. As they say, Teenage Kicks -So hard to beat.
Five years ago, in my first ever event my Bultaco completely gave up on the startline. A stranger (Les) offered me his immaculate Ossa to do a couple of runs, "As you might go home disappointed, and never come back". I can't think of anyone I'd rather lose to.