9 May 2011

Highway to hell

All the gang/team had arrived in Scotland to compete for the coveted UK/European 24hr endurance champs in Newcastleton, Scotland. It started bad with a promise of a pasta party scheduled for tea time but only arriving in time for supper!! I was here to be the race support from which Twinklydave could attempt to destroy himself all in the name of glory.

Race day seemed to approach fast after a restless sleep under the stars, the stars had spent the night above a thick black layer cloud which was spilling its payload all night without remorse.

For some sick reason I decided to change Dave's headset on the backup race machine 1 hr before the start, whilst removing the cups i managed to t**t my hand with the hammer, everyone expected a wall of blue words to be expelled from my cake hole, but i managed to control myself and get on with the job, 35mins later the Ragley TD-1 was ready to race, and I was making my way to the start in Newcastleton village centre.

The top 10 from last year were seeded, which put Dave at a disadvantage as he started with the pack at least 80 back, beer collected from the local shops and back up the hill and wait for Dave to arrive, as the leader speed past our awesome pit area (set up expertly by Phil & Budge) I was expected Dave in about 15 mins, but as the chasing pack came past Dave had made up 75 positions in one lap and was running in 5th!! The advantage given to the seeded riders from last year demolished by a rider not at the peak of his fitness in a single lap, and going toe to toe with the biggest punchers in the field.

As the race wore on Dave managed to stay with the leaders despite the rain which greased the trail for 18 of the 24 hours, it was all going according to plan when Jason came into the pits with half his ass scraped off and not looking so happy, ointment was applied (not by me Mrs_Terrahawk was on enrolled for this task) 2nd bike passed over and off he sped, next was Budge, he had tried to head butt mother natures foundations and damaged his neck in the process, two painkillers and a quick grit of the teeth back out for another lap, unfortunately that was Budge's race over, his job as pit crew member had just started.

The race did not go well, Dave pulled up after 12hrs racing at the sharp end of the pack, crazy and erratic heart rate the main cause for concern. Phil and Andy finished their 12 hr races and posted results beyond their expectation, Lee also had a solid race and was recruited into the team JMC racing family. Jason worked through the pain barrier and dread full conditions to beat last years result and finish 4th, ace :)

The race left me feeling a little deflated, I did not last 24hrs for the 1st time ever, sneaking in a 4hr Knapp (this means I owe Michael 4 hrs at MM).

The race was a logistical nightmare with catering miles away from our pit area and navigating to and from during the night involved crossing the race track at least 4 times, the timing was dreadful, in a race that claims to be the UK and Euro 24hr endurance Champs does not have chipped timing!!! ive been to fun events where all the profit's go to charity and they still had chipped timings, get it sorted for next year.

It was however good practise for the main event at MM, think I have gone a bit soft as last year every event I attended was rain free, 1 headset removed replaced, 1 wheel truing and re tensioned ( for Scott, he has no team support, and I'm nice like that) one bar end repaired (thanks Andy) 1 wheel change, 1 saddle bag repair, 1 disc brake pad replaced (as 1 pair had a bent backing plate) 9 bikes washed and re-lubed, 4 cans of monster, 4 cans of larger, 6 bottles of cider, 20 fags, 1 AC/DC hour, 1 Beatie Boys hour, 3 bruises (leg/arm/hand) 1/2 hour of monster induced dancing, not a single puncture!!!!

Mountain Mayhem will be better.

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