When Si phoned me on Saturday around midday asking if I were going to ride at the Hampshire Police & XHG Tigers event at Slab Common my answer was a resounding no..maybe because I just woke up had something to do with it. By 6 pm I was feeling motivated enough to start looking at the WRF, clean it anyway. A few hours later with the bike still in bits on the patio I had to call it a day, was getting too dark to carry on. Gave Simon a call around 10 pm asking him to pick us up in the morning and also give me an alarm call early, so I had a chance to put the bike back together again.
With the bike finished on time, Si, Adelaide, 2 dogs and I made the 40 minute journey to Slab Common. On arrival headed straight for the singing on tent to see if I could get a late entry. Entry was accepted and I could use the numbers still on the bike, now that’s what I call service. There was enough time left to walk parts of the course to see what the conditions were like. Dougle (dog) managed to get himself stuck in one of the quick sand areas, any bits of flat washed sand were to be avoided so well worth the reccy.
My race plan was to see if I could do 3 hours nonstop on a single tank of fuel, weren’t too sure that my body was going to be that keen on the idea. Had the usual rubbish start, passed quite a few stuck riders buried in the quick sand, most people just fell off in front of me to be honest. Weren’t long before I found myself some space, which I needed because my forearms were starting to pump up and cramp in the calves. Soon went away as I started to relax and knocked out a few laps.
Bike was running ok apart from the horrid WRF throttle bogging was worse than ever, maybe it’s just riding on sand that makes it more noticeable? By mid race distance the track had a nice flow to it, found myself ‘in the zone’, a couple of boggy bits kept you on your toes, any mistake here meant little chance of a quick recovery. Never really deviated from the lines I was using from the 4th lap onwards, just minor tweaks here and there when faster lines appeared, like they do.
I'm not in the habit of looking at the clock when doing H&H but I was feeling abit knackered. Every time I have in the past there’s always been 1 hour to go, this was no exception. Managed to ride through the rough patch, sitting down and hitting every bump and hole on the track, couple of times I felt the WRF frame rails through the seat lol. Soon was up on the pegs again and back to wondering when will it finally go into reserve. With 9 minutes left on the clock I stopped and switched it over to reserve just so it wouldn’t run out in an awkward place, had about half a liter left in the tank at the finish.
Glad I made the call and rode this event, very enjoyable to ride, I even put a little extra effort into it and never slacked off, didn’t even fall off once…come close a few times though.
Thanks to Hampshire Police & XHG Tigers for a well run event.
Result: 10th Overall, 2nd in Class (Clubman A)
Next event Kingston MCC at Blackwood 25th April, SEEC Round 3