SEEC Enduro Championship Round 2
First event of the New Year for me having not ridden since the Tim Ward in December...was I excited about it? Yes until I spent all day Saturday struggling to get my bike started and running properly. The bag of goodies that cost me a small fortune from www.motoward.co.uk
mainly was left unused. I did not bother fitting the complete new clutch assembly because the plan was to refit my Magura hydraulic clutch, but the slave cylinder was still on back order from Venhill
and with no new springs I didn’t really want to kill it just yet. New chain and sprockets at Bagshot? No way! I was sure the existing set had one more event left in them. The pump seal developed a leak out of the blue, had to hope for the best as it was to late to do anything about it.
Si Beken picked us up Sunday morning which turned out to be a really nice day, bright sunshine with a wind that cut straight through you out in the open, just a reminder that we were still not quite out of winter. Looking at the schedule board the Vet’s were down doing the same laps and times as the Experts, strange decision considering we were starting behind the Clubman, all part of the flavour that is SEEC Enduro, every club has their own interpretation of how a event should be run, never a dull moment.
The machine examiners tested the lights so I had to start the engine, after a couple of minutes of kicking and starter motor abuse (new battery) it burst into life, I thought at least it might start a little easier come my minute..yeah wish!
First Check 2 laps in 70 minutes:
Plenty of time you would have thought to get round Bagshot which included the rarely used Bagshot North via a tunnel. Took the first lap nice and easy, having to stop and give the clutch cable some slack. My forearms were pumping up a bit from using the heavy controls and lack of riding time even before I arrived at the Special Test which was situated on the north bit, too far away to view in the morning and like most people was going into it blind.
Test was fantastic, fast flowing with a few blind brows which I completely backed off from, a tricky off camber hill climb leading up to stop box, took a braver man than me to get round there fast. I lined up again to do my second test but decided that I would be better off loosening up my forearms and try again on another lap. Wished I did do it back to back because on my second test still weren’t completely sure what was round the next corner either, even managed to get sucked into a corner, braking and stalling the motor just in time to miss barrelling into the bushes, still knocked 5 seconds of the first test time.
Finishing the first session and stopped by the pit entrance glancing at the main time clock, looked at my times just to double check that my memory was not playing games.. I was 2 minutes late!! I asked a person nearby just to read the clock just to double check before rushing towards the punch guy, I was certain the minutes were going to flick over.
Second Check 2 laps 50 minutes:
Time to push on this had turned into nonstop lap bashing Enduro (H &H). There was plenty of traffic on the course; picking my way through the riders until I come across one of my fellow Vets who was how should I put it? Stubborn f***er? Tried to overtake him on the stony hill climb just before the special test, getting a good drive and avoiding the barrage of stones coming from his back wheel, I just about drew beside him reaching the top but was going too fast to go around a tree, decided to cut inside and push the branch back which just ripped me from the seat and deposit me on the ground….not a good call!!
On the last lap there were at least 6 of us dicing for position on the final stretch before the time check where all the large puddles are. Got completely soaked when someone overtook on the inside (deep bit), afterwards the engine started misfiring and cutting out just managed to get to the time check on my minute.
Third Check 3 laps 70 minutes:
Rode 20 meters into the woods before the engine completely cut out, was a while before I realised it was not water causing the problem but a lack of fuel, not surprising as I never start a time card event with a full tank. Spent the whole lap in fuel conversation mode not even certain that I could make it round, physically the lap felt much longer than it actually was. Went straight in the pits were Clare Taylor fuelled me up with all the contents of my Quickfill…thank you!
Things started to go weird from here onwards. I had to keep taking up cable slack on the clutch cable, after doing this a few times I could see the cable had started to fray, this little distraction was enough for me to lose my lap count. Lucky for me Phil Boreham was at the time check counting his laps and agreed we had to do another lap.
Time lost 13 minutes.
Fourth Check 1 lap 22 minutes:
Clutch cable finally breaks and I fall off going down a hill trying to make a turn half way down, apart from landing heavily thought nothing of it. Managed to get the clucthless WRF going and adjust my riding style around the problem. This actually helped me focus and ride smoothly using up less energy.
The only problems I had was with the couple of bogs and deep ruts that required special attention and some nifty lines to avoid the worst. Arrived at the check to find that my time card was now AWOL, made sure the helper noted my time down just in case I found it again.
Time lost 5 minutes.
Fifth Check 2 laps in 50 minutes:
Stopped on the hill where I crashed previously and started to do some gardening looking for my time card, took the opportunity to have my first drink of the day from the Camelbak. I was a little despondent when I could not find it, all this effort just for a DNF? Carried on riding scanning the ground when I spotted it lying just off the track couple of miles later. With a smile on my face I realy enjoyed the rest of the check, felt like I was the only person out on the course, took the opportunity to thank all the marshalls as I went by.
Time lost 10 minutes
What I liked: The track, special test, long day in the saddle.
What I did not like: This could be the last time this venue is used, not been able to walk for 2 days afterwards lol.
Special thanks to Surrey Constabulary MCC, Clare Taylor, Toni Allen and Colesie (album Here) for photographs, Peter Moller for allowing me to copy his times yet again, Si Beken enouth said.
Next event Hants Police & XHG Tigers H&H Slab Common 11th April