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Blackwood Popham 20-03-2011
Written by Richard Troth   
Monday, 21 March 2011

Special TestWell folks it looks like it is becoming a habit as now finished 2 enduros in a row and this one was a timecard run by Kingston MCC at Blackwood forest near Winchester, Manny told me i would enjoy as it’s a fast free flowing type of venue and not that technical (Not sure what he was trying to tell me lol).

Kaka and i arrived in the newly liveried van at just past 0730 and managed to park near my new club buddies of London Fire Brigade MCC of which i am now a rookie member, as we were early me and Kaka decided to walk the special test which was longer than i thought. Took about 35-40 minutes although it was long there was nothing daunting and Simon Beken gave me a tip at one of the corners which i did use and think it saved a second or two (Thanks Simon).

Signed on as #99 and was bike scrutineered so as it was still early Kaka and i decided to socialise and caught up with the LFB team, Manny and Simon Beken, Keith Workman, Aaron Phillips, Mark and George Hayes, Nick and Tristan Robinson, Rob Mussell blah blah blah, Kaka pigged out on a greasy bacon roll while i had muesli and fruit.

My start time was 10:25 and as usual in Sportsman class although Manny thought i would be better off in Clubman B at this type of venue, however my game plan of late is to simply finish the events and not worry about anything else. I had four laps to do, 60mins for lap1, 60 mins for lap2, 55mins for lap3 and 55 mins for lap 4. Had to do special test twice at any time but not back to back, oh and nearly forgot to mention my new crash helmet which was birthday present from my lovely Kaka which is fluorescent day glow hi vis green, which is let’s say noticeable.

Kaka went off just before 1000 to find a good spot for Teamsnapper photos, I decided to opt to do special test first and off i went. As i was one of the first doing special test it was very slippery as covered in leaves and made plenty of errors and even ran off track taking a lot of tape with me and i did not even bother to ask my time as was so poor but never mind. I continued to do rest of lap and i reckon i had 54 minutes left to do it. The course i was told was approx 11 miles and was all forest with long flowing trails, lots of stumps and roots, a good few bomb holes, some tight wooded stuff and some bloody fast 6th gear stuff which made me shout YEHAR quite a few times. I was in my element and loved it and as i did special test first i was totally alone on the circuit and NO-ONE passed me and that was a bonus i can assure you. I got back to base 20 mins early (yes 20 mins early) had chat with LFB boys who were just about to start there 2nd lap and they were surprised i was so fast (Humour me please Manny).

On my second lap, i decided yet again to do special test first and this time did a little better but so slow and girlie and managed to be just under 5 minutes which i felt was fair for me. Had a few top boys pass me on the course, i remember Rob Taylor and a guy on 450 BMW who was very quick, anyway i made it back with 21 minutes spare, so had drink, fuelled up. Big thanks to Mark Hayes and Aaron Dibnah who really encouraged me every time i came in and they both knew my game plan (I wanted to finish) so thanks to you both as it really does help.

Lap 3 was a doddle really as no special test and i seemed to be having pretty much a faultless ride and had not crashed yet (YET), think i held up Matt Alexander due to the roost the Midwest Husaberg sprays up when i light her up lol. Still got in 20 mins early and felt really fresh and fit still.

On my last lap i got tied up behind a trio of faster riders whom must have thought what a cock i was in my overtaking manoeuvre as i very nearly took two of them out, as i lost control and then continued to roost them in proper thick gooey mud, i held on and was really embarrassed of my riding and hoped they were not too pissed at me but i was like on a roll and felt like i could have made the move cleaner and less aggressive.

BlackwoodI really tried to ride faster to get away from them and when i came to next bomb hole i totally messed it up and over the bars i went, tried to pick bike up halfway up slope of bomb hole but couldn’t budge it and all the riders i had pissed off came passed me and rightly did not offer to help me (Fair play to them lol). Then as if by magic a knight in shining armour stopped and assisted me (Thank you so much whoever you were), i soon got back into my rhythm and still came in 20 mins early.......but i finished with only one crash and yes looking at my times i should have been Clubman B class but then look at special test and i am Sportsman Class.

Thanks again to all who encouraged me each lap and a special mention to my lovely Kaka who gives me so much support and encouragement and does a blinding job as Teamsnapper.

I did not realise until Kaka showed me photos that Manny was right on my tail at end of my lap 3.

Comments (7)add comment

Manny said:

Not sure what he was trying to tell me

That there is little chance of falling down a ravine at Blackwood smilies/grin.gif
Humour me please Manny

No need you not as slow as you think..I bet your test times wont be far of mine smilies/wink.gif
Manny was right on my tail

Been following you for a while, you where going well smilies/smiley.gif
March 21, 2011

Manny said:

Forgot to say glad you enjoyed it, next SEEC at West Harting is a good'un, can be tricky if its wet but still a good blast round.
March 21, 2011

snapper girl said:

I pigged out on a greasy bacon roll whilst you ate museli and fruit..............smilies/cry.gif
March 22, 2011

Manny said:

Greasy bacon roll is part of my pre-race preparations...i eat it for the salt content smilies/grin.gif nothing to do with it tasting lovely smilies/tongue.gif
March 22, 2011

TWRMiniSport said:

Well Done for finishing Rich smilies/smiley.gif Loved the new van and photos were online by 21:30 when i looked. That is some serious service!!

Im racing the mini on sunday but then im doing the NOMADS 3-Stage on the 3rd which is a brilliant event. Definatly one of my yearly favourites smilies/smiley.gif I take it youll be piccying at Slab though smilies/sad.gif
March 22, 2011

Rich T said:

Thanks Tristan, we are at Bagshot this Sunday, and Slab the next (3rd), what is nomads 3 stage ?? (i will look it up).
Getting the photos on line that early is all down to Kaka, i feed her and wait on her sunday nights while she downloads and does her stuff.
March 22, 2011

snapper girl said:

Woo hoo you.......4th in class again............well done and very proud of you smilies/cheesy.gif
March 23, 2011

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