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 loose...no 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 machine....no 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!
14th Banovallum back at Ashby Prerorium
21st Stourport with TBEC
I'll let you know!