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TBEC Owthorpe Notts 2010
Written by Tony Woolmore   
Wednesday, 30 June 2010

TBEC Owthorpe Notts 20th June

In my first ever season of racing and being a sprightly 45 years old, I will say to all those thinking about racing, go for it. I have found everyone to be helpful and very friendly this year with help and advice freely available. I would suggest going and helping set the course up the day before the race as this gives you an insight as to what you face and the riding advice from the 'old timers' is invaluable.

We arrived early on Sunday morning, It was overcast and feeling quite cold which would have been ideal for racing. I unloaded my bike and went to check which row I was starting on, row 0 was my starting row. Personally I like to get through scutineering and get my bike on the start line early so I don't have to worry about anything. With this done it's back to the van to eat and drink plenty and get kitted up. The horn sounds and it's time for the pre race briefing. The course is 5.5 miles with 3.5 miles of woodland and 2 miles of fast open fields.

At the start my bike started easily and I was off. Obviously not being able to help set up this time I didn't get a look at the course so was riding blind, so a steady first lap was in order. As I entered the woods it looked fairly open but this soon changed. The woods had a bit of everything and this was becoming apparent. It soon tightened up to single track interspersed with some deep mud. It also had some tricky ditches thrown in for good measure. Then out into the open fields, now these were fast. My bike was revving out in top and I had dropped 4 teeth off of the rear sprocket for this race!

Images by &

After the open fields it was through a ditch back into the woods and finish the lap. My first lap was approximately 20 minutes so it was now time to try to speed things up. The problem I have though is when I speed things up I tend to fall off more which negates the speeding up. Coming out of the fields and back into the woods there was a sharp left and a small ditch. I opened it up too early and the bike got away from me a little, launching us into a big bush. Another one was a muddy ditch with a 90º turn to the right directly after it. As more and more bikes went through it you could see where the bikes were bottoming out. I fluffed it after I had come out of the ditch and just didn't quite give it enough power and had to put my foot down. This was a big mistake as the mud here was just wet clay and my foot just couldn't get any grip so I was over and had trouble getting enough grip to pick it up.(It wasn't until half way through the second session I noticed a sign saying easy route!)

My first 4 laps weren't too bad apart from getting cramp. It started in my inner thighs then my hands and why do I always get it in my left thumb? I pretty much managed to ride through it. I dropped my bike after the muddy whoops on the right hand turn and for the first time ever I managed to keep it running whilst I picked it up. On the plus side on the open fields I discovered you could nail it round some of the bends flat out which tested the bottle a little. Apart from that they were fairly uneventful. By the fifth lap I was starting to tire. Now I would consider myself a considerate rider and move over and point my leg as to which way the other rider should overtake at the earliest available time but hitting my back tyre and sitting behind me revving your engine just isn't going to get you past especially on single track. By the time I was three quarters round I was ready to stop but no! I had 20 minutes left so I decided to go for it despite how exhausted I felt. I had lost my breather pipe and petrol had spilt on the top of my tank, my camel back nozzle had been rubbing in the petrol and I couldn't even get a drink. That last lap I was so knackered and was having trouble hanging on and it seemed like I hit every stump and root on the course. I was exhausted, I can't remember ever being so tired. I had trouble pushing the bike back to the van in fact I couldn't do it unaided.

At the end of the race I tagged in with 16 seconds to spare covering another 6 laps. Overall 55 seconds within time over a 4 hour race and a total of 12 laps.

After a 3 ½ hour drive home I had to soak in the bath and I could only manage two cans of beer!!! There's nothing like working your bits off to make you feel alive. I feel like I have done something. All I have to show for it is a little bruise on my shoulder a bit of a strain in my thigh and a severe case of monkey butt. Oh and doggy dreams. My whole aim with this championship is to try and be consistent and it is all starting to come together.

The good
I finished another race, The bikes hanging in there, well nearly.
Counter shaft seal gone. Having a great time.

The bad
I keep falling off. I'm having trouble riding standing up.
Still slow.. The ugly Bruise on the shoulder (I never Bruise) Monkey butt.

Roll on Washbrooke.

Comments (3)add comment

Manny said:

Good write up need to get into the habit of lifting your elbows up a lot higher around corners. smilies/grin.gif

Another tip see the Bookmark link just above the comment box if you choose the Facebook link it will post this article on your wall...only found out myself a few weeks back. smilies/wink.gif
June 30, 2010

andy said:

Try a dose of Asprin at the start and during the break, I find this helps with the cramps, I try and drink about 2 litres of water before the start as well and this helps. Dont feel intimidated by the engine reving behind you they are just making their presence felt, its up to the rider behind to pass you safely, but they want you to know they are there.
July 22, 2010

Manny said:

Dont feel intimidated by the engine reving behind you they are just making their presence felt, its up to the rider behind to pass you safely, but they want you to know they are there.

It is much safer for both concerned if the leading rider gives a little room...kick a leg out and just run wide at the next corner, cost nearly nothing time wise. Gets kind of sketchy going off line bar to bar on single track.
July 22, 2010

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