We arrived at Ashdown farm on Friday morning to help set up. It was very wet with huge puddles everywhere and everything they said about the entrance track was true and then some. After a couple of laps on the back of a quad to set up I was really stoked. WOW ! what a venue. Three really tight wooded sections, some open fields and of course the motocross track. I was really looking forward to this one.
Race day arrived, Saturday for this one due to it being Easter. Through scrutineering and kit up, I was ready. I was on row 10 for the start which was ok. The first bit was a long blue tape section onto a short blast and then into a tight wooded section. This was really dense and the course didn't really need marking out as there was only one way through. By the time i got to the end of this section the marshals had altered it to cut out an uphill u turn.
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Then a big blast across an open field to a goat trail. Now it amazes me how impatient people can really shoot themselves in the foot on sections like this. then onto the farmers yard this was a couple of hundred yards of blue tape and an excellent opportunity for a rest and a drink. Just past this area was a very small wooded section with loads of huge roots which was proving difficult for many.
Now onto the motocross track. Entering the track at the bottom of the hill we had to turn left and from a virtual standing start rise up to a hairpin down the hill and up the other side to another hairpin down and then to the big hill. This was great, give it large and squirm your way through all the bodies up to the top. My first lap I flew off of the top. Brilliant!!!
The top of this hill was a sloppy part of the motocross track which was like runny cement.I got to the end where we entered the woods again and my engine died. I was sat by the side of the track trying to start my bike for what seemed an eternity. I had a couple of marshals stop to help and on the last occaision my bike started. I was off again! Through the woods and then back onto the MX track with a few jumps then off to into the woods again. This lead back to the MX track and some more hills after going through a tight gap with some tyres to cross. The last part was some more open wooded area then to the start finish area. I had no idea how long how long my lap took or what the time was. I just tagged in and set off again.
It was the sloppy part of the track that got me again in exactly the same place. Again I was there for ages and my bike wouldn't start. It was dead!!! Then life it started!!! As i was putting my helmet back on and i died again. A photographer helped by holding the bike up for me but still nothing, so he helped me try and push it back to the pits. I said leave it here against a tree and thanks. I was still trying to start it. It burst into life again this time I got my wife to blip the throttle as I put my gear on again. My initial thought was just get it back to the pits but then I had a rush of bloody mindedness and I was off again. I managed to finish my second lap in two and half hours and that was it.
The good It was an awesome track and i'm getting quicker and little more used to different conditions. I'm getting fitter.
The bad I really need to work on the tight bits of the course, I'm having problems standing on the pegs, especially when muddy. It doesn't help that I bent my foot peg and brake lever at Stourport. I'm in the process of modifying a set of apico foot pegs.
The Ugly My bike dying on me and general starting.