Saturday, 30 January 2010

3 Day Scottish Trials Vids

Mike found a few vids from our Scottish 3 Day Trial in November.

Me having a wee bit of difficulty with an 8 inch stream.

Al hopping over an 8 foot stream!

Man! I neeeeed more practice!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

BMX Babe

Something to help keep the spirits up!

Surgery Scheduled

This plate in my wrist has been causing me problems. No problem riding a bike, but stoopid fuckin' things like buttoning my shirt or picking my mobile phone. So I've got the surgery scheduled to take it out: 20th March.

21st March is the first round of the Ducati Desmo Due Championship. So I'll be missing that. Mabe one day I will be able to do all rounds of a championship!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Work on Wee Monster

Got out for some more green-laning yesterday. Did my usual route... it gets boring after a while... so what does one do? Race. Started timing a 'lap'. Carved 20% off my best time from last week. Man, I was cooking!  Feeling it today though... must get fitter. Less than 5 months to go to Erzberg!

Did some more work on the Wee Monster.

Remodeled the old, hideous belly-pan and painted the front mudguard. Shaved another 80grams off her!

She's starting to look good! Can't wait to get out there and mix it with the other Desmo Due bikes!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Dakar Tombraider

There’s still two days of the Dakar rally left, but these pictures surely show the best crash of the whole rally!

Swedish female competitor Annie Seel’s KTM is pictured here crashed at the bottom of a 16ft-deep tomb – this is the story of the crash in her own words:
"At km 131 the track split around some ruins, and joined again after. To avoid dust I cut from right track over to the left, across a small rise. Behind the rise a 5m deep tomb opened, 2x3 wide.
"I rode too slow to jump and too fast to stop. Put brakes on, slide bike to the left and abandon ship. I managed to jump to the left edge while bike tumbled down. I am lucky not to go down cause the walls were impossible to climb.
“Stopped some riders to call for help. A helicopter came and I climbed down with a thin rope to check bike, it was ok.
"We tried to pull the bike, but no. They said I must wait for the organisation truck to come and help.
"Took a while but then Mr Etienne Lavigne, race director, arrived in a helicopter instead. Like a true hero he climbed down with a rope, tied my bike with the real tie roses, and instructed the pilot how to lift it.
"Now I could continue the race, saved by the angel from above. Only suffering from painful swollen hand and aching foot."

By  Chris Newbigging - General news - 15 January 2010

PB - Man, those KTMs are tough old beasts!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Gus Scott - Part 1

Been sorting out my crap the past few weeks. I went through my old copies of Performance Bike magazine looking for this article. It was published in August 2005 - when I was on the Isle of Man doing the same thing on my first Manx GP, experiencing the same things and feeling the same feelings as Gus did. He put it to words far better than I can. It's a bit long for a blog with not many pics, but well worth the read...

"24 hours before his death, Gus Scott wrote this heartfelt account of a 115mph lap at his first TT. We couldn't think of a finer tribute to our friend than to publish it."

"As I funnel towards the start line in a big group, pushing my bike slowly forward, it's weird but I'm calm. I was so nervous on the ferry over, thinking, 'Is this going to be one of those one-way trips?'

I didn't sleep last night. I was getting annoyed with myself because I wasn't picking up the whole lap - there were certain sections that I still didn't know. I was frightening myself in some blind, flat-out sections. i ended up watching a DVD of the track, rewinding certain sections again and again.

down on the start it's not like a normal race. there's no mass start. It's just you, the bike and the road. That's a nice feeling. They set you off individually. when I get to the front there's a bloke in a white coat who puts his hand on my shoulder and looks up to the box. He counts 10 seconds as the rider in front disappears down Bray Hill. Then he lifts his hand and I think, 'He could be the last person to touch me.'

Bray Hills fast, fast as fuck, but you've got time to think. You aim to go under the bush on the right, then come to the crossroads and you've got to pull on the bars to jump or it'll load the front. You apex at the lights, in top gear flat-stick. The bike compresses so much that you scrub off loads of speed. then over Ago's Leap. The bike naturally lifts. I try not to roll the throttle, just let it come down.

There's a rise before Quarter Bridge. You have to go down a gear and accelerate to wheelie over it. One lap I didn't and it went into a massive slapper. then you've got to slam on the brakes to go through slippery Quarter Bridge.

Second, third, fourth, towards Braddan Bridge. Aim for the junction on the right, brake, back down two gears, follow the white railings that jump out at you. Gingerly through here because this is the first time the tyres have been on their left side. Full tank of fuel, new tyres - these bikes feel awful at low speeds.

Flick it over, into a dip - bah, bah, bah, bah - flat-out through two terrifying blind kinks hurtling at Union Mills. Coming out there's a garage on the left, you've got to have the thing absolutely pinned. There's a kerb on the left you've got to skim with your wheels as the bike bucks and weaves.

On to a long straight toward the campsite. people sit on a green bank. Their feet are so close I'm sure I'm going to hit them.  Then you peel away towards one of the fastest corners on the track - Ballagary that's also called Glen Vine. people call it Ballascary because there's been a few fatalities there.

There was a massive crash here in one race - bikes and carnage everywhere. Next lap there's shit all over the road, fuel spills, I slowed right down to 50 and still got a massive slide. then the next lap there are fewer flags, then the third lap it's up to you if you want to keep it lit through there.

I start to relax, I'm glad I got that right, but there's a hump on the way out. The bike's still leant over so you've got to get it right. You pull on the bars to do a crossed-up wheelie.

Up to Crosby and DJ's [David Jeffries] corner which is a hard one for me. I greet him every time I go through, saying 'this one's for you Deej.' At the start of the week I didn't think I'd be able to flat it, but then I though, 'Fuck it, I know it's only a kink.' You've got to commit to these corners early, otherwise you'll just pussyfoot through them all week.

This is a learning year, I've put no pressure on myself and told everyone that right form the start. I've never had any interest in doing the Manx [Manx GP] and because I've got an international race licencee I didn't have to, so this is my first time on the Island's closed roads. the idea is to keep coming back until I start getting podiums.

On to Crosby. The Fireblade hates it. it's done some awful things all week. I was speaking to Michael Rutter last night and he said, 'You've got to roll off', there's no point getting in a silly mess or you'll be off the throttle for too long.

Greeba Castle has a rollercoaster dip, you've got to go slower than you think to get the drive out. There's an off-camber right that would be easy to highside out of. then the left-right-left-right skimming the kerbs, before a nasty left.

Greeba Bridge, flat-out on the 600, back two gears on the Blade, down a rollercoaster hill. I've already been into teh fast right that follows too fast, hit some little potholes, the front tucked, all my weight on my kneeslider, and then it just flicked back. scary. It took me1 0 miles to get my concentration back.

Up to fifth, then another fast right. It would be kneedown but I keep it up because it's so fast it would drag. Look for the 30 sign to brake into Ballacraine. Boot it down to third, nice and easy, through Ballaspur, then just kick it up the box weaving towards Glen Helen. I'm going too fats but I don;lt brake, just drop a gear. This  is where you see the flowers.

I've lost a few friends around here. When you're flying round you see bouquets of flowers and purple ribbons stuck in the wall. it's a bit off-putting. Ronnie Smith suggested that people should respect the riders who were still racing by putting the flowers just over the wall. there'd be no harm, but the racers wouldn't have to see them."

Part 2 coming up as soon as I've had time to type it (I feel the same as Gus did about the flowers...)

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Green Laning

I was up for a 1.5 hour Harescramble at Slab Common today, but it was cancelled earlier in the week because of the weather. There was another 3 hour REME event at Bagshot I thought I might do instead. Last night there was a notice on their website that entries were full. Doh. Must be the warmer (wetter) weather after the freeze of the past few weeks. Nay worries - got out and did some local green-laning on the four-fiddy.

Fields were flooded and there were little rivers everywhere from the melting snow and rain from yesterday.

Still a bit of snow around but glorious sunshine and it was warm! :-)

I was out for just over 3 hours in the mush. I think the 3 hour Harescramble would have been a bit much considering my current fitness... I'm knackered!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Flattrack Art

Some wonderful artwork from Tim Beaumont

Thanks Sideburn for the lead...

Workshop Babe

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

FlatTrack in Vegas

A vid from the recent indoor event (one of Gene Romero's WCFTS) in Las Vegas:

Thanks for the link and covering it Sideburn Gary and Dale Lineaweaver for the vids (lots more from Dale on YouTube).

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Monday, 11 January 2010

Snow Trials

The UK has been snowed on and frozen...

'The Field' - the squashed triangle mid-way up and to the left of the frame... our playground:

The snow and ice stopped me getting out on the bikes this weekend because the trials bike is at the back of the garage... and I would have never got the other 4 bikes I had to move out back up the sloping ice rink of a drive to the garage.

It didn't stop Ant having a play:

I gotta get my arse back on the seat of a bike and get some bike-time... it's been 6 weeks and Erzberg is only 5 months away!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Race Start

How about this for a bad race start?

And... looks like nobody came off!
...except the fella dancin' with his bike of course.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Cool BSA StreetTracker

A cool BSA Goldie StreetTracker (Dick Mann tribute?) from  K&S BSA in Somerset... I must break out my BSA Thunderbolt StreetTracker this summer and do a photo shoot.

Thanks Sideburn