Tuesday, 24 July 2012

ShorttrackUK Club Round 5 - Buxton

Weather forecast was good. Woke and loaded up in the sunshine. 2 and a half hour trip up North and all sorted well before practice.

Love this shot from James Boddy.. Geoff and I giving it sum beans!

I tried a different swing-arm angle for practice. It felt good... Went back to my original settings for heat 1 to get a back-to-back comparison. I has running in the Thunderbike and Restricted classes... 3 heats on each.

Riders briefing

Despite the bike losing some turn-exit drive, I still got two 2nd places on the first two heats. The bike was running well and I was feeling good. For heat 3 I went back to my new swing-arm angle. It hooked up more consistently on the marbly surface - Three 2nds from three heats :-)
The Co-Built 'Garage'
Heat 4 and I get a 1st. Feeling really comfortable with the bike... Not having to ride the wheels off it. I can catch the rider ahead, sit back for a lap and setup a move. I do this lap after lap. I can hang it out on the marbles, or hold it tight on the apex. It feels awesome to have this control!

Neil Martin stylin it up like Speedway
Thanks Tim Coles for the pic
Seems I've sorted the bike's carb and she doesn't bog down or stall on the line. It wasn't all faultless though. In two heats I somehow managed the knock her in neutral on the start line. Standing still as the tapes go up isn't the way to do it. Luckily, on both these occasions, the heat was red flagged on lap 1. Could have been taken out by the crashes. Sometimes you need a bit of luck!

Pete's new pukka 80s Triumph framer shipped in from the States - sweet!

Heat 5 and I get up to 2nd. Reigning Champ Anthony Brown is ahead and get onto his back wheel for the last few laps. We catch a back marker on turn 3 and 4 of the last lap. Anthony gets squeezed in the inside and like a plonker I follow and get squeezed too. Shoulda gone for the outside - 1st was for the pickins. I just knick 2nd... shouldda, coulda, woulda. Heat 6 and I get another 1st. On a bit of a roll here!

A twin with magphones = glorious sound!

Thunderbike Final - I get way cleanly but get pushed onto the crap on the inside of turn 1... I come out in 4th. I soon take 3rd and am lining up 2nd... just more of the same please.  The bike feels really loose... I think it's just the marbles from the grading done before. The bike starts losing grip getting out of the turns and running deep into them. I get a big slide on out of turn 2 and super-consistent Anthony Brown is onto me in a shot. Down to 4th.
Qualifying #1... just had to get a pic!

I hang onto Anthony's back wheel, but the bike is feeling quite a handful to ride. I can't make a move but keep in touch with the front three. Its a close fought battle to the line and I get 4th. Back in the paddock and I notice my tyre is flat. Shit! Explains the sudden change in the bike's handling.

With only 2 races between finals, I get out the foot-pump and get to work. As hard and fast as I pumped I couldn't get more than 10psi in the tyre and within two minutes it would be completely flat again. Nice time for a puncture. Shit! Fuck and Bollocks!
Paddock can be a busy place betwen heats... Pete had a collapsed wheel bearing...
...Sideburn Gary doing a gearing change

With points on the line and the King's Lynn rounds' misfire, I decide to give it a go and scurry out late for first pick. I can feel the flat tyre squirming around just rolling around the track. Let's see what happens here... gonna be interesting!
A great shot from Tim Coles with Neil Martin and Alan Birtwhistle all crossed up
Restricted Final - Tapes go up and I make an okay start... I manage to get 3rd into turn 1 but the bike is all over the place. One lap later and the tyre must have been completely flat - the whole bike is chattering down the straights and slewing from side to side going into the turns. It's bearely rideable but I just think of the points on offer. I push and it feels worse and worse, she's bucking and bouncing all over the place.
I was getting great drive out teh turns all afternoon... until the pucture

I get passed regularly. I'm hanging in, determined to bag a few points. I get pipped to last place by 2 riders on the last turn. All in vain. Should have saved my brand new tyre and watched the race from the fences. After feeling so strong and knowing that for the first time I could challenge for the win... what a downer.
This was a brand-new tyre - an expensive day on the clay


  1. Very bad luck with the tyre.
    Can you email me your so I can send you some questions to pass on to Jim R, please? Or ask him directly if you can give me his email. Good luck for the Manx. G

    1. Hi Gary... couldn't figure out how to p.m. you here. email me at paul@speedtherapy.co.uk