Words: Nick Hamilton. Video: Richard Baybutt
More than once last night I uttered “Lots of fun has come from stupid ideas”. This was in response to many riders disbelief in the ‘great new finish feature’. This feature was exaggeratingly called the death drop which was dreamed up to test racers commitment to crossing the finish line first. Normally riders are peddling as hard as they can or showboating with a wheelie if they’re out in front. Then its massive skids for kids followed by knucks from the gloating winner and a push back to the top. As an antithesis to this we raced on a slope which culminated in a very steep 10 foot fade away where a park bench used to reside before some little shit decided to vandalise it. The finish line was positioned about 6 feet back from the edge giving our dear racers a choice: brake or press send. Play it safe or commit. Don’t or Do. It just depended on how much they really wanted it. A lot it turns out.
Finding the perfect grassy hill in one of our local parks the course criss-crossed over a couple of paths and a decrepit tennis court each covered in decaying tarmac. All surfaces were loose and promoted plenty of slideways action. The grass was pretty water logged in places and rutted up quickly. This didn’t prevent a masterful display of two wheel drifting by some and tail slapping three sixties by others. Honestly, some of the riding last night was unbelievable and required tyres to be checked for the word mud or spike. The control of some of these lads display, even in the heat of battle, needs to be seen to be believed. I bloody love racing on grass.
With the introduction of the Pearson rule all entrants were ranked according to their current standing in the points. This put Timmy and Willy in the gate straight off. As they sped off down the hill one Oscar Monk piped up “It should be called Pole Dancing rather than dual”. As I watched two of the best riders tango from corner to corner I delighted in his insightful statement. A feeling which was soon forgotten as his twin brother solidly beat me in the next round.
We had several new riders join the party last night, all friends of racers and coming highly recommended. We’re only picky about who races to protect ourselves; this isn’t a proper racing, its mates racing. We’re kinda putting our lives in each other’s hands (nearly literally last night) and if you’re the one that lets some dick in to ruin the party for everyone, you may never be forgiven. Amongst the new racers was one rider who’s very familiar to all the dual family. Steph Mug-Em Anderson, our long time timing angel who’s blown the starting whistle more than anyone else combined. She finally brought her bike down and committed to race. She drew Abi in the first round and declared “I’ve never raced so fast in my lift”. Get in Steph! Abi went on to face Chrissy P in the next round and smoked him first leg.
The rest of the racing was proper elbow to elbow. Some of the rides of the night came from Dave Camus and Will Swinden as they faced each other in the semis finding grip and pace where there should not have been. Will got an extra prize from the pile for ‘Best send off the end’ for his accidental scrub to oblivion which looked horrendous but thankfully left him not worse for wear. Unlike Ruari, who’s return to dual was marked with a very bloody knee and an early exit. Pity as he was looking quick!
Our collective thanks go out to Willy’s better half Holly who manned the timing buttons alongside Steph and Timmy after their early exits. Thanks also to the Baybutt for chopping together some memories of the event for our enjoyment. Much obliged! The star prize of the electric meat carving knife was also eagerly received. See you in a couple of weeks.