another perfectly good motorcycle ruined.......

Sunday, 29 August 2010


health warning- smoking can seriously damage your health, holding area at cadwell, that's me, far right, [not in a political way you understand, just in the photo!]

i'm coming down with the flu or something, i've felt as rough as a badgers arse today so only one thing to do, get a brew on and spend the afternoon in front of the box watching the moto-gp, i realised today that roadbikes are such a compromise, you need tax discs, numberplates, insurance, lights, indicators, speedo's, [not the swimming trunks] and all the other road bollocks, racer's on the other hand are more purposeful, stripped down, light and anything you don't need to make it run fast, you chuck it in the bin, simple.

Saturday, 28 August 2010


been to the match today, derby v queens park rangers, we are 2-nil up on 90 minutes, 3 points in the bag, board goes up, 4 minutes extra time, they pull one back, ref lets play go on for another 6 minutes, they get equaliser, deep joy, back to the vic for a pint, bad news, the landlord is calling it a day, he can't make a living anymore, the best old fashioned real pub in derby bites the dust, seen some great gigs here in the past, two weeks until the doors shut, another proper pub gone, will anyone take it over?, i get home and download the jim jones revue album, proper rock and roll, mc5 meets little richard with a side order of the cramps.....

sportsters rule baby!

Thursday, 26 August 2010


the glamour that is club road racing in england continues with the loveless racing corporation attack on the final round of the bmcrc , [bemsee], 250 mz championship round at snetterton, saturday, 4th and 5th september.....

be careful out there this weekend, especially if you are out in derbyshire, the police are waiting for you! [small plates, black visors, noisy exhausts = points and fines], you have been warned!, like the prodigy said, fuck 'em and their laws.

ducati 250 at mallory park, 'festival of a 1000 bikes', bloke had stuck a piece of duck-tape to his tank to remind him which way to change, after my recent excursion at cadwell i'm considering reversing my linkage and going to 'race' pattern, one up, four down, i kept selecting a box-full of neutrals especially third to fourth changes.....

BMCRC MZ 250 Cadwell Park 24/08/09

bmzrc racing at cadwell park, 24/08/09, think your fast?, get out on the track with this lot and find out www.bmzrc.org.uk

Tuesday, 24 August 2010



clarky, #6, over the mountain at cadwell, amazing.

one of the 'zedders wag's at the recent cadwell meeting, mint.

Sunday, 22 August 2010


............5.30 am and i'm awake, dangerous is snoring gently so i grab my wash bag and towel and walk through the deserted paddock, it's a lovely morning, the clouds are thinning and there's some sunshine starting to break through, i shower and shave and make my way back to the tent, van open, brew on, i pass dangerous a mug of tea and walk back to one of the catering van's to score us a couple of fried egg cobs, i pay the lady and get my morning practice pass from the race office, dangerous is up now and we sit in the warm sunshine chowing down, des is up and about, apparently he called round for us last night for a beer but we were dead to the world, dangerous makes us another brew and we sit and chill in des's awning, the paddock slowly comes to life and before long we are out for morning practice, the track is dry now and i know which way it goes which is always a bonus, the bike is running great and i feel a lot better today, back in the paddock des gives me a few pointers, 'you need to hit coppice the left-hander at the end of the start and finish straight in fifth boyo, don't change down, the hill will slow you down enough for charlies one, then, drop into fourth at the apex of charlies two', morning practice goes well and the first race is called, sidecar's first, powerbikes and then us, i get my kit on, the bike starts easily and we make our way to the holding area, sighting lap, race, brilliant, i'm 17th again but more significantly i'm 2.5 mph a lap faster and a massive 7 seconds a lap faster, race three and i'm 19th but this time everyone finishes, no fallers but again i'm faster by 1.5 mph and another second a lap, mission accomplished, i got three races in, i didn't come last
and i was getting quicker, honda aren't going to be knocking on my door and offering me a works ride but it was never about that, i'm having a laugh and enjoying what i'm doing, me and dangerous bought a 300 quid knacker and turned it into something that i can ride around the best circuits in britain, the lad's in the club are great, no ego's, good crack and everyone helps you out, i'm living the dream me, roll on snetterton!


















































Saturday, 21 August 2010


.......wipe the bike down, down to the bar for two pints, we watch the last two races and have a meal in the clubhouse, can't be arsed to cook, we walk the circuit, first impressions?, narrower than a narrow thing, very technical, very up and down, i have a lot to learn, i'm riding like i ride on the road, i need to use all the track and forget the last 35 years of road riding, we drop the bike back into the tent, a couple of can's and discuss the day's events, it's getting cold, 9.30pm and we call it a day, into my sleeping bag and i'm reading the 'zed newsletter by head-torch, i'm gone, lights out.

my nerves are shredded now, 'attention paddock, attention paddock.......' i half expect the bike not to start, it does, i follow des down to the holding area, we get a round of fucks for riding through the scrutineering area, 'row 7, 16' says the marshal, the noise is unreal, i close my visor to block it out, my eyes are streaming with the fumes from the two strokes, i ride down to the start line, sighting lap and form up on the grid, watch the starter, he coils the flag and points at the lights, the red light comes on, five seconds and it goes out, bang, acceleration, you could throw a coat over us, first corner and it's mayhem, bikes on the grass, someone is off, i get caught in the back of my leg with a footpeg or boot or wheel or whatever, this is what it's all about,i get lapped by the leaders twice, there's 20 starters and i end up 16th, i'm second from last and as i get the flag i'm whooping, i feel like i've won, it doesn't get any better than this, fuck!

fuck, fuck, fuck, des looks at me and shakes his head, dangerous is shouting 'bastard' at the bike, i join in like it's going to make a difference, the 'zedder's make their way to the holding area, i throw my lid on the floor and change out of my leathers, bike on the paddock stand and i whip the plug out again, no spark, whip the pvl ignition off and brian rogers takes it off me and drops it on his test rig, broken, frigging wire, bastard, crimp it back on and stick it back on, it starts first time.....

Friday, 20 August 2010


........i get four lap's in, the track is still very wet all the way through hall bends down to the hairpin and barn corner where the trees overhang the circuit, i've been doing my homework the previous week, got some on bike footage off 'youtube', the superbike footage is just too fast to take it in so i got a scooter race up and watched that, what 'youtube' doesn't prepare you for is how up and down the track is, it's like a bloody rollercoaster!, i try and learn some of the lines through the corners by watching the yam boys but to tell the truth i have all on just to concentrate on keeping the bike on two wheels, the flag comes out and i make my way back to the paddock, dangerous is waiting, bike up on the stand and leathers off, i mash and we go around the bike checking it over, the next two hours go really quickly and des is giving me the nod to get ready, kit on, bike off the stand and we decide to start it using our 'bench' method, dangerous plugs the drill into des's genny, takes out the rubber bung in the case to give access to the crank nut, cover off the carb, kill switch off, fuel on and press the trigger, it fires instantly and i push the bike over the mud and wet grass onto the paddock road, i'm blipping the throttle evenly and the motor sounds good, then it just dies.........

Thursday, 19 August 2010


........push, push, push, nothing, down to the holding area, marshal scans my transponder, i see the rest of the lads making their way onto the circuit, 'one more go mate, that's it', says the marshal, i push the bike back up the hill, dangerous is pushing like a madman, nothing, 'sorry mate, that's it' say's the marshal, i dismount and push the bike back to the van, i'm gutted, leathers off and we set to trying to find the fault, barse and gordy turn up, kettle on, steve cannon, my tuner arrives, i take the plug out and drop it on the cylinder head, no spark, new plug, try again, no spark, fiddle with the wires to the pvl ignition and bingo, spark, crimp the wire and the bike starts, rest of the 'zedder's back now, i need to qualify or i can't race, i make my way down to the office to plead my case and meet chris rogers, he's one of the top men in the series, 'here you go mate, i've boxed it off with bemsee, your'e out in qualifying with the yamaha past masters class, get back and get your kit on quick!', i sprint back to the van, leathers on and make my way to the holding area, andy saunders, another 'zedder who is leading the championship is also waiting to qualify along with another guy on the 'renta racer', we shake hands and wait until the yam boys join the track, the marshal waves us forward, this is it then.......

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


.....i wake up at 7am, fight my way out of the sleeping bag and unlock the van, kettle on, the clouds are low and there is a light drizzle falling, dangerous stirs and i pass him a brew, i can't consider cooking breakfast even though i have bought all the provisions so i wander down to the catering van and get us a couple of fried egg cobs, by the time i'm back dave has another brew on and we get the skinny off des about the day ahead, we are out in the third practice session, if you don't practice you don't race, simple, 7.30pm and i'm in the queue for scrutineering, dangerous books us out a transponder from the race office, another £25 bites the dust, the scrute checks the bike over and sticks on the pass sticker, des holds the bike while i get my leathers, helmet, gloves and boots checked, sticker on helmet to confirm and i get my practice pass, the next two hours go really quickly, des shouts to get my kit on and we stand around waiting for the tannoy announcement for our practice, ' attention paddock, attention paddock, first call for 250 mz's to the holding area', this is it then, i push the bike onto the road that leads from the paddock to the holding area, kill switch off, fuel on, push, push, push, nothing.......

Monday, 16 August 2010


friday afternoon, finish my shift at 2.30pm, drive home, drop jack off at home, pick up dangerous and drive back into derby to pick up the transit van, home, shower, load the bike, load the spares, load the beer, we are away for 5.30pm, up the a38, through mansfield to newark, dangerous remarks that the traffic coming in the opposite direction have their lights on and are soaking wet, as we head past coningsby the skies open, torrential rain bouncing off the road, vision is down to twenty feet, we stop off for the best fish and chips i've ever had in horncastle, ten minutes further on i pull off into a layby to scoff, the weather has turned biblical now, the rain on the van roof is frightening, we head along the recently re-surfaced a153, another brilliant biking road but not tonight, we get to cadwell at 8.45pm, it's almost dark, we park up behind des's van and unload the bike then set to getting the tent up, head-torches on and we discover that dangerous's lad who borrowed the tent for glastonbury, had lost a pole and the shock-cord had broken, the wind is picking up to near typhoon level now just for comedy effect, we are soaked, cold and swearing, tent finally up after a fashion, get the air beds and sleeping bags in and head over to des's party tent for a couple of well earned beers, des has a heater in there and we thaw out and try and get dry, we call it a day at 11.30pm and retire, the wind and rain is beating against the tent i'm tired but thinking about the racing is giving me a bad case of insomnia, i think about the faithless record, 'i can't get no sleep...', it's getting light when i eventually drop off after a long night.........

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


tuesday night, three days to go, can't get friday off work, got a couple of lads on holiday so i'm in at five friday morning, get my shift out of the way and home, quick shower and back into derby to pick the hire van up, home, load the van and off to cadwell, i reckon we should be there for around 10ish friday night, meanwhile the zed attempts to jump off the bench and head for the open road and back to it's natural habitat of commuting backwards and forward to work rather than face the thrashing it's going to get at the weekend......

monday night, chris w. chris s. barse and me met up in the thomas leaper for a pint before going to the bell to see new york hardcore legends agnostic front, we got in around eight and watched the two support bands poundaflesh and all will suffer who both turned out a great set, agnostic front took the stage around ten and for the next hour kicked our asses with full -on, hardcore' punk/oi/metal at full volume, roger miret pounding his chest with the mic as if he was stuggling to get the rage out of himself, vinnie stigma straffing his guitar and chopping out the powerchords to the small but appreciative crowd, all too soon it was over, no encore, just the mighty 'warriors' to send us on our way home through the heavy rainfall, a great night.

Sunday, 8 August 2010



sunday, i'm so nervous about the coming weekend's racing at cadwell i feel sick, yesterday i nipped up to neil's at ashfield and dropped the oil on the ducati, new filter and a quick 80 mile blast from mansfield to newark on what neil calls 'the test track', i turn off onto the a617 through sherwood forest, got wet through in a really heavy shower and back home, today i head out on the sporty, i'm fed up with derbyshire after last weekend, i head south into leicestershire, through kegworth and onto the a6006 down through rempstone and wymeswold into melton mowbray and down the 606, skirting rutland water and into oakham, onto the 6003 and another county, northamptonshire, i pull onto the forecourt of the harley/ducati stratstone dealership, have a brew and kit-kat and observe the two-tribes, one harley davidson [tm], people, buying lifestyle [tm] clothing, and blister pack nick-nacks to add to their already overweight, overpriced over-rated bikes, proudly flying their 'hog' patches, listen, if you want to wear a back-patch, man-up, go and join a proper club, the other lot are dressed head to toe in dainese leathers complete with hydration humps and custom shoei helmets it's interesting to listen in on the conversations, 'yeah, i'm going for the big 300 backend, custom spray-job with gold leaf and performance machine calipers over winter' and the 'yeah, i bought my girlfriend the 848, it feels so slow after the 1198 especially with the drive out of the bends', i finish my tea and clean my visor, i'm ready to do what i've come here for, the thirteen miles of road known as the b664, probably the best biker road in britain, technical, hairpins, jumps that remind me of kell's in ireland, [never been, hope to next year, but iv'e got the dvd], brilliant, no old bill, bumpy and fantastic, i'm panting as i arrive in market harborough after fighting the big harley, i must stop here one day and have a look around, it's a lovely place, i head out onto the second best biker road in britain, the b6047, imagine the most scary theme park ride, times it by six, add a dash of blind summit's, off-camber triple apex bends, gravel on the line, tractors turning out of fields and flat-out, stupidness and you still can't imagine it, it fucking scares me to death but i still love it, ride it before the powers -that- be ban it, back into melton and i slow it down, i make my way over to melbourne via peggs green and wilson, past donington park, this time last year it was the international norton day, today it's eerily quiet, into sawley, past the marina and into dale abbey, last time i stopped here the kid's were little, 8 miles away from my house and so much history, i pull off and park up, walk to the surviving eastern arch, it's massive, the abbey, long gone now must have dominated the skyline, it dates from the 12th century and stands proud over 8 metres high, 'with every morn's uprising, pouring wide, along dark aisles a splendour still the same, as when, each dewy prime, with reverent guide, the white robed company came. and now thou standest broken, bare and lone, reft of thy pride, a crumbling frame of stone', dale abbey by thos.l. turner.

















Saturday, 7 August 2010


first match of the season, away to dirty leeds, so much history between the clubs, the now infamous 44 day clough reign, the hatred between clough and revie, the franny lee and norman hunter punch up that started on the pitch and continued in the tunnel in full view of the television camera's i can remember standing on the terraces at the baseball ground and the leeds fans throwing nuts and bolts at us, the first
away match i took my son to was leeds away, first game of the season like today, that was a draw, today we beat them 2-1, i'm sure wherever brian is he would have been relishing the win over dirty leeds, especially as his son is now our manager, oh yeah, another thing, forest lost and the brian clough way 'linking derby and nottingham' signs?, we don't want to be linked with those wankers! 'when your'e tired and weary, your heart will skip a beat, you'll get your fuckin' head kicked in as you walk down shaftesbury street, you walk into the popside, you hear a mighty roar, fuck off you forest bastards!, we are the derby boy's!'






Friday, 6 August 2010


my entry for cadwell got accepted, received my final instructions, passes and tec-spec stuff today, had it posted to work so gus didn't chew it up, bloody hell. there's no excuses now, no way out , i'm going racing for real....

Monday, 2 August 2010


i'm walking the dog's and my phone rings, it's barse, 'dude, you going up m.f.n tonight?', it's a nice afternoon, just after six pm, 'yeah mate, i'm up for that mine at seven?', i grab a shower and get the sporty out of the shed, what' happened to the weather, the cloud is low and the sky dark, barse traps on the shovel, stu soon after and gordy seconds later, we drop into lower kilburn so i can put some air in my front tyre and head out to heanor, the skies open, heavy, unrelenting rain from nowhere, this is the second time this year i've worn my open faced cromwell and the second time it's chucked it down, we are soaked in seconds, barse guns the shovel in front of me, twin rooster tails of spray shooting into the air, his rear mudguard is scanty, the front none existant, we are laughing like drains, i can hear barse above the racket of our engines, we pull up at a set of lights and we decide to head to mfn anyway, within a mile the roads are dry and the sky lightens, derbyshire's micro climate strikes again, into m.f.n, [miles from nowhere], the attendance is down for a monday night, i spy kev's 'green meanie' sporty, the beautiful mv agusta and a couple of dozen jappers, we down a coke, proper shaped bottle, not that syrup stuff out of the tap and spend a great couple of hours bench racing, me and barse gun it up the long lane heading towards the main road, we swap position, i'm standing on my pegs, barse is superstyling on the shovel, he overtakes me, i overtake him, he overtakes me again, i overtake him again and brake for the junction, barse doesn't, his master cylinder has given up the ghost and he paddles the big harley to a stop, we head back towards derby, the lads go straight on, i hang a right, quick wave and have a slow ride back, i pull over to watch the sunset over the chevin, as the sun drops behind the hills the temperature drops and i pull on my wet gloves and start the sporty.

Sunday, 1 August 2010


sunday, barse, and gordy turn up at mine at twelve, we have a brew and skin out, down to duffield, onto the wirksworth road, onto the via-gellia towards newhaven, 'safety partnership' camera van at pikehall, bloke pulling out of his drive behind the van nearly has me off, that would have made a great photo, 'safety partnership'?, onto the 515 and into buxton, cloud heavy, spotting on my visor now, we pick up the leek signs and head up out off buxton, dalehead signs appear and we turn left onto a minor road, we stop for a slash, the weather is closing in now and it's dropped 10 to 15 degrees since we left holbrook, £10 entry fee, too much money in my opinion, attendance is bare to say the least, we are at the home of the buxton 'hitmen' speedway team to catch a round of the uk short-track racing as championed by 'sideburn', park up and grab a brew, the racing is tight, the circuit small and bumpy and the riders are struggling to find grip, the italian lad is on a mission, bloody fantastic to watch, up on the back wheel down the hundred yard long straight, dab of back brake and the arse-end is hanging out, bucking and weaving, very classy, we spend a couple of hours taking it all in and we meet some nice people, bloke with a class bonneville project shows us some pictures of his bike, another geezer in a deathspray t-shirt tells me his mate has a shovelhead, 'nice bike that, not like your mates, that looks dangerous, like a fucking hand grenade', we turn left and head down towards onecote down a potholed, gravel track, i'm laughing to myself as barse guns the shovel, footdown, scattering the sheep and fighting to keep it on the thin ribbon of tarmac, we head through monyash and into bakewell, the bike museum is open today, well worth a visit, tiny but packed with class bikes, we stop for fuel and turn off the a6 towards winster, i gun the sporty and i'm past robin hood's stride and turn left onto the via-gellia towards cromford, i pull into a layby to wait for barse and gordy, i wait ten minutes but they have turned off to have a brew with nick in youlgrave, i turn off towards alport heights and pull over, i sit on a stone wall listening to the sporty ticking as it cools down, i get a photo of the abandoned digger in a field and glance up at the planes as they turn left and head towards lockerbie before their journey across the atlantic, i head back towards home and pull up at a junction, 'diversion' signs point both ways, only in derbyshire...............