Sunday 27 May 2012

Blimey! Is it really a month since I last posted anything?

OK well I was never any good at diaries or stuff like that as a kid, so why would I think I'm any better now.

A few highlights from the month then...

CCM is all back in one piece and running well!

Worked as a commissaire on the first round of the British Downhill Series at Coombe Sydenham in Somerset. I decided to ride down on the Triumph Tiger and got rained on, hailed on and even snowed on at one point. Well seemed like a good idea beforehand.

I also managed to test the Tigers almost non existent off-road ability riding in and out of the venue on very slippery red clay. It certainly took some cleaning, especially when there's a hosepipe ban. A month later i'm still finding that damn red clay.

Then a fortnight later it was a switch to Road Racing, in my role as Assistant Race Director of the Rutland-Melton CiCle Classic, Britains only International one day road race and the brain-child of friend and Race Diretor, Colin Clews. The race isn't your normal run of the mill road race though! Modelled on the Northern Classics that race over the cobbled roads of Northern France and Belgium. OK we don't have cobbles in Leicestershire and Rutland but we do have plenty of unclassified roads and we use twelve "special sections" over some of the roughest terrain you are likely to see in a road race. This year was the eighth running of the event

So what does "Assistant Race Director" mean, well basically it involves:
  • Being 3 i/c for the race
  • Marking out over 100 miles of course over two days
  • Putting up sponsors banners across the countryside
  • Deposting barriers at various remote road junctions for road closures as well as all along the approach into Melton Mowbray
  • Putting in the road closure in Melton Mowbray at 08.00 on the Sunday morning
  • Ensuring the start at Oakham is co-ordinated properly
  • After the start waiting for an hour until the race comes back through Oakham, then stripping out all the sponsors banners and transporting them to the finish in Melton
  • Going out on the course to check on any problems, then.
  • Getting to the finish before the winner comes in and making sure that is co-ordinated
  • Then stripping out all of the above, most of which is achieved on the Sunday evening!
  • And a hundred and one other things!!!
I do all this with my mate Kelvin who has the title "Deputy Race Director" (AKA 2 i/c) and we do most of it using a Ford Ranger supplied by the local Ford Dealer for the weekend

Our "home" for the weekend

Every year we wonder what the race would be like if it rained, well this year we found out! As you can see below it was a bit wet out there:

Yes of course it's a Ford in a ford!

In fact this part of the course had to be diverted round on the day as the water was just too deep and not helped when someone got their horse box stuck in the "ford". Actually it's usually a bridge over a stream but the sheer volume of water just overwhelmed the bridge and flowed straight over the top.

Mind you some parts of the course were improved, this is the leaders going over the infamous "Somerberg" for the first time we discovered it once had been tarmac as the rain washed the usual mud surface away.

A fun weekend was had by all!

Since then I've commissaired a cross country race (Mountain bikes this time) at Thetford Forest. I took the CCM for a shake down and was able to sweep the course as usual, all good Rally practice.

And the Land Rover let me down with a duff starter motor, at the present time it's still not fixed properly and is going back on Tuesday.

This weekend, Anne has been away kayaking in Wales doing her BCU 3Star award, which sounds like hard work but I'm glad to say she passed!

I've amused myself in the glorious weather with a trip out on the Tiger yesterday and a great day out today green laning with the Hertfordshire branch of the Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF).

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