Off Road Experience 2003

 

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We rarely get two reports for the same event, sometimes we do not get a single report for some events. We have published both as they are from two completely different type of people, one is a 6'0" big racer guy and the other a slight young road biker girl and both went and had fun so all those in-between should stop looking for excuses not to unplug and get out in the mud next time.

Tony B version is first but you can click here or scroll down to Michele P version

see also http://www.cashonda.com/experience/index.html


Tony B version

TOTALLY FANTASTIC
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click here for forum topic with more information on this event

 

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Anyone thinking of doing one of these days should just book it. I am thinking really hard about buying an off roader   now.


The morning started with Myself and John Hewitt meeting up with David Daws for breakfast, then off to the School (off road track) where we also met up with Michelle and her partner.

We met Sheridan (MCN Off road school organiser and really nice guy) we were then given our protective clothing, helmet, shoulder and chest pads, elbow and knee pads, boots, gloves, and really cool looking over trousers and top.

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There were 12 (maximum number) of us on this day and made to feel welcome with a really relaxed atmosphere, there were 3 other instructors on hand for help and advice one of which was the dogs ##### at riding these things.

We had a short briefing for safety, how to kick start one of these beasts, and how to position our bodys on the bike while riding. There were plenty of bikes to choose from, Honda XR 100, 125, 250, 400, 650. And we were told to try any of them we wanted during the day 10am - 3pm

I think most of us opted for the 250's first Then with our hearts pounding fast we were lead off by the instructor for one lap of the circuit, Hard course first then shown easy one.

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I think we all fell off within the first 2 corners. Anything you have learnt on a road bike FORGET IT. The only time i got my knee down was when i was flat out lying in a pool of mud. After the first lap, which seemed to take 4 hours, we all came in to discuss just how hard, difficult, different, scary, but totally enjoyable this was.

We were followed round all day by instructors on bikes and on foot (to help us pick up the bikes and get out of the mud) also given advice on our techniques and what we were doing wrong or right. By 12.30 I was really into it, coming in to jump on the 400 but it was just a bit to much for my first time the 250 was just great. And I started to get more confident sliding the back end, lifting the front wheel over the jumps, sideways power sliding through the bends and mud. Sheridan gave me more advice on body positioning for the banked corners it was AWESOME.

 

Then with all of us getting more confident we had a mini race between three of us, 5 laps around the mini course. And the winner was yours truly.

By 3 o'clock we were all xxxx and could only just about lift our legs and arms covered in mud. I fell off 3 times during the day. And i will leave it for the others to tell you how many times they did. But all in all it was a fantastic day out and I am so close to going out today and buying one. We all can now understand why the Road race guys all do off road to keep fit during the winter. This was the hardest riding I have ever done and never felt so knackered at the end of a day.

 

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I could go on for ever about this, it was that good. But i'll shut up now. I have to say Many Many thanks to Sheridan and his crew for an excellent well run day and helping us all go home in one piece. and i will be booking up for the Bournemouth track ASAP.

So to all reading this, if you want something really different, and challenging. Book up and JUST GO FOR IT.

Tony Bryant


Michelle P version

Moto X Off road experience... How I saw the Day

I can't do it… You're gonna fall off… That's scary… they broke their leg… that's exhausting… your mad… The words buzzed around my head… It was 3am; I was lying in a warm bed; in a travel lodge in Doncaster. The rain was beating against the window outside. I just couldn't do it. Why had I thought I was capable of doing this? Sheridan, that's why. Sheridan (hereby known as 'Shed'), had told me I could do it. He knew I could do it. How did he know? Col was really exited when I told him I had booked the event in Doncaster as a gift for our 2nd year together. I relayed everything Shed had said on the phone, and now I was lying in the Travel lodge motel, 7miles & 7hours away from facing the fear.

When the alarm went off I had decided that I would pull out, loose my money and settle for just taking pictures of everyone else, I was a girl so it would be readily accepted and probably expected. Compliant with my excuse I ate a healthy breakfast and we set of for the venue. We met up with everyone else booked in and names flew about. I focused on Shed and Tony as they'd had prior contact, but to be honest I was too scared to take much in. I was scared to pull out and I was scared to announce defeat.

Before I knew it I was all tackled up and kicking the gear shift down. Everyone seemed to be in the same state of anticipation and fear. Shed had asked what we each wanted from the day and assured me that after completing the main course I would be allowed to opt for an easier option. So I only had to do it once … I could do that.

I'm not quite sure when I changed my mind on the whole theory of MotoX. Maybe it was face down in the mud, or maybe it was after getting both wheels off the ground at the same time, the feeling of accomplishment came after every feeling of fear. I got better and faster every lap, yet knew my limitations only too well so stayed firmly on the 100cc choice of bike. The only thing that could have made the day more enjoyable would be my level of fitness and stamina. I lost count of how many times I accomplished the once feared course, and the smile was as good as it was on the grid at Assen. I am glad I had the opportunity to try this sport with a great group of guys that encouraged and made the day all that more special. The whole package was a top day event.

As for the Big race 'o)

Snoopy Head Novice 3xLap Race

Contenders: Bike:
Tony Bryant Honda ER250
John Hewitt Honda ER250
Colin Nicholls Honda ER250

The course: A smaller and less muddy section of the course that resembles Snoopy's head when bird's eye view is taken (coincidence discovered by Michelle for entertainment value). The big course leads in and out at shoulder level.

 

Three Contenders,
racing on a gentleman's bet around a designated area. The rules were easy… first to complete three laps of the course wins.
Front row on the grid and the guys revved their 250 beasts, waiting for the start signal. And there off…

Tony gets away fast coming inside John and Col to take lead on Tight Ear Turn. John has a problem with gears, leaving him bringing up the rear. Sliding the back end round and opening the power up for Table Top Jump, these bikes had all the torque in low gears. A tight left and Tony had a 2second lead. Unfortunately, Tony had missed the part of the day when Ryan (the dogs *** rider) had realised a safety factor with visual restrictions, so had changed the turning area and thus invented Mushroom collar corner. Missing this new turn area, he overshot the turn and ended up going off the course and heading around Snoop's shoulder to start the main course. Col had been with Ryan earlier so took full advantage of Tony's wrong turn and slid his way around Mushroom collar turn and headed for Hair Pin Nose. John was close behind but lost control at Hair Pin Nose the bike seemed very reluctant to start again; still the first lap. Tony at this point had managed to turn around and rejoin the race, but John was still having starting difficulties, so due to the misunderstanding with directions, I called a re-start.

The racers all line up ready for the start… and there off again. Tony got a huge lead at the start. John and Col were almost level as they battled for second position. The rider's completed one lap safely; Col desperate to pass John in second position whilst first is looking safe in Tony's capable hands. Col enters Tight Ear Turn too fast with John ahead, flips the back end out and he's down. Tony and Dave leap Table Top Jump and race around Mushroom collar turn. No problems at Hair Pin Nose and the guys are racing along bumpy snout when John looses control at Snoopy's Eye. Tony having no problems with Forehead leap comes round and laps frantic Col; still trying to start his machine; compression compression compression, start; no joy. Tony completes the final lap alone, claiming un-defeated Champion and the other two are disqualified for taking too long. The crowd cheered (that was me).

Joking apart...

Fab day :) Michelle x

 

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