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March 26th, 2013, 01:45 AM   #1
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Taff's last racing season

Well those with long memories will remember that I used to do season long threads called 'Taff's racing season 20**' and stopped about three seasons ago!

well now 52 years is upon me and I get knackered very quickly despite visiting the Gym I have decided it is my last one.

last season I won the TBEC championship for over 50's with 6 wins, 2 seconds and 8 from 8 fastest laps! I know, I should have stopped then but my body didn't say that DID IT!!!

this season I knew that my old rival Nick "Nifty" Airey was going to be an over 50 too. Nick and I have lived within 2 miles all our lives and road raced together back in 1981. we came down to the last corner together once side by side and I was on the wrong line.... I'll draw a veil over that one!

but we did many more years of racing together before he mentioned "Enduro?" to me in 1999 and then off we went together again doing Enduro. last season I caught him up on his old gas-gas 200 just but we would still finish 8th and 9th overall in fields of 130+ we've been pretty even!

also with us is old school chum Colin Baxter, same age as Nick and happens to come from Chippenham near Newmarket and therefore frequents the same hostelry as me!

so all three of us are in the TBEC over 50s championship.

I have also raced quite a bit with Banovallum over the years in Lincolnshire (100 miles North) and I decided if the dates fell OK I'd try and do the two championships. theirs is for over 45's and MX machines are allowed in which makes it tough but also that I should just enjoy it and not worry!

I have the advantage that Banovallum have 6 or so rounds and TBEC 10 but you can drop 2. so I'm going to try and do the two.

TBEC round 1 at Rendlesham Forest 10 February 2013
this is a very tight course and you have to elbow around the trees they're that close in places, there's no relief it is incessant. the weather is cold and the track sodden. the FE570e (2009) is hard to work through the woods but we can but give it a try.

first news: Nick Nifty has a brand spanking GG250 2T. absolutely perfect for Rendlesham!
Colin has a new KTM!!! a 350EXC 4T. absolutely perfect for Rendlesham!

we set off randomly placed from 12 rows of 10 riders and I leave on my favourite second row (you can request it).
I make steady progress but can't throw the bike around. just make a steady rythem. today it is 3-hours STRAIGHT

I manage 6 x 28 minute laps approximately and have 12 minutes to spare which is not enough time to attempt a 7th lap. I push the bike through the parc ferme and there is Nick all chilled out......... we exchange pleasantries and I mention I passed him easily on lap three to which he replies that it is impossible, he has also done 6 laps and been back 10-minutes!

thank god he did't make up more than enough time to do a 7th lap....but he always was a cautious fellow! Nick and I will therefore earn 6/7ths of the winners 300 points and be equal despite him 'stuffing' me!

Colin's ride sees him well down.

Sunday 17th March
Round 2 TBEC at Luton Hoo
or round 1 Banovallum - Ashby Prerorium (near Horncastle) Lincs

I can't afford to miss any Banovallums so I enter their meeting. I arrive on a bitterly cold day: even the dog doesn't want to leave the car. man is it cold! then there is driving rain and some snow flurries. someone tell me why the phuq I'm here please?

I'd done Rendlesham on an old tyre and then done two weekends of green laning. so an oil change, air filter, new rear maxxis, chain and sprocket set are all fitted along with the compulsory rear brake pads.....

although the wheel was perfectly spoked the last time I'd not tightened them enough and they were repeat, this time they're really wound up! I also put in my second gearbox oil seal kit.

I also forgot to do the clutch! how could I forget? every friggin time I race I have no clutch! even TQF can't help me.

My main rivals are the House brothers and 162. I speak to the house brothers before hand and one says that he dropped a trailer on his own foot and broke it so he is out, the main rival - his brother - had the Husaberg stolen a Month before. he tried to borrow a bike the day before that hadn't been run for ages and gave up as it just would not run right.

well anyway, I line up with 18 other bikes and get away in about 6th, we're all spinning and slurring left to right, filling in each other's faces with mud! I move up over the next 90-minutes needing all the grip of that new Maxxis 110 rear. I never really rev the 570 out but upon seeing a rival catching me I blast it for a mile down the edge of the field while fighting the bucking more rival! I then ask myself: why the feck don't you ride like that more often and then pledge to 'give it some' for the rest of the day!

lunch arrives, everything is clarted in thick mud. glad I wore my very unfashionable over trousers in camouflage to match my blue/white top LOL

I naturally forget the clutch and anyway: what was I going to do?

In the afternoon we start with a shower and progress in places is impossible. races like this put off the newcomers as they just haven't the race craft to get going and we need all the riders we can get!

they pull us in and everyone heads for home real quick! bugger is it cold!

I see the results and happily for me, 162 does nothing in the morning and although fasts=est in the afternoon with 6 to my 5 laps he picks up just two points.

I get 9 for second.

over at the TBEC meeting Nick has some gremlins and gets just 222 points. I'm normally good for between 240 and 270 so let's hope I can utilise his misfortune as well.

Colin has a stunning day and wins the over 50 veterans and second is Jon Foxley the 2011 winner and last years runner up to me!so battle is joined!

In April
14th Banovallum back at Ashby Prerorium
21st Stourport with TBEC

I'll let you know!


Taffy is offline  
March 26th, 2013, 08:14 AM   #2
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Re: Taff's last racing season

Good stuff, Taff. Enjoyed it!
OldNewbie is offline  
March 26th, 2013, 02:24 PM   #3
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Re: Taff's last racing season

Go Taffy. Age does catch up ehhh?
steve is offline  
March 26th, 2013, 02:25 PM   #4
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Re: Taff's last racing season

I haven't done a TBEC in ages, do Thay still ask you to clear the corse?

What's the next race venue like?
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March 26th, 2013, 06:37 PM   #5
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Re: Taff's last racing season

Thanks for that and your other racing recaps. Take precautions, do some stretching before you get out there ok!
Idle is offline  
March 27th, 2013, 01:27 AM   #6
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Re: Taff's last racing season

Hello Nick

this is a video of Stourport at a TBEC from last year when we still had a drought:

it looks like loose sand, off camber, large stone strewn and roots absolutely every yard! you go quick on that and the last thing you'll hear is 'thwack' and wake up in A & E!!!!

however i'll be there for my first attempt. shouldn't be too bad for the Husaberg FE570e.

don't any UK people spoil this but can the anzacs and yanks guess what it is the rider goes past at 8.00 on his left exactly?


Taffy is offline  
March 27th, 2013, 01:44 AM   #7
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Re: Taff's last racing season

Thanks for the reports Taffy.
Our season is due to begin in 3 weeks. Our stuff is tight and twisty so I'm not ready to take the 650 into it quite yet. Perhaps a summer of single track on it and I'll give it a go. Kudos to you for running that big 570.
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March 27th, 2013, 07:34 AM   #8
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Re: Taff's last racing season

What's this "age" crap?

I didn't start racing until age 52. I'm hoping to get pretty fast by the time I'm 60.

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March 28th, 2013, 02:36 PM   #9
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Re: Taff's last racing season

Wow Im impressed with you riding a 570 in those trees .I have a fs570 and cant turn it on the street lol.You should take up moto it might increase your life expectancy.Im an old fart too and all I can handle is a small 2 stroke in the woods.You guys are insane .Great video
skred is offline  
April 22nd, 2013, 11:29 PM   #10
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Re: Taff's last racing season

well I've just finished another two sundays of racing.

on the 14th I did a Banovallum back at Ashby Puerorum. it was meant to be Manby but the new owner's have gone to ground. as we are there next Month I'm sorry to say we'll be sick and tired of the site of it!

I got the bike ready for this one by fitting the TE clutch slave but didn't have time to convert the M/C and go to DOT4. it bled easily enough, I also fitted new chain and sprockets and rear pads. this bike goes through rear pads like nobodies business. give me the old rear caliper from the pre-'08s anyday! gearing stayed at 13/52 and I have no base to the lower chain guide as this was 'eaten' away over a year ago!

at the meeting, I saw that one of the House Brothers was on a TM250 and this was the first ride. the other brother on a Husaberg FE550 I can usually get a handle on and he'd got over his broken foot. then there was No4 who'd won the last round and 162 would no doubt have his yam 250 2T MX running OK this time. 3rd maybe?

the track was brutally rough, soft sand chopped up followed by crossing tracks with compacted rubble that jarred spin and wrist alike. I found the bike incredibly heavy, I mean it was likke someone had turned the PAS off! I always make a 'mistake' and this time it was that I'd left my waterpack bottle out of the pack so on a warm day: no liquids!

I got to lunchtime already knackered and I guessed 4/18 and disappointed that House on the Husaberg had left me. the other one on the TM was everywhere - i guess pining for the Husaberg stolen a Month ago!

I set off well in the afternoon in second, catching the group in front one of them panicked and fell in front of me in the woods and I couldn't go anywhere. I was passed by 4-5 riders and got going again.

if you use first gear the 570 - set on soft - spins, wheelies and rips your arms off, in second it hooks up and rips your arms off and you're doing twice the speed. there is no hiding place and my arms - always my strongest part - are failing me in recent times. when i go to the Gym i only do cardio or a little legs and stomach and as a desk walla I'm really starting to pay for it now!

House gradually leaves me and I start to make mistakes as I tire. I also have no clutch which means i really struggle. overall result is 4th as I suspected and the first round winner does it again. 162 second and house third. it is back to Ashby again!!!!! in a Month!

but I decide I need to fit some 22mm offset clamps on before I die and because I can't touch the bike all week I fit a set the following saturday afternoon - my only chance! mistakenly, I remove a washer from under the bottom bearing.... more later! this is just about all I have time for as Martin Burke arrives to collect me. Martin is an Irish road navvie and talks like one! he has a Gold tooth, the look of murder in his eyes and I don't ever argue with him!

his 650 Husaberg is continually letting him down but between you and me: his preparation is bollocks! he has a a set of my special engine plates fitted but because he first swopped them in mud he now can't tell me how good they are! and he always has other (problems) things on his mind!

we set off for a TBEC at Stourport some 180 miles away and I pitch the tent. it is a beautiful course and very topogriphal. I walk the first half mile and get ready for the event. I leave the line second and weaving up and down the side of the hill the bloke infront stalls and I have to cut inside putting me against the side of the slope, this makes my run at the hill too acute as I'm under the slope trying to turn up it. I can't lean to the left as I have just got around mattie, then I see the 3' rut..... and using my locater - and leaning off the bike as much as possible - I still go in the phuqer!

2 minutes later I extricate the bike and carry on. the steering is solid - damn! I knew I should have left that 2mm washer in. I overtake many riders and then lose all the ground as one turns left on a hillside and clobbers me. I lose hope as it is all going wrong and think of pulling in. then I get into a rythem and things and then things suddenly aren't so bad! the clutch only goes away just once - not so bad!

I can hold the youngsters and MX machines quite well but I'm completely mullered by them in two places
drive up 1 in 3 hills (of which there are many!) when I can't open the throttle or i'll loop it and anyway, I'm sitting too far back...
an also the whooped out straights: I have to roll them and they just smash them.

I then scrap with a rider I easily beat all last year. and it is good fun. he ridicules me later for falling at the same corner two laps on the trot! lunch is had and besides an oil leak from the slave it all looks good.

in the afternoon I get away near the back due to needing the loo! part of getting older....

I ride really quiet well and the steering has loosened until it is normal. it is way lighter now with these clamps on!


I need to go to 12/52 to avoid first and have a better selection of gears
soften the rear preload as it checked out at 66mm and don't ask me how (I changed shock and took the preload from one to the other)
DOT4 the clutch
lower - flatten the bars with no riders for a test
sidestand trying to fall off
seat is again too soft and I can feel the frame

go to the Gym: work on the "upper body"!


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