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

Monday, 9 July 2012

festival of a 1000 bikes

up early, pick up dangerous and after a quick stop at the golden arch for our traditional cup of java we are off to mallory park, the morning is very overcast, like every morning so far this summer, the cloud is low and for saying it's early july not particularly warm, the traffic is light at this time of the morning and we make the forty-odd mile journey in a little over an hour, as we approach the circuit, you can see the hundreds of tent's and caravans on the gentle slopes of the park, mallory is in a natural bowl, the circuit itself is built around a lake in the centre, all very rural and pleasant, as we turn into the entrance the tented populace are starting to emerge into the early morning drizzle and it becomes apparent the amount of rain that has fallen and turned the site into something resembling the battlefield's of the somme, we gain access to the race paddock in the centre of the circuit via the shaw's hairpin and are directed down the row's of parked race transporters, from worn out old ex gpo vans to full on winnebago's, trailers to old buses and there are bikes everywhere, i almost hit the bloke in front who we are following in as i'm gawping at the beautiful machinery packed into this space, we park up, bike out, kettle on, brew made and i sign on, when i'm back we are off for scrutineering, i push the bike with my leather's draped across the seat while dangerous carries my helmet bag, boots and gloves, 'you ok there with that dangerous, don't want you to strain yourself ' , sticker on the bike, riding gear inspected and back to the van, brew in hand we go walkabout, or rather we go stumble and walking into each other as either dangerous or me stops to look at a bike and we collide, the line-up in the 'legend's' tent is gobsmacking, i can't take it all in as i look down the row of racing exotica lined up, i almost faint when i see the irving vincent's, flown over from australia for this event, [and the goodwood festival of speed] , stunning is a word i use too much, but these thing's? stunning! we cross the bridge from the paddock to the outside of the track, there's jcb's trying to scrape the mud from the sodden surface and a tipper lorry is dumping tree bark down to try and provide some traction, some of the bikes on the campsite look like scrambler's, it's hard enough to walk in it without riding a road bike across it, nightmare, a nice sharp shower see's us scurrying back to the van for, yep, another brew, we get a steady stream of mate's dropping by for a chat and, yep, more tea, malc, ammo and linda, stu sharpe, ken, cliff, mickey brookes, the track sessions kick off and the paddock is full of the sound's and smell's of classic race machinery, from the deep, rattle your gut's thump of manx nortons to the howl of tz 750's and everything in between, lunchtime comes around quickly and the sun burn's away the cloud, we have a sandwich, add some fuel to the bike and start it up with a slave battery, it start's straight away and i warm it up so i can check the oil, check the fastener's, a light misting from one pushrod rubber grommet but nothing to worry about, i drop a size down on the jet's, it won't tick over but, let's face it, i'm not about to go to the shop's on it, leather's on, re-start the bike, helmet on, off the paddock stand and make my way to the assembly area, wristband check and i'm in pitlane, the bike stall's, bollock's, i press the button and it won't start, off the bike and push,back to the van, dangerous has gone, van locked, key's in his pocket and sitting at the lake esses waiting to watch, i pull the choke on on one of the carb's, i don't know why, the bike is warm and doesn't need any choke, it start's, back to assembly point just as there shutting the gate, marshall waves me through and i accelerate down the pitlane to catch the tail end of the session, i'm getting the slowdown signal off  the startline marshall for riding too fast in the pitlane, visor clicked down and join the back of the pack for the sighting lap, over the start and finish line and away we go, the bike feel's good, the brakes have bedded in since last week, haven't had time to sort the front fork's out with the engine rebuild last week and they definetly need stiffening up a bit, the clutch is slipping a little out of the lake esses on the uphill climb to the hairpin but i'm having fun and so is everbody else, the pace is certainly not relaxed that's for sure! session over and back to the van, check the bike over, i get burned, dangerous get's burned, my next session is 45 minutes after this one so we don't have time to let the bike cool, dangerous adjust's the clutch and back to the assembly area, i can't get neutral, i can't get second, back to the van and re-adjust the clutch and out for session two, i'm four lap's in, buried behind the screen, flat on the tank, going down the main straight and bosh! one of the irving vincent's comes past me one side and the norton tt bike the other side, my giddy aunt!session two follow's in the same vain as the first, brilliant fun, back in i get burned, dangerous get's burned, check one, check one, session three is 45 minutes after this one, i'm sweating like a sus verrocosus, [look it up] not even time to boil the kettle, helmet on, back out onto the track, i have a session long battle with a bloke on a suzuki t500 stroker, we are at it hammer and tong and i eventually pass him after three laps, i can hear him behind me and he show's me his front wheel a couple of times but i manage to hold him off, the boxer is bucking and weaving but never feel's unstable, we might have shaved loads of weight off it, [including another two kilo's changing the starter motor for a valeo item courtesy of barse who donated it to the project, cheer's mate], session over and the bloke on the suzuki is slapping me on the back, and we are both laughing like a couple of divvies, i get changed and we slowly pack up, bike cool's after  another brew and we tie it down in the van and stash the tool's, we are home for 1900hrs, unload the van, just dumping everything in the shed, bike back on the bench and return the van, by 2000 hr's we are sat in the shed quaffing cold peroni's, what a week, i never thought we could get the bike rebuilt in time but we did and we got there........................[loads of pic's of the event to post this week, stay tuned folk's]