Weston Beach Race
Weston-super-Mare, 30th Sep-3rd Oct 2005
Take nearly a thousand motocross bikes and let them thrash around a 3-mile course on the beach for 3 hours. That's all there is to it!
The whole thing is actually very well organised. After Friday's booking-in and scruntineering, and with the bike in the parc ferme, we had a quick look at the (mountainous) humps on the course, then headed off to the temporary camp site. This was a field next to the Helicopter Museum; firm and level and with a small funfair, portaloos and a beer tent. The absence of hook-ups showed up the low electrolyte level in the auxilliary battery!
On Saturday, after bacon and egg sandwiches for breakfast, we set off for the sea front again. Today was the day for the juniors (<12 years) on a shortened course and the quads/sidecars. This is where the sheer scale of the event hits!
Hundreds of three- and four-wheeled nutters jostled along the mile-long straight for the first corner. The first few made it, but the rest had to queue. After the first three or four humps, the field spread out as the faster riders cleared the obstacles and the slower ones buried themselves.
After a mere three hours, it was all over, and everyone wandered off to the myriad of stalls pitched on the grassy strip behind the prom. There was everything for the off-road rider, even a huge motorhome with a built-in quad garage!
Sunday gave us the youth class (12-14 years). Some very professional and determined youngsters out there, gliding around as the less experienced bounced from one rut/hump/berm to the next.
Next came the adults race. 900 bikes, and some humps added after the first corner before the first dune. More carnage!
Wheras the quads with their wide tyres and chassis in-between left some grooves, the bikes had no such limitation and, during the course of the race, managed to carve ruts deep enough to ground a seat in!
The once-huge dunes became lumps as they eroded away, and just keeping forward momentum became increasingly important.
Anyone who even finished a race over the weekend deserves a hand. It is definitely a must-see for anyone even vaguely interested in motorbikes!
See the Weston Beach Race official website for results and other stuff.
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