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Tea 'Til Nearly Dark Round 3
Written by Manny Bernardez   
Sunday, 13 September 2009

Wednesday 10th June 2009

With the Streatham SEEC round cancelled on Sunday meant that for the last round of the Team REME Tea Til Nearly Dark Wednesday evening series, I would be fresh as a daisy unlike the two previous rounds. I was really up for it specially that there been some rain because the last time we rode there it become a huge dust ball.

Pre-walked the first part of the track with the North Camp lot, once we had figured out in what direction you had to go off after the start straight. I think I did mentioned to Rob Mussell to be careful on some of the fire roads as they are deceivingly slippery, should have taken my own advice in foresight. Rob did have a very cool phone video of Chris Elderfield pancaking one of the jumps on the course at round 2; he must have been hitting it flat out to get that height.

HoleshotX-rayRear camera with missing SD card

All eyes were on SoM Al Cook as he readied to drop the flag for the mass start, I kicked the Yamaha as Al dropped the flag and was away leaving my class trailing behind taking the holeshot. I was just thinking what a boring video this was going to make and backed off a little near the tight right hander that took us into the woods, when Over40 series leader Dave Salkeld and winner of every round so far sneaked inside me, well at least the video was not going to be boring now.

Don’t know if Dave walked the course before hand but I could easily stay on his tail (exaggeration) because I knew what direction the track was heading next, just had to take tighter lines than Dave to avoid his roost.

We dropped down a steep hill with a sharp left turn onto a fire road, Dave going wide me turning tight, I was just tapping on the power after I straightened up the next thing I know is both the front and back let go simultaneously, I go down hard on my shoulder even hitting the floor hard with my helmet, it was one of those WTF moments.

Picked the bike up immediately and felt something was wrong with my shoulder carried on riding letting riders go pass but the pain kept increasing, hearing the sound of bone scrapping together is not exactly a new experience for me. I decided to ride immediately to the pits via the fire roads before I was not physically able too.

Got to the van to take my helmet and camera equipment off and at least have a look at the footage, no joy blank tape, I also mounted a rear camera with the recorder stuck on the rear mudguard, no joy there the crash had ejected the mini SD card…great!

Lorna and I did go for a short walk to try and find the missing SD card but there was little hope, I haven’t even been able to find a kick-start before let alone something as big as a thumb nail.

The only person that could take me and the bike home was Simon Beken but he was racing. I had picked Lorna up from work (Si other half) and we drove down together, first thing she did was buy me a cup of tea, bless her. Al Cook suggested to get checked by the St John’s ambulance which I did.

Si loaded my bike into my van for me but because it had no power steering it would have been very painful if at all possible to drive back, his Transit did have power steering and I suggested we swap for the journey home. Lorna would drive back with me making the gear changes (she doesn’t drive) but never missed one.

This worked out well after dropping the van at my house Si drove me to the hospital and told me to ring him when done and he would pick me up, I bet he wasn’t expecting one at 1am though..Cheers Mr Beken you’re a real pal, salt of the earth diamond geezer.

The prognosis was the collar bone was still in line with a large chunk detached from the top roughly half way, this meant four weeks in a sling but I had to get rid of it after two days just so I could feed the cat and myself.

Even with my little mishap the whole Tea Till' Nearly Dark series has been brilliant and don't forget the proceeds go to a notable cause. Here’s one Enduro rider hoping that Team REME will do the same next year.

There's a good race report on REME's website Here.

Result = DNF (Did Not Finish)
Overall Over40 Championship = 2nd

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