Winter Ghetto Dual Races – Round 7 – The Obstacle Course
25th January 2011
Cycling home from work in the drizzle my hood was up and my head was down to hide from the drizzle. Bugger. We haven’t had a wet dual since the first round of the winter series in Swinny’s field. Having spent half an hour securing new Slap Wraps (many thanks Henry) to the poles with a mile of tape I headed over to the park to get setup. Having a bit of time on my hands (not having to wait for Bowman to turn up with the poles “I maybe late, but I’ve never actually missed anything that important”) a slightly more imaginative line was carved out of the hillside. Round 6 had highlighted the value of a few more natural features in the course to stop creative cornering, with fallen branches and plenty of trees around this wasn’t a problem.
From the start line the lanes were separated by a large log. The left hand lane then had to hit Denis Cumming’s rampage ramp after a slick left hander. The quicker amongst the crew hopped the jump to setup for the right turn and to help avoid smashing in to the fallen tree which made up the next corner. Flat out between the two fallen trees and avoiding the low branch came the trickiest corner of the lane, a really slimy and sharp right hander. It killed a lot of speed if you went in too quick but worked when you hit it right. A couple of shimmies and a tree saw you to the finish where a quick stop was required to avoid straying too far down the bank.
The right hand land didn’t have it any easier though. After a couple of quick corners a big left hander sent many a rider to the floor or lost them speed. Turning around a big log you couldn’t take it too tight and if you drifted too wide you were in roots and out of position for the next right which stepped down around a tree. Once back on the main face of the hill it got steeper and the turns got longer. However the loamy leaf beneath tyre meant carrying speed was still tricky and separated the men from the boys.
Marian O’shea was kind enough to take over timing duties and did a brilliant job, leaving me free to ride and shout. And there was lots to shout at, some great riding was laid down with some even better off the bike moments. IN the first round Irwin bumped off previous champ Joe Malinson in a super tight race with the lads separated only by .26 seconds. Shane Townsend, although riding well in practise, saw the floor in the first run on the left land trying to take out another previous winner Timmy. In the second round Will Swinden put pay to Cheggar’s dreams at his second dual attendance and Swinny seniors raw speed put pay to Irwins chances. In the last pairing John Alexander fought off Ally Fraser who’s gentlemanly conduct put pay to his chances. Having missed a gate Ally stopped and went back up the hill and down the right side of the pole to ensure he wasn’t disqualified. Unfortunately this cost him too much time and John went through.
Down to the quarters and the first paired the brothers Swinden together. With Swinny’s better half manning the timing system would love conquer all or would her sense of fair play and righteousness win out? In the closest battle of the night Will’s first run stormer was just enough to send his big bro packing with a look of bewilderment on his face. Chasing the triple win dream Swinny was beaten by only 0.14 seconds not quite being able to match Will’s pace on the night. In the other quarter Timmy and John lined up but John could match Tim’s pace despite riding out of his skin and Tim went through. This lined up a tantalizing final but still left the matter of the small final first. Unfortunately for John, Swinny walked it, well rode it, putting 2 seconds in to him.
The final had the old dual rivals lining up again. Both had ridden exceptionally all night finding grip where others slid out and between them posting the 4 fastest times of the night. In the first leg Will took the advantage getting 0.8 seconds up on Timmy in the slightly quicker left lane. However, in the second leg Tim put just shy of a second in to Will meaning he took the win by .23, a hairs breadth. This meant Tim had first choice out of the prize pile and braggin rights for the next fortnight, he’s also accumulating some very useful series points.
Thanks once again to everyone for coming along, racing, riding and raggin. Special thanks to Marian for doing the timing (I’ll try to bring a deck chair for next time) and Dom Worrall and Duncan Philpott for documenting the night with some great photos. Thanks again to Den for bringing along his ramp, we really must get some bought out of the kitty for the next one. Speaking of which, we’re getting even more experimental, we’re going urban. Its going to be different but carving turns on tarmac then drifting around a grassy flat corner before hopping a curb should make for some interesting riding if not injuries. See you there.
Crookes Gentleman’s Cycling Club