Monday, March 31, 2014

Huntsbury Hill (Malcolm's XR200)

Haven't posted for a while 'cause I've been too bloody busy. Have however done a few dirt bike rides in the last few weeks though. Malcolm moved down from Auckland and very quickly bought this lil' red XR200 here, and we've been going out to Leithfeild beach with Joe and Bad Evil. It totally rules out there, but it takes us a good hour to get there... two hours when you factor in picking up every ones bikes! So anyway this last weekend Malcolm and I went up the hill behind my house to see what it'd be like. As you can see the views are pretty sweet! But it was way too short a ride, and there was people on mountain bikes everywhere so you couldn't really get on the gas. Oh and also we had to ride our bikes on actual (legal) road for a bit... got a few dirty looks doing that! This'd be a good little ride to test the bikes out etc, or maybe you could take a thermos and have a cuppa while the sun went down or something?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Local history

'Cornering in race at Brighton Racecourse'  [1910?]
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File Reference CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0045

Doing some research at the Christchurch City Library Archives and found this! Thought given last weekend's events I'd better put it up here. I've heard about speedway events at New Brighton a long time ago, but this is the first 'evidence' I've seen. From what I've heard though it sounds like speedway went on for quite a while over there?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Day in The Dirt 2014

 Bad Evil, Joe and I went out to the annual 'Day in the Dirt' at Ellesmere Speedway on Sunday. We went last year and saw that it was a kinda' casual 'run-what-you-brung' kind of affair and the flat-trackers had looked... well, kinda slow to be honest. So we'd had the genius idea to try and enter our dirtbikes this year!

We'd talked about it quite a bit but had pretty much chickened out by a week or two before the event... little did I know though that Joe had actually taken our idle chit-chat very seriously and had transformed his road bike, a 500cc Triumph bitsa, into a track bike! So, upon, hearing this I realised we couldn't wuss out and convinced Bad that we better fuckin get up early on Sunday and get our arses to the track.

Getting there I all but chickened out again as the other bikes started to show up. There were some pretty serious bloody machines – the winning bike I didn't actually get a photo of somehow, but it was a fire-breathing ex-police CB650, and the sound of it alone was enough to make me wanna go home.

Anyway it was too late to pull out obviously and we were gonna have to man up and try this shit out. There was a little more anxiety when they told us we had to remove our front brakes... but again, too late to differ eh! I felt a little better when Brent and his mate showed up with their Vespas (although these were no normal Vespas! Souped-up, fucked-up, flat-trackin' scooters!).

We had a 4 lap practice, which helped a little with the nerves... remember I've never raced anything in my life!... and then the first race – in which I got second to last and Bad got last. We both had the smallest bikes there (a 185 and a 175cc) so that wasn't entirely unexpected, but Bad's bike wasn't running right and he was a bit pissed about that, knowing he wasn't gonna do much better. I on the other hand, felt like I could have been faster...

Following that first race my confidence picked up somewhat and I wasn't constantly looking over my shoulder worried about being lapped by some mad bastard on an 850cc 140HP Yamaha (gold bike 4th photo down)! I started getting the feel of the dirt and slowly improved my ability to carry some speed through the corners (without actually really drifting properly I must admit). Race by race I improved my finishes and ended up coming 4th in the last race. Which I was pretty happy with given the size of my bike and my total lack of experience.

Joe on the other hand was a fucking natural! He and his Triumph were constantly in the front pack and he even got a 2nd in one race. By Sunday night he was already in Trademe looking for a HD Sportster to build into a flat-tracker.

I have to admit it was really fucking exciting and felt quite addictive. It's been hard to think about anything else since... I reckon I might do a few more of these (hopefully we'll be at another one in Ashburton soon) on the xl185, but if I'm still digging it as much as I am now I reckin I'm in the market for a proper flat-tracker!?

Photos above are mine, photos below are from (Thanks TJ! Great to have some good photos to remember this with.) I'm #74 in black leathers, Bad is the orange bike with the white flame-proof race suit (!?), and Joe is in the white top with black sleeves.