Mini Spring Series – Round 1 – Dual
Word and Photos: Nick Hamilton
I was a bit nervous about asking people to spend their hard earned cash on a kid’s bike they may only ever race four times, but I needn’t have been. Like the wheels, the cost is very small and like the us, the fun is very large. The arbitrary set of rules I can up with were:
- Wheels must be no larger than 16”
- The frame must be designed for 16” or smaller wheels
- Bike modification is encouraged and may be rewarded.
- The races shall remain secret until just before the event
The series was to be Mini in both wheel size and length, with only 4 races over 4 consecutive weeks. The first round just had to be dual. We race so much of it in the winter, we just had to see what we could do on kid’s bikes. Meeting at the designated location I’d elected to race on grass thinking that the little wheels may have struggled with loam. However, the gods of spring had a chuckle anyway with days of rain before the race. This left the ground water logged and me worried about the damage we would cause. However, 3 weeks later with a little tending, the miracle of life brought back grass from whence it came.
Through the drizzle of the spring evening we gathered revealing our race weapons to each other for the first time. Huge guffaws of laughter rang out with cries of ‘you can’t ride that!’. It turns out that everyone bar me could ride that. I was the only idiot who’d bought a bike with wheels over 16” and I’d made up the bloody rule. For reference, just because a wheel measures 16” in diameter, doesn’t mean it;s a 16” wheel. Read what’s written on the tyre. We had wheels ranging from 16” down to 10”; modifications from nowt to welded on 800mm bars to 26” raked out forks and amazing paint jobs. Everyone made a real effort and was rewarded by the fun that followed.
It was a short track with on a handful of turns but practise cut up the track enough to make racing instantly interesting. Some corners remained a drift-fest others rutted up so deep they held a complete little wheel. The last long right was the challenge of the day holding speed and line proved to be a struggle with many a racer skidding 5 metres on a bum cheek.
With twelve riders the racing was quick and brutal. It wasn’t so much a snap out the gate as more of a slog. Except for Tim Pearson who’s first run proved a bit too much for his kids stem and trials bars combo, shearing them straight off; maybe more to do with massive leverage than massive guns. With Steph Anderson at the timing controls we rattled through the rounds quickly and got out of the rain as soon as we could. Matt Jamison took the win on the slackest kids bike ever made with Rich Baybutt in second place on Tour de Yorkshire Steed and in full leathers. Shane Townsend was victorious over Joe ‘ man beast’ Howard in the little final.
With the scene set for the most ridiculous series we were ready for round 2.