We set off on Friday lunch time as we had 200 miles to cover. We arrived at the course with plenty of daylight and had a little walk around some of the course. We walked up a really steep hill running up the back of the course and down a rather steep drop into a wooded area. This nearly killed the Mrs so I had to wait till set up on the Saturday to see more.
Saturday morning arrived and I was paired up with JD. We were taken by quads, up the hill and shown where we had to set up. It was a really varied course steep hills, wooded sections, open fields, up and down off camber paths and a little mud. The weather was fine and was set to stay the same. We settled in and had dinner and then all jumped in the back of a van into Stourport to the pub.
I was up early as usual to take on board lots of fluids and have a healthy breakfast. The fridge in the bus appeared to be set a little cold! My Lucazade, milk and bananas were all part frozen. So Alpen with bananas and honey were off the menu so bacon rolls it is then. The bike went straight through scrutineering and onto the start line. The pits were loaded with petrol tools and enviro mat. Just to kit myself out and ready to go.
I set out with a little more purpose this time, I'm not to sure why but I had it in my head that if I was doing hour laps at Rendlesham I should be doing half hour laps here. So a sort of target was set of 8 laps. The first lap was fairly uneventful but I was happy with it.
The second lap I obviously got the course sorted and went a bit faster. Why when I go faster do I fall off? It wasn't as good a lap as my first. Still uneventful though.
Now my third lap I was still going OK but then I got to the off camber up and down bit. I got it slightly wrong, my front wheel came out of the soft powdery mud and slipped down the bank. I was then pinned upside down against a log with my bike on top of me. I managed to lift the bike off and get it facing in the direction I wanted to go in. I waited until no more bikes were coming and tried to set off up the bank. The bank was just leaves and I just slipped all over the place stalled and dropped it. I got it picked up and was trying to get it started a Marshall then told me to roll it backwards down the bank to the bottom. I had to improvise and take an alternative route out and carried on.
Lap four was an uneventful lap for me on the day but my fastest.
Now the biggie lap five. Everything was going great until I got to a small muddy section with lots of roots. I decided to give it a bit more gas and be more aggressive the bike flew over to the left and I flew to the right. OUCH!!!!! I landed on my ribs with my arm fully extended and hit my head very hard. Totally winded and unable to move for a few seconds. This was the first time in my life I have ever crashed a bike and not been able to at least jump up and pick my bike up. Once the Marshall had picked up my bike for me and I was on my feet again, Trying to get it started!!!! I took it off to the side and lent against a tree to restart it. I got it started and decided to go again. I was short of breath and couldn't take a full breath in but every time the seat came up and hit my arse it knocked the wind out of me. I was hurt.
I think this must be lap six as the right hand guard is a little out of align.
I got to the end of the lap but saw I had twenty minutes left to go before the end of the session so decided to go for it. I just felt I could do it.
Lap six. I was in so much pain and the bumps were knocking the breath out of me so I was spanking it and taking it easy at different parts of the course. A lot of point and squirt. Just as I was exiting a wooded section some young boy on a KTM125 had fallen off and kept his engine running. I stopped, he spun it round got on and started to go so I went. He baulked it as I was coming up to him and I stalled it. Now the pain I was in trying to start a spilled bike was excruciating and I wasted what little breath I had calling him names as he sped off into the distance. By the way I have a special type of touretts I can make up a whole new vocabulary when I need to.
The end well nearly. I finished the first session two minutes over time. I could have made it. Points wise it was worth it though.
I decided I couldn't carry on after the break so visited the paramedics. I declined the liquid morphine as I had a 200 mile trip home. (Unfortunately they wouldn't do take away!) So sadly that was the end of the race for me. We packed up and went home. I live fight another day.
The good the bad and the ugly.
I was a lot quicker
I was fitter
The bike was good
I'm getting better on different terrains
As I get faster I crash more
My suspension really needs sorting
Just the pain I'm in and hoping it eases a little for Blewbury on the 3/4/2010.