English Champs – Moelfre Hall

It’s been a fair old while since Ive been to Moelfre, last time would’ve been back in 2005 when I was still riding for Muddyfox! I was pretty excited to go back and send the Belter down the track.

Tam was away doing some work in Cardiff, and the plan was to pick him up from Shrewsbury station on Friday night. I got everything ready and packed so I could leave straight after work. So rad not having to worry about stuff just before leaving. Maybe I should do it every time …

Traffic on the way up meant Tam had to sit outside the station for an hour, woops. We got to the venue just after 12 and got down to sleeping.

The BTR pits, with Hash Brown

Took the dog to walk the track on Saturday morning, the sun was shining and the view from the track was simply stunning!
I threw a stick for Themba at the top of the track, and she ran the wrong way. So I stepped off track to go fetch it for her, and my first step was an ankle roller! (Now I’ve twisted and sprained that ankle so many times, that with the slightest of twists I have myself a busted ankle…) As I hopped around from the pain I felt my ankle crunch back into place, made me feel a little sick! Someone walking past suggested walking it off, and well there was nothing else to do so I picked myself up and walked down. Didn’t end up being the best line finding mission but at least I knew where the track was going… Once at the bottom it was out with the duct tape to strap it up good and strong and head up for some practice.

There are 2 doubles as you enter the mid section of the track, the second one is fairly big and I was well keen to send it on the Belter. First practice run with a sore ankle, I got the front wheel into the landing so I knew it was on! My ankle took a little bit of a beating on the braking bumps further down but it wasn’t too bad so all there was for it was more runs!!

The top open grassy corners were sick, the grass was wet which meant it was drift central. The Belter is so stable in a drift and I loved every single second on that top section, recon the Renthal bars play their part too! Bbbrrrrraaapp

The legendary Hash Brown saw that Tam wasn’t racing his bike and asked if he could have a run just to see what it was like. We put his SPD pedals (ha ha) on it and sent him up for a run. His first words when he got down were “I don’t like my bike any more” and “I can’t believe how stable it is”. Well happy with that!

Look at those silly pedals! What are they doing on a BTR?

The rain came out to play on Saturday afternoon which left people scrambling for tyres but I just left the drys on as I knew the Belter would hold on. After practice it was bike cleaning and food cooking duties!

Cooking in the BTR pits 🙂

I set myself up with a much warmer bed for Saturday night and slept the whole way through. We were greeted by the sun shining bright and thick layer of frost on the ground. We thought it might have been snow at first, but by the time we got out of the van it had pretty much all gone!

Got a bit cold last night

Only chance for 2 practice runs this morning so I got a shift on up the hill only to get a puncture half way. After I fixed the puncture and got to the uplift they told me it was closed. What followed was mass confusion and lots of people calling each other all sorts of names, until it was established that there was still another 45min of practice. Waheeey!

I went up for my race and had to sit around for over 45min waiting for my run. I hate having to wait in the cold at the top of the hill… I was going down in the senior class at this race, in the hunt for BC points in order to enter BDS next year. So there werent many familiar faces to keep me company up top, but I made some new friends…

First run was solid, no miss haps, but it wasn’t pinned. Left me in 24th place in the senior category. I was a bit disappointed to not be in the top 20 but I knew I could go faster in run 2. The heavens opened soon after the second runs started and most people were coming down with a slower time than first runs, so I changed my rear tyre to a Muddy Mary in the hope of a bit more grip on the grass up top.

My second run was pinned, and I nailed that double with a whip and everything! The chute just before the road was the scariest part of the track and this run I was way, way off line. The only thing that went through my mind was “stay the hell on!!!”. I managed to, but I could hear the tell tale sound of leaking air and knew instantly it was all over. I was pretty gutted as up to this point I was on a pinner of a run. Ah well what can you do, eh? Turns out I punctured both tyres in that section… Must have clanged something a treat!

After all was said and done I got myself 26th in senior, and enough points to enter the BDS next year so I was well happy!

Keep er sideways, Burf

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