After a caving trip into Ogof Ffynnon Ddu on the Saturday, I decided to get an early night in Bwlch, rather than enjoying the pleasures of the flesh in the pub. Left about 06.45 on Sunday, still feeling slightly under the weather but took some drugs and decided I was still up for the days racing.
Nice run down, traffic free as usual, and as I was on my own, it was a good time to catch up on some of the unlistened obscurities (including the excellent Relatively Clean Rivers from 1975, ideal for Sunday mornings).
What’s great about Sunday morning runs is seeing what motorsports events are on. No rally cars, but a Vauxhall Viva and a Ford Anglia estate sighted on the A40 between Sennybridge and Llandovery.
The paddock was mainly asleep when I arrived, though Kevin was up and about, making an air filter housing for his newly acquired Suzuki TM250. This is the second he’d got in a month (and different from the one used in Belgium a couple of weeks before ). Track looked quick and the long circuit had been set up, with the start in the top corner of the field at the far end away from the pub.
After an hour or so, Dan emerged from his tent, giving away the fact that he might not be on his sharpest form on the three Husqvarna’s. The weather for day had started nicely, and after the usual call for marshalls, practice got underway around 11am with a couple of changes to race order (such as combining the pre74 class). You wouldn’t call the Teifiside club the most organised, but it’s great and as long as you can go with the flow, then it’s all really good.
Practice over and it was (finally) off with the racing and the pre68 and sidecar classes weren’t too well populated, but with over 70 entries in total, it was good to see the event being run and an opportunity to do some racing.
Kevin saw the 72 Maico’s brake arm snap and jam around the chain during practice. Back to the pits and after trying out some prototypes, a 17mm spanner and some lockwire was used to hold the brake plate in place. Another classic bodge and it’s always good to be enthusiastic about paddock modifications when you know you won’t be riding it.
First pre74 race saw me have a relatively poor start on the Yamaha SC500 but after Gary on his Elsinore got past me, my attempted shorter route saw me thrown on the bike. All on YouTube which was nice. No injuries just ripped my new gloves I’d bought for the 2014 season.
For the Twinshock race, Dan and I had persuaded the Teifiside Club to do something different, that is run the race for 10 minutes + 1 lap (continental style). I was a bit late to the line, so was at the back of pack. The longer race meant I did about 6-7 laps (rather than 4) and though more endurance needed, meant you could get the feel of the track more. And I didn’t fall off. Especially the twinshocks, which are through the merit of being newest, are therefore quicker and sometimes 4 laps isn’t much. Doing it on time has it’s merits.
After the lunch break lined up on the Yamaha again and a better start saw me heading down to the boggy section looking good. However, the throttle jammed open and looking to avoid disappearing over the edge into the wood, saw the bike the marshal; point at a relatively high speed, just as I was departing the bike. The marshall saw me coming and dived to one side, however in the melee of flying pallet, the woman sitting there with him didn’t see me or get out of the way. More shocked than anything, it was a good decision to red flag the race whilst the St John’s came down to check her out.
I managed to escape unscathed and the bike was mostly okay and when I started her up still was revving out, but after a tow back to the pits, back to being okay. However enough was enough, and Graham who was over to watch kindly wheeled the Yamaha back into the van.
For the pre74 grand slam, I managed to stay in front of Kevin for most of the race, and when he did get past me, he dived straight in towards the pits, his left-hand foot peg having fallen off earlier in the race. It was turning into a bit a jinxed weekend for both of us, but I was now eventually getting into groove, confidence not too knocked by the offs.
With the late start, a long lunch and my contribution with a 15 minute outage, time was moving on, so I packed the Husky in the van with a feeling that it was probably a good day to leave early. So after a few more chats in the paddock I headed off gently towards Newcastle Emlyn and home.
Kevin had left 30 minutes before me, and when my phone rang as I was coming out of Carmarthen it was him. I’d not spotted him on one of the A40 roundabout’s with a flat tyre and a flat spare. Down to the nearest petrol station to put some air in the spare and then followed him back down the M4 to Tredegar.
All in all an eventful day. I crawled into the house after 8pm having just noticed the rear loop on the Husky frame had cracked on both sides. Although with going over the SC500, something else to fix 🙂