The geography of the UK and that West Wales is basically not too near anywhere else, means that entries for Teifiside are always going to be lower than anywhere else. But its about quality not quantity, right ? (and no, I’m not going to start quoting Robert Pirsig again).
The club had a new track, a couple of miles from the other track next to the pub (scene of a few raucous nights ), which was on the side of a hill overlooking Cardigan and the sea. Good paddock with easy parking and even some nice decking as a view point for the racing (you could have also had a facial and got your nails done if they were open). The club had put in a lot of work to get it all prepared and the track did hold up well during the day. The venue it seemed had been one of the those quad off road centres for the local tourists, that was until all the quads got stolen and the business stopped. They’d laid out some kids swings and things on a large sandpit, but these were moved aside to give a nice rutted taste of a Belgian special on the way round. Some steepish hills, off camber bends and a nicely flowing track was the order of the day. Great for spectators.
I’d put an entry in for Graham, as he was due a break from tiling the kitchen and toilet flour, so the Yamaha TT500 was put in the trailer, after some jetting modifications since the trip to Devon a few weeks ago . Graham’s last race was the Blackpool beach race in 1989, so he had a plan to take it very easy and make sure he was intact for his upcoming holiday to Tunisia. We managed to share out the kit between us, so we have enough to protect all the vital bits.
Practice went to plan for both, though the grass on top of the track meant I locked up the rear wheel in to the bottom off camber corner and slid gently towards the hedge. Going out on the 250 after it’s latest rebuild was a bit of a mistake and I ended up losing the tail pipe at the far end of the track. It wasn’t running right, with what I think are fueling issues, but further investigation to come.
Graham once again found the weakness in my spannering and we managed to tightened the steering head before the 2nd race. The TT500 , as in Devon, started misfiring under load during the race and again changing the plug seemed to sort this out; I’d lowered the main needle, but suspect that it’s when it’s idling that there is a problem and it’s fouling the plug. Despite the bike, he did okay, didn’t crash and wasn’t last, which for me ticks all the boxes of a good day out !
For me, the SC500 ran really well all day and I managed a decent start in the first two races, which meant everyone had to then come round me. I’d changed the gear lever position and also made more of an attempt to go up and down through the box where I could, in particular getting into first on the tight corners and this probably improved my lap speed.
One of the downers on the day, was Guto on his pre-war Jap engined bike snapping the frame beneath the headstock during the grandslam. He’d managed to put it through a hedge during an earlier race, but it was lucky it happen on one of the corner before the jump, rather than actually on them.
Overall, the track had a few holes develop during the 20 or so races, but nothing serious and thats the nature of scrambles, you could pick the right line and still keep a good pace.
With all the discussion about cancellations, meetings not running etc, there is a lot to be said for events like the one run by Teifiside; the entry wasn’t massive, but there were 6 races per block (only 1 sidecar in the demo race), but it was a good track, good races and most significantly a good atmosphere.
To some, classic motorsport is all about nostalgia. However, having started my own mid-life crisis around motorsport 15 years ago, I didn’t have much personal nostalgia, so started with modern bikes in trials, however I soon understood that classic events, bikes and people are a far greater draw. You develop a love of the bikes, fixing them, the people involved and overall scene itself.
For me, the day of racing at Teifiside had a number of real positives;
– managed to spend a good day out with a friend who’d not raced for nearly 25 years,
– saw a nicely restored 1973 TM250 being raced for the first time; he didn’t win anything, but hope he’ll be back for more racing
– some good conversation, racing and even the hotdogs were good.
Can’t beat it really.