Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Elan Valley

We spent the day exploring the reservoirs in Elan Valley

All photos by Richard Walton

Sunday, 24 September 2017

The Trip Out 2017

We headed to The Trip Out a couple weeks back.

We had a great set up with The MeatHook

Was great to see Sean's new bike out in the wild.

Always good to see Baz's shovel

There was a great line up of bikes in the show tent

Some great painted tanks too

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Alan's Welsh Ride Out

Our good friend Alan had a great idea to get everyone together before the weather
starts to drop off for Autumn. 

Alan planned a great route with amazing views around mid Wales

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Eastbourne DTRA Round 8

Last sunday saw the last round of flat track race season for this year at Eastbourne Speedway, going in I was in a good mood, my riding has been pretty strong recently and was confident I'd be able to run around the business end of the pack.

Racing at speedway tracks this year the racing has been split between morning at afternoon sessions due to getting all the riders into the small pits at speedway at tracks. My classes of Thunderbike and Restricted were in the afternoon so we had a chilled start to the day watching mornings racing and catching up with a few of the racers.

We got the bike unloaded and set up our pit track side to keep and eye of how the race lines developed. The track at Eastbourne is a lot shorter with tighter turns than any other track we'd raced at this year. It took a couple sessions to full getting into the swing of things, practice I thought I was off the pace.

Track side pits

 Getting race ready

Getting into the first heat race I was very focussed on getting a good drop from the middle row to give myself the best possible chance. I was pretty surprised to be in pace with the majority of the pack with Birtwistle disappearing from every body. I was pretty happy with my improvements throughout the day, getting in the finals of Thunderbike and Restricted classes, both mid-row starts. Think I came away with a 5th place finish in the Thunderbike class which I was real happy with considering how the day started.

 In the Restricted final we got held for a long time at the start waiting for the starter to turn the light to green and unfortunately my clutch boiled it self and the race was shot. 

This racing the DTRA flat track series and been a real eye opener, I've had to push myself to learn how to deal with the speedway tracks and also how to deal with a 6 lap race, having to go flat out as soon as the flag drops. It's been one my favourite years racing a motorbike. Everybody at the races has a great attitude and are willing to help you out whenever they can.

We can't wait for next season!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Greenfield Dirt Track

The weekend of June 10th and 11th Greenfield Dirt Track hosted round 3 and 4 
of the 2017 DTRA series. As this is my first year competing this was my
first visit to the track. I have to say its a very impressive set up, they have all the right
equipment to deal with all weather situations.

We arrived friday evening and set up camp for the weekend, its always a good vibe
at the DTRA and this weekend was no different. Good to catch up with the others
that arrived friday.

We woke up saturday morning to rain bouncing off the roof of 
our van, the joys of living in the UK. The organisers decided to hold up the meeting for 
a couple of hours in the hope the rain stopped. This turned out to be the case and
by midday we were on the track for practice.

The track on Saturday at the Greenfield facility was totally different to every other track I've been too this year. Racing in the Thunderbike class it took me a few laps to get used to the feel of the surface, I was happy with my pace but with the line between death and glory being so fine I made a handful
of mistakes which effected my results. My heat results were 7-6-5 which were good enough
for me to make my first Thunderbike final in 11th. Starting from the back row i wasn't 
expecting too much, I wanted to get involved and run the pace of the other guys in the final.
I was happy with my pace in the final running in 10th but one mistake dropped me back from the
pack unable to make any more passes.

(don't have any racing photos yet unfortunately)

Saturday evening they ran the Pro, Hooligan, and mini bike classes. It was really good to be able 
to watch the pro's go at it, taking a lot of tips on corner entry and exit.

Woke up Sunday morning feeling really good, the weather was good with just a bit of wind which 
helped taking away the dust.

With a bit of bike prep it was ready for another days racing.

The track for the second days racing was a change from the previous day with the addition of 
the infield section, with a right hander and jump. I wasn't too sure how the bike would
deal with being in the air but I thought with my background of racing motocross I'd be able to 
deal with it.

Photo-Tom Bing

With the new section of the track added I felt very happy with pace and comfortable with the jump.

Photo-Tom Bing

First heat race in the Thunderbike class I managed to get the holeshot from a second row start. Manage to keep the lead for 4 laps with Geoff hot on my heals.

Photo-Tom Bing

Unfortunately I made a small mistake and he got past me which i was gutted about but stoked to get
second in the heat race. 

Going into the second heat I felt really good, myself, Mike Hill and Geoff Cain all had back row 
start positions.
Photo-Sami Graystone

Photo-Sami Graystone

I decided my best option was to drive around the outside heading in the first turn, by the second lap I
had worked my way up to third position feeling good. Then the bike cut out, I was gutted. It turned out that due to me sending the jump every lap the bracket which held the coil in place had snapped,
resulting with the spark plug lead pulling out and the engine dying. 

With my best track side fix, a mixture of zip-ties and gaffe tape I managed to secure the coil to the frame.

Heading into the final heat I knew I had to get a good result if I wanted to get into the 
final, as the previous DNF would really effect my scores. I had a front row start in the last heat which was giving me the best possible chance. I managed to get another holeshot and set my mind to setting a good pace and not making mistakes.

Photo-Tom Bing

Photo-Sami Graystone

I managed to hold on to the lead for all six laps and got the win, this was my first heat win in the DTRA so I was stoked. It also meant that I had qualified for my second final.

In the final I had a mid row start qualifying 7th. I got a good drop and drove up the inside of couple riders into the first corner.

Photo-Tom Bing

Making a couple passes through the race I worked up to Forth chasing hard for third.

Photo-Tom Bing

Unfortunately I ran out of time and had to settle for forth, I was pretty bummed with my result coming off the track but after a minute I realised what a good weekend I'd had and what massive improvements I'd made since the first round two months ago.

A final thought goes out to all the guys at the DTRA that make these events happen and to the track crew that have such a wonderful facility.