I could count the number of races done this year on one hand, but the prospect of a good social weekend as part of a Plumz old gits team in the 8 hour event was a good excuse to keep me from hurting myself at the BB200 in Wales.
It rained a lot, surfacing from a damp tent an hour before the race start was not a good plan, volunteering to be first up for the short run was another bad move. The theory was I had the sharpest elbows for making up places in the inevitable traffic……shame I have no speed to actually use them though.
It was soon evident that spending the whole year as a diesel engine and then expecting the performance of a Ferrari was being a touch hopefull. The combination of an uphill start from cold and quite frankly no climbing ability, meant a pretty mediocre lap and I’m sure Pilch thought I had got lost when I eventually handed over to him.
I’d fitted some Fox forks to the lurcher, bought the week before off Ebay they started life on a Fisher superfly and I’d not appreciated the G2 geometry they specify for custom forks. This means a slightly offset crown compared to standard forks, Basically the 46mm Rigid “normal” offset fork has more trail and is more stable with heavier steering while the 51mm offset (G2) has less trail, less stability and lighter steering. This probably explained why I seemed to be oversteering into some of the oodles of Ashton courts tight corners, but that could have been easily explained away by my lack of race time this year.
Luckily for the Team Pilch was on the case as he has been all year and putting over 2 minutes into my lap time which was only 32 minutes itself, shows the boys speed. That dragged us up to 4th place and by the time I went out again we had settled into third. The second lap was more fun and with a clearer run on what is essentially a long BMX gravel track in places, I soon started to smile. The Lurcher was fun, great at carving the turns, responsive and above all I’d forgotten just how good a well damped Fox fork lands a jump. I still could not climb though and was losing chunks of time on any ascent.
In the end we had a solid incident free race and cruised to 3rd for our comedy huge Pretzel and the free beer tokens, and despite my best efforts I’ve maintained my record of a podium in each of the years raced, never saw that coming. RESULTS
14 laps in 7Hr30
JP 34:47 32:31 32:12 32:37
Pilch 30:29 31:18 31:27 31:09
Brownie 31:22 32:13 31:59
Sean 32:16 32:31 33:26
Race conditions: very wet slippy mud and hardpack – Bike Lurcher 32T x 9 Tyres: Beaver front to avoid losing skin and Ikon rear which was perfect. 25psi both