IF you’re an extreme race fan, very much like myself, the winter period can be the most boring part of the calendar.
Unless, of course, you are a Motorcycle racer and this is the perfect opportunity for you to start your preparation for the season ahead.
In an attempt to ‘Do it like they do it’ I thought I’d take part in some of the winter activities our Young Riders participate in to keep fit and sharp.
Now, on the outside thinking about this, I thought this would be no bother. I’m 35 years old, I’m not too overweight and up until last year I regularly went running, boxing and cycling.
It turns out, a year is a very long time…
First up in our activities I took part in a two-hour Mini Moto endurance event with James Alderson and Lewis Rollo. The event was organised by Alan Mcintosh of Mcintosh Mini Bikes (who kindly loaned me a bike and suit for the day) and hosted by Kartstart Kirkcaldy.
The group were randomly split in to teams of three (shout to my team mates Owen Patterson and James Turner) a Novice, an Intermediate and finally an Expert.
We were then sent out a group at a time to set our qualifying time over thirty minutes. After qualifying the Novices lined up, the lights went green and we were away! 12 ten-minute stints for me and my team mates, and what fun it was, and also quite painful for a 6’4” not so limber lad.
The ten minutes, although it doesn’t seem long were extremely hard going! Trying to keep to the same or even anywhere near to what these youngsters could do on a bike was almost impossible! I have always held racers in high regard, but these youngsters take it even further. At first I thought they had no fear which is why they were going so fast, but as I built my speed up enough to follow them for a short while, you could see every move was calculated and they very rarely drifted off line.
“Mini Moto’s are great race because it keeps your head sharp and up to speed” Adds Lewis “It is also a good way to keep bike fit and be out on a bike every weekend. After ten years of racing Mini Bikes I still learn something new every time I go out on them and I still enjoy it as much as I did ten years ago. I think it is a brilliant way to start your racing career, but also to teach you about racing, like race craft and close racing, hence the reason I still do them.”
I also caught up with James “Mini Moto’s were where I started, it has taught me so much in my race craft which has really helped me as I have moved up through motorbike classes. I enjoy mini moto’s over the winter period as it keeps me sharp on the bike, like my braking and lines, for the opening rounds of the big bike series. Also it keeps me fit over winter as it takes a lot out of me riding them fast at various tracks.”
After a very long two hours, my team and I were narrowly bumped off of a podium position by one James Alderson who took third, Lewis and his team won the event.
If you would like more information on starting Mini Bike racing you will find contact details for Alan McIntosh on http://www.dmtelai.co.uk/
Next up we dip a toe in to the mud!
To be continued…