|Ilkley Mates Race PT2|
|Grass roots racing at its best, Banter, Comedy crashes & great company is how I’d sum up the race on ilkley moor this weekend. Well actually Windy, Muddy & a bit nippy up top would also qualify as a good description. Either way it really was a cracking event and great fun for everyone involved.The course itself started on top of ilkley moor and first off was a steepish chute with a generous helping on rocks thrown in for good measure, a good rider made this section look simple by hitting it fast, making a little hop though the rocks and a gracefull landing followed by confident drift rounnd the sweeping left hander that followed.My self on the other hand managed to plough through it on my first run, but the second run made for a comedy moment as I got spat to the left of the rocks and ito the bracken, well once I was in the bracken I figured just keep going, this resulted in me straight lining the next two corners! With the sound of cheers and laughter in my helmet I carried on regardless thankfull of the lack of track tape!This top section really sets the tone for what is to follow as no sooner have you cleared this section and your flying down another very greasy chute followed by another drifty left hander and then on and over another crest into yet more mud rocks and cheeky bracken cuts.|
|The course opens out now and there are multiple lines to choose, or as I find you end up going with which ever rut you get stuck in. Only the bottom third of the track left now and at last gravity is lending a helping hand and it’s definitely a case of just how much grip do you think you have, the rollor coaster run to the finish can’t help but put a smile on your face as you drift across the finish line. The gap jump to finish was left out this time due to the high winds.All in all a great mates race, well organised with the important factor of the day being fun.More photos here.|
|Caersws Cup Rd2 & Midland champs|
|‘Would the weather be kind to us this weekend’ was the topic of conversation on the 3 and a bit hour drive down from Yorkshire to Cearsws, a rather wonderful hill full of downhill tracks and an excellent uplift facility.A few spatters of rain on the windscreen were all we encountered, so all was looking set for a great days practice. First thing sign on, what a surprise my names missing from the start list, considering the hassle I had entering this race this comes as no surprise! Luckily this doesn’t turn out to be a big issue and after a bit of a faff the bkes are ready and we re too.First practice run and it’s all familiar ground as it’s a track I’ve raced before. The course is a little sticky in places but nothing that warrants a spike tyre. The Jump at the top has been taped out because of the wind and the only other change to the course is the final booter into the field as been built up into a mighty gap for those with wings.|
|The day progresses nicely but unfortunately a Red Flag stops practice for over an hour(that gap into the field!) and by mid afternoon and the drizzle that’s been threatening to become does so, this makes for a cracking runs and the field is now like an Ice Rink, Big Rich finds time to do a Torval and Dean impression but other than that we manage to stay rubber side down. It’s time to call it a day and so we pack up for the day wondering as ever what the weather will do tomorrow.Race day:
Well considering it has chucked it down the night before it’s no surprise to see the majority of riders fitting spikes as we roll into the care park on Sunday morning. We park up and set about doing the same.
Judging by the state of riders and bikes the course must now be a muddy mess, it comes as a pleasant surprise then when we make our first practice run of the day to find the track isn’t that bad, in fact it’s mine and Big Rich’s opinion it will dry future and after one run on the spikes we swap back to the ever faithful Kenda Nevagals.Run one is due to start at 12:30 and we arrive at the top of the hill with half an hour to spare, we don’t mind though as by now the sun is shinning. Big Rich is away down the hill before me and I have to wait nervously for my run, eventually It’s my turn and I’m off. First impressions are I can’t believe how much the course has dried out – it’s even a little dusty loose on some of the high lines! All of which I’m hitting, in fact this is shaping up to be a half decent run – Red Flag! Bugger! A great little run comes to the end 2 thirds of the way down as the rider before me ‘Gunny’ has dropped it, yep you guessed it, the gap into the field again and it’s a nasty one – I latter learn that the Veteran rider sustained a broken neck and leg!
|A couple of hours latter, thank goodness the weather was nice otherwise the wait at the top wouldn’t have been fun. And it’s my re-run time. This time I’m still hitting the high lines and to be fair it’s feeling like a reasonable run but at the back of my mind is ‘get down in one piece’ as the second rider down after the restart I really didn’t want to be the next red flag incident. Soon I’m down the worst of it and have only the grass sprint left – this comes as a shock as neither myself or Big Rich had really practiced the final grass section(no-body really does!) even though I just ridden a dry course I stil didn’t quite trust the grass corners and felt slow over the finish – But overall happy with the run and knowing that I could make up quite a lot of time in the final section alone. I find Big Rich and he too is looking forward to the second runs, as always it seems to take the first run the get the juices and red mist flowing!Second Race Runs cancelled! The delays had eaten into too much of the available day light and so the race organisers took the decision to call it day after the first runs.
This was a real but unavoidable shame as looking at the times after the first runs it was shaping up to be very interesting with only a few seconds separating myself and 3 other riders. But it wasn’t to be and as always we have to learn from theses races – Maybe putting in a banker isn’t always the best policy?Richard Marshall 6th 2:11
Richie Molloy 9th 2:21