Thursday, 1 January 2015

Mablethorpe Sand Racing: 21st December 2014

I've been sand racing a brakeless Honda SLR650 special I bought on a bit of a whim. The first two meetings we're something of a trial, as I hadn't stored the bike well (no room) and water had leaked into the electrics, combined with sea water and I felt I pushed it further than I rode it. Then my van got stuck in the deep sand trying to get off the beach.
The last meeting, just before Christmas, was better. Five starts, five finishes and one third place in the biggest class on the beach. It wasn't without it tribulations though. One rear shock collapsed when the top eye screwed out, and the long-slung modified Harris silencer had enough of bumping on the deep ruts, but with help from Carl CFM and Anthony Co-Built (who came along to give support) we patched the bike up for the next race.
I took the kids and we even managed to get off the beach when others were getting stuck. I much prefer the DTRA, but the beach racers are a great bunch too. A good day for £35 entry fee (plus the club's annual membership). Find out more at Mablethorpe Sand Racing Club.
Glyn raced his CCM road bike at Dirt Quake III and was bitten by the racing bug. He's getting his eye in on the beach on this Suzuki 200, and converting his road bike for the DTRA.
Neil has never raced before. He's barely even ridden on the road, but he wanted to give racing a go, so he bought this 125 and gets up at 6am on a Sunday morning to pit himself against the beach. An inspiration to those standing on the sidelines who think they can't race for whatever reason.
 The grasstrackers are the quickest things on the beach, though they seem a bit fickle.
A few DTRA regulars are always on the beach, though not the same ones every meeting. George (above) and Leah (below) compete most meetings. George's dad was racing too. Tom Neave often races his 450 too, a few juniors and others too.
Just one week after his Superprestigio heroics, Ollie Brindley turned up on a borrowed Honda 250 in the road bike class and was as impressive as usual. Broke down in the final heat though.
Anything and everything has raced the beach at one point or other. This Bonneville flies. The owner, Mark, has been racing here since he was a teenager. The Triumph might be a lump, but it often takes the holeshot.
 Petrol station diesel gloves keeps the North Sea out of the Triumph's ignition electrics.
I now wear an old Weise waterproof onesie over my leathers. Not glamorous, but this is Mablethorpe, not Milan. I wear my old Arai and Biltwell goggles. I chopped the heel off some old Frank Thomas boots to get my steel shoe on. Gloves are Triumph 'adventure'.
Lining up for the road bike class. I'm on the far right of the grid. The guy in the hi-vis vest is the starter. He's in the middle of the grid. There are 10-12 bikes spread across the line, all trying to pick a spot without a massive trench. You can see one of the trenches near the bright green wheel. 
The starter pulls a lever that lets the elastic bungee cord, that is stretched in front of the bikes, twang across. Then it's a quarter-mile drag race to the first corner and four laps of the oval.

These are the dates for future races. Racing starts about 1.5 hours after sign on and lasts 2-3 hours. 

11th Jan - 9:00 am sign on
25th Jan - 9:00 am sign on
8th Feb - 9:00 am sign on
22nd Feb -  9:00 am sign on
8th Mar - 8:30 am sign on
22nd Mar - 8:30 sign on
 Photos: GI and Anthony Co-Built


Capion mc said...

Is that a redmax seat cowl/fender on Neil's Suzuki ts125er? Any chance of finding out? I have been looking for one for my farm bike.

Sideburn Magazine said...

It's probably from A16, but those XR750 patterns are very similar. G

Tom Busfield said...

11th Jan meeting sign on is at 10am, not 9.