Tuesday, 10 August 2010


Hello everybody, sorry for the delay in updating this blog, this has mainly been due to mw working away for the last couple of months. Just a quick mention of Cadwell in June, although I was not there the rest of our intrepid team were. Chris Wickett took his new outfit, Ming the merciless, for testing but ended up holing the piston only a lap in, so that was the end of that. Phil was there as was Trevor and Werner but I suppose it was a bit of a dissapointing day.

So on to Lydden Hill! This meeting was the last one dedicated to our great friend and mentor Tim Johnson, who was killed on the island in 2005. We had both outfits with us as well as both Rudges and Phil's air cooled bantam, Josie.

Trevor was in the chair with Wickett and Werner was in the chair with me. I was riding Tim's ex 250 rudge and Wickett was riding my 250 Rudge. I was also riding Phil's bantam, as Phil is still mending after his hand accident.

We arrived on Friday night and were pleased to see Lenny and Trevor's brother Tony in the camp. Jane turned up on Saturday, and Phil's friend Dave came with him, so we had a full camp for the weekend.

Saturday morning started damp and misty but spirits were high. I took out my outfit with Werner and we did a few practice laps and everything was feeling fine. Wickett had ignition problems which lasted for the whole of the day and meant they didn't get out that day on Ming, although not for want of trying! At the end of saturday Lenny came up with a spare mag and so they dumped the electronic ignition in favour of that with many fingers crossed for Sunday.

Meanwhile Phil was starting the Bantam ready for race two, as I was out on the Rudge in race one and needed to do a quick turn around. The front brake was snatching a bit and Phil dropped the bike in the paddock as it started. Next time I saw him he had plasters all over his good hand! There was also a throttle problem so Phil set aqbout fixing these things while I went out on the Rudge for the first race of the day.

What a good start to the day. The Rudge was going well and I had Alex Rimmel on his Rudge 500 special to race against so much fun was had. Wickett missed this race as he was busy trying to fix the outfit. I sat out the first Bantam race as Phil was still working on the bike. He needed to make sure it was 100% as the previous owner and namesake of the bike Josie Curtis was taking it out in a past masters parade before lunch.

Trevor should have been out on the Velo but he developed a gearbox problem and that was the Velo out of the picture for the rest of the meeting.

Next up was my first outing on the outfit and we had a great first race with the outfit going great and we both put in a good showing. Josie took the Bantam out before lunch and after a bit of a wobbly start had a good parade.

Saturday afternoon saw me out for another Rudge race, this time eith Wicket on my Rudge as well. I had to ride really hard throughout the race in order to stay ahead of Chris so once again it was a great battle. I then took the Bantam out straight afterwards, and after a poor start ( I had forgotton how hard two strokes are! ) I managed to make up quite a few places and had a good finish. Out again with Werner on my outfit, and once again a great and close race which left us both feeling excited and happy.

That was the end of the first day's racing, and Trevor and Wicket had sorted out a mag for the other outfit, so it was all down to the evening barbie which several of our racing mates do to make the Tim Johnson meeting even more special. As many burgers and dogs as you can manage, three barrells of ale, and about 50 litres of wine provided by some french riders who had come over for the meeting. In the end it was back to camp in the early hours of the morning for a couple more drinks and a poor attempt at singing! It is a good job the racing doesn't start until 12.30 on the Sunday.
Sunday started off with another Rudge race where once again I just managed to stay ahead of Wickett. This was followed by my Bantam race. Phil had changed the gearing at my request but it didn't seem as good as the day before, I suppose I should check the times to see. Then at last we were out together in the sidecar race. Wickett started at the front of the grid so we had to work hard at the beginning of the race in order to catch up. We managed to overtake after a couple of laps and just held on until the last lap, where Wickett and Trevor sneaked past again and finished the race about half a second ahead of us! What a great race that was.
Then it was out on the Rudges again, and by the last lap I was still ahead of Wickett and lining up for the last corner when I was hit from behind by a much faster Trident. With no chance to brake I was slammed into the armco barrier and then me and the bike turned a few cartwheels on the track before ending up in the kitty litter at paddock.
The Trident rider also came off and hit the barrier. After much prodding and poking at the hospital I finally left in the evening and spent the night on Trevors boat. I was very lucky to have come away with nothing worse than a cracked sternum and a few stitches. I think I will be missing Pembrey as a result but we will all be back riding at Cadwell, including Phil, so we intend to make Cadwell a special last meeting of the season.
Well, that is it for now, I will keep ther blog updated as to bike repairs and prep for Cadwell. Miki.