Saturday, 26 December 2015

Mablethorpe by Dave Bevan

Sideburn contributor, poet and photographer, Dave Bevan came to check out the most recent Mablethorpe Beach Race.

Check out Dave's writing and photos at his blog, Happy Going Nowhere.

The next Mablethorpe race is tomorrow, 27 December. Mr DTRA, Anthony Co-Built is out on my brakeless Honda 650 as I'm doing family stuff. Go along and give him your support.
Here are some captions from me, Gary.
Odgie (doyen of British indie motorcycle publishing, podium man at Dirt Quake IV, author of a fantastic autobiography, Crazy Odge) made his return to the beach for the first time for over ten years. He raced a very modified, ex-military Can-Am Bombardier 250, and had a lot of fun. 
That's him above, and below, looking very Judge Dredd in his open-face lid. Having had several handfuls of Lincolnshire sand fired at a closing speed of 100-plus mph in my face, there's no way I'd race in a Jet lid. He's made of stern stuff.
The grasstrack class is spectacular. Lines vary wildly in all the classes.
As I've said before, they'll let virtually anything race on the beach as long as it passes the very lax tech inspection (a bike needs a lanyard cut-out). The most photogenic bikes, from many people's point of view, are the big streetbikes, but not many people can get multis to work. There is a very fast post-2000 Bonneville; a Cagiva Navigator 1000 (you can just see the front of it, above) that seems to get quicker with every race and Barrie G, who has always done well on Hinckley Triples of different sizes, but races less often than in the past. A Kawasaki GT550 (bright yellow, above) and a CBR600 are regularly raced, but their riders are making it very hard for themselves with those bikes. I'm glad they do, because they look great, but they'd undoubtedly go better on singles. 

Most people in the unlimited road bike class are on big singles - like the Honda XL500, Dominator 650, Suzuki DR650. Some of the bikes are beautifully prepared, while some they appear to be ratty nails, but they're all set up well. I wrote about Ross J (custom bike builder, experienced motocrosser) and his DT400 before the previous race - click the Mablethorpe label in green at the bottom to see it. 
The classic Yam was originally bought to race dirt track with the DTRA, but Ross fitted some knobblies to give the beach a bit of a go for a laugh. The photo above shows his fat, 19in front tyre between two skinny 21s that are fitted with Michelin sand tyres (mine is with the closest). Ross said the tyre made his Yam hard to turn. Then his recently recommissioned bike's carb filled with sludge. The beach finds any bike's weak point and makes it worse.
This is half the unlimited street bike grid. I'm on the middle, 13 on the back of my Icon 1000 Jackknife jersey, I was out on my £450 Honda 650 rat, I've raced at five or six meetings now. This was the fifth round this year, but only the second meeting I'd made it to and I got on the podium for the first time. I was third behind the virtually unbeatable Steve Lomas (51) and Mark on the Bonneville (who is on the other half of the grid to this picture, the right hand side of the starter). Very pleased with that, considering there were two riders I'd never beaten in my class than day). 
And if it's all too much, there are plenty of cafes to hide in. Racing will start between 11-12, depending on the tide, and lasts about three hours. G

All photos: Dave Bevan.

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