Well what can I say ... no one ever told me when i started this Enduro "Fun" sport that i needed to be A) a swimmer and B) a specialist in Bog Snorkelling. The conditions were all that and more with so much of the far end of the course under water and the ditches were moats.
My day started ok and met up with the usual crew of friends/riders putting the world to rights, also gave out a few Teamsnapper hoodies to regular customers and supporters of Teamsnapper. Things got worse when I lined up in the Sportsman group when I was entered in Veterans lol, so I was 2 minutes behind from the off, then bike stalled, bike was fine it was just me, I got away with the final few and a few yards came across the big log which was pandemonium...riders and bikes everywhere, I got over the log fine but another rider fell in front of me which caused me to loose balance and I was then laid down with a Husaberg on top of me.....from them on it was hell, I fell off 39 times on lap one ....yes 39, I have never paddled my legs so much and I'm quite sure my feet never touched my footpegs in 3 hours. Luckily i am fairly fit which helped me so much, i think the top riders use me as a benchmark to see how many times they can lap me lol, everyone seems to recognise me as when they pass i always get "Thanks Rich" " Cheers Mr T" "Come on Teamsnapper" "Come on Mr T keep going" etc etc believe me it’s those comments that kept me plodding away.
Euan Harrison was helping me through the big swamp where he was marshalling and always giving me encouragement and advice. Not quite sure exactly how many more times i fell off but i did try and keep a mental count (Lap 2 = 22 times, Lap 3 = 27 times Lap 4 = 11 times, Lap 5 =14 times and Lap 6 = 9 times) it was picking the bike up continually that sapped me especially so laden with mud, in future i will not use a Trial tyre as i don't think that helped. Each time overall winner Simon Beken passed me i was mesmorised by his ability and bike control whilst chatting to me as he passed (Simon is now a legend in my book lol). Although i was slowest on the course i kept passing parked up riders who were either having a break or just finished physically and at times i felt i was all alone out there as the field thinned out.
There was one horrible section that climbed up a hill that was root ridden and very tricky which caught out so many.... i had been pretty lucky for about 4 laps when out of the blue i heard this shout "Look out is what i thought the rider said" (Aaron Dibnah)and this KTM rear wheel smashed my calve from behind which bloody hurt and put me sat on the sideline for a few minutes, it was one of those racing incidents and it was a spectacle to see Aaron continuing up the hill bouncing off every tree and any other solid object he could aim at...(Fair play to those riders who have Bollocks that big). i did stop in the pits when i finished that lap just to see if leg was ok ...which it was so went back out and continued to fall off lol.... well i managed 6 laps and can say hand on heart i did not enjoy but felt a great sense of achievement and another box ticked in my quest to become a Clubman rider.
Personal praise to all who finished and again big thanks to all riders/marshalls who encouraged me when i was ready to give up.