Sunday, 20 March 2011

13 Mar 11 - Hawks, Cheltenham Spa, Spring Trial at Colgate Farm

NT410 is back together thanks to Dave’s single-handed efforts during the week.  We decide, given that Clyro is a Western Centre Championship round, to ride Hawks and it’ll save some Diesel money too.  He brings NT410 over in the sprinter and I meet him at Colgate Farm for what is a home fixture. 

The overnight rain made it a bit tricky especially in the bottom copse but the Clerk of the Course eased a few during his pre-Trial inspection.  Sub 1 to 3 are located on the top bank and pretty rudimentary; I keep the concentration going and go clean over the four laps.  Sub 4 to 7 are in the bottom copse and in my hurry to get a good start I rush sub 5 on the first lap.  Coming down a greasy bank into a stream I misjudge the exit; the belly pan catches and I slide down the bank for a 5.  Blast!

Sub 7 has an awkward root hidden in the mud and I have to take a dab on lap 1 and lap 4.  I finish in single figures with 7 marks lost but it’s Royal Enfield mounted Alex Ross and Rob Halliday that beat me.  I finish 3rd on the day and am a little disappointed with my haste to get around sub 5 – I must learn from that mistake.  Still, I beat Peter Collins and “Teflon” which is a rare event so it’s not all bad news.

Loaded up ready for home!

Dave DNF’d for the second week in a row due to his magneto breaking down – poor bugger. 

After washing the bike off Penny and I get stuck into the results and as I once again won the Press Secretary role at the Hawks AGM, I compose the report for TMX.  It’s a belter and gets published on P.45 plus I put it on the FB page and website.  Job Done!!

Washed off after the trial!

Next week: Riding with the Monoshock boys at Zona 1!!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

9 Mar 11 - Still Poorly

I remain at MANTHRAX state Alpha!

Good news!! The frame is back from Mikris powder coaters in Stroud and I'm hoping Dave has had some time to put it all back together (fingers crossed!).  Meanwhile, he informs me that we have a clash of trials this weekend. Stay local and ride at Hawks Cheltenham Spa or drive to Wales and ride at Clyro with Hereford Classic MCC?

It's a no-brainer really; if the Townsend 410 is back together it's got to be Clyro; if not, then it's Hawks in Cheltenham....."Simples!" as our friend from Meerkovo would say......

Now, where's that night nurse gone?...........

Monday, 7 March 2011

6 Mar 11 The March Hare Trial

DISASTER!  I’ve caught Dave’s MANTHRAX from last week!!

Golden Valley Classic MCC always put on a fantastic road trial and this is one of the best of the year; 80 miles around South Gloucestershire on land that isn’t used week-in, week-out.  I put the entry in before Christmas and both Dave and I get early numbers and are away at 0914.  I decide to ride MH410 once again.

We start at a cracking pace and ride around with Chalford-based Matchless man Ken Wallington and his long-stroke 500 Matchless.  As always, section 1 is no inspection so I watch Mike Newman go through and follow him. Voila! It’s a good start and we’re all clean.  Sub 2 is also no inspection; a run down a greasy bank into a rock brook with a similarly greasy and steep exit at the ends cards.  Thanks to Dave going first I gun the Matchless out of the brook and pass the exit cards for another clean.

It’s a long run to sub 3 and 4 and again it’s no inspection for both.  Sub 3 is fine and we all clean it on a common route.  At sub 4 Dave’s Ariel is sounding poorly and he changes the plug; we all clean the section and  meet up with Dursley’s Mike Ellis on his 1956 Ariel.  Sub 5 is a run up a narrow muddy gully, over a greasy bit root followed by long run uphill on a muddy camber.  Eager to get going I ride it for 2 dabs and Ken joins me having ridden the easy route for a clean.  Mike Ellis cleans it and that is a good ride on what was a tricky section.

That’s where it all went wrong.  Dave’s Ariel is very poorly.  The petrol tank is breaking down and there are bits of fibre glass in the carburettor blocking the jets.  To compound the problem he has an intermittent spark and has the magneto cover off too.  It takes an age to get fixed and we get passed by at least 50% of the 163 strong entry.  Dave manages to get the bike going and we ride on to sub 6, a no inspection ride up a steep bank.  We carry onto sub 7 and Dave’s Ariel is in trouble.  I ride the greasy, twisty up-hill section for 3 dabs and join Dave.  Ken’s route is straight up and he cleans it easily.

Dave’s got the carb off and unbelievably drops the slow running jet into the foliage at his feet.  He’s never going to find that and now he’s in trouble.  After cleaning the carb and messing around with the points he kicks & kicks but the old Ariel won’t fire.  Dave says for us to continue but I can’t leave my wing man and we wave Ken off and wish him luck.  Fortunately, Godfrey Hannam (ex-Navy Artificer and thoroughly nice gentleman) leaves us with a tow rope before carrying on his way.  Thank God for that; I tow Dave and the Ariel through the woods (a bloody long way and I’m glad I didn’t leave him)  to the A4135 and back to Hunters Hall.

We load the bikes up, sign off and inform the Clerk of the Course that we are OK.  In summary, an earlier than anticipated finish but I couldn’t leave Dave in the middle of nowhere; not when we’re a team.

Result: DNF