A New Year and a new track for the Sheffield ghetto dual racers.
Tuesday 11th January 2011
Happy new year… and a happy new dual. With big plans for mates races throughout the year, the 2011 dual season kicked off with a corker. New Year, New track. Still on our favoured hill in Endcliffe Park but on a slightly different aspect with a few more obstacles to avoid. With winter proper arriving at last, the warm and wet conditions returned the track to its usual drifty goodness. However, once we’d broken through the top crust of loam and revealed the slick mud beneath, chaos reigned. Using more natural features, the tracks were split by a small coppice of trees half way down the track limiting some peoples cornering dog leg cornering ‘technique’. This is a ‘style’ being seen more and more frequently at duals of late where racers are pushing the limit of the rules and cocking there leg and whole body over the posts. Good for your time, not so good in the conduct stakes.
The final corner on the right hand lane caused bedlam all night. It was a 90° bend which got cut up so badly we had to put posts in the way to stop racers crashing in to each other. As it got more blown out throughout the night a lovely stump revealed itself at the exit catching out many an unsuspecting rider. Most notably Joe Bow who, in his semi against Jordan Gould, wrapped himself around a tree after smashing it with his head and helmet, thankfully he stumbled away.
23 riders turned up, each popping 2 quid in the hat and a prize in the bag. The donation paid for a set of light gates which will feature in future duals and other races. The other innovation for the New Year was Penis Cummings Argos Rampage ramp. Positioned on the left hand finishing straight, if your tyres could grip it, you could send it. This lane was used for qualification too and slow and steady was the order of the day. With only 16 qualifying it was those that stayed on the bike who went through.
Once a few initial timing issues were ironed out the racing was fast paced and sideways. Timmy didn’t respect Will Swinden’s birthday wish and put him out in the first round, if only he’s stayed on the bike. Shane Townsend made a welcome return to dual following his paternity leave and the break obviously hadn’t done him any harm putting out Rob Campbell and Denis. Jordan Gould also showed his face again bringing along his fellow biketrack.org’er and dual virgin Cheggers. Jordan was on form laying down the fastest time in the first round and taking advantage of Martin Bakers fall in the second round. Timmy was up against Swinny, the reigning champion, in the second round. Both of them were on it and Swinny was giving a lesson in how to drift to all that watched on in disbelief.
This lined us up with a Bowman – Gould semi and neither of them was giving an inch. Joe took the first leg by only 0.4 seconds meaning everything was still to play for in the second, which is where he became a tree hugger. After 30 seconds on the floor he could remember his name again and got himself ready for the small final. In the other round Shane was up against Swinden senior and the pairing produced the fastest combined times of the night with some incredible riding.
In the small final Shane fell giving it away to Joe. In the big final the story was similar; a small mistake from Jordan and a blistering performance by Swinny saw our first double winner. Two in a row, could this be the shape of things to come, has the pitch pro been the missing ingredient? The next round should provide the answer.
Thanks to all that came along and made it happen, apologies for keeping you waiting at the start, blame Bowman! Usual thanks to Dominic Worrall for his continued support and photographic talents. Thanks to Penis Cumming for use of his rampage ramp, I think we’ll be buying a pair out of the kitty for future use. And thanks to everyone that brought a light and stuck it in a tree. A great start to the year, it’s going to be good season.
Nick Hamilton. Crookes Gentleman’s Cycling Club