16 Feb

So whats it like to crash?

Well I have some experience of this… actually , a lot of experience! 😉

I think my first, well sort of crash happened in the Cadwell Paddock after my first ever newcomers session.. Here I was.. Mr Big, 90ss, new boots, Cadwell Park. Having practised my Norrie Kerr hang of style for a few weeks previous on the road I knew I was unbeatable ( 🙂 ). I have hardly any nerves. Good job as well as the there’s a queue for the toilets. The bike is scrutineered and passes. I’m all set. Off we go. Now back in 1988 you had to complete 8 newcomers sessions within a required time to get your license. Its not actually a race..however of course you do tend to ‘give it some’ and boy did I do that.. or so I thought…

Sometimes the real racers would pay a supplement to enter the newcomer sessions. This didn’t bother me.. I could take em.. no problem.. I was the fastest bloke in our club on the road.. 😉  Anyway there I was, putting Norrie to ‘shame’ around Cadwell and loving it.. “hope he’s watching this” I thought.. then WOOSH, WOOOSH,WOOSH,WOOSH… ” WHAT THE HELL!!”  Four 90SS’s flew past me through a corner. Norrie, Terry, Mark and Eddie (I think). I’m wobbling, weaving , “oh hell, I’m coming off” but no I stay on.. I’m shaking…”what the hell were they doing” .. The flag is waved and I stagger the bike back to the paddock. I get off and my scoot falls over..I forgot to put the stand up! “I can’t ride like that. This is mad. Those guys are lunatics” Scooping the bike off the floor I see I broke a lever.

Still shaking I sit down..My eyes were opened!

My second crash was in my first year in group 2 (125cc standards). Its practise at Lydden. At the end of the downhill straight is Paddock Corner. I wonder if I can do this is top gear I’m thinking.. the answer was no.. I end up in the gravel and hit the tyre wall..it all sort of went in slow motion but fast at the same time. One sec the bike was scrabbling for grip at full lean the next it all goes quiet, then ooomph straight into the tyres..OUCH.. To cap it all the ignition shorted out the battery and now I have smoke pouring from the bike.

A gallant marshal runs over and rips the battery out saving the day..phew!

Date 1989: Circuit ,Three sisters

Now if ever there was a track that the scooters have used that has eaten more bikes than any other its this one. Why its called Three Sisters is beyond me.. Some call it Three Crashes but I prefer to call it Three Blisters as its so hard on the hands and arms.

Anway.. this is group2 again. I’ve managed to get a little quicker and I’m in third. Ahead is Mark Green. Norrie is winning. It becomes a battle. Mark is a fantastic rider. Somehow I get past but only for half a lap or so..I’ve entered the zone where I think I’m Captain Invincible.

I nail it down the paddock straight into the right hand 3rd gear corner at the end. “Oh hell” the front end has let go and is sliding. The rear tyre decides it wants to join in the fun and I’m heading for the grass. “Sod it” I stand the bike up and think ‘well I’ll go straight over and end up back on the track behind Mark again.. so no drama’

However I didnt see the drainage ditch right ahead. What I saw was sky,grass,sky,grass,sky and then dust..

“don’t move” says the orange bloke.. he looks like Tango man. Actually he’s a marshal and he says “doctors on his way, you’ve broke your leg” I look down.. ‘mmm..rubbish, its orange bloke’s leg that looks weird’  then I realise its actually mine..Oh dear.. he wasnt lying. The doctor arrives..leathers cut open up the stiching.. he says “this is gonna hurt” .. really, I thought oh….w…… and I pass out!

My next memory is being carried back to the paddock by Graham and Keith from Kegra..apparently I dislocated my hip or knee. I was in agony. But at least it wasn’t broke eh!

Photo: Richard Addison

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