There was a reasonable turnout with 8 teams on a mid-winter day that was actually worthy of a ride, but them’s the breaks I guess and such are the rules that Murphy laid down, which guarantee a great day if you plan and programme an indoor event.
Prior to this year’s event, a few of us did travel up to Palmy to check out the Daytona track there and although that track and their karts were great, it was decided that it was too big a day and the whole reason for introducing the karting onto the calendar was to guarantee an event mid winter when the weather and roads might be a bit tricky. So back to Elsdon it was.
We were in for a bit of a shock as the track was extremely slippery, which turned out to be a bit of a leveller as it created some passing opportunities when karts spun wide, but also the lighties lost a bit of traction which offset their power:weight advantage. I would guess that about 80Kg was the optimal weight as my son Lance (who is still 5½ years off Uly eligibility) who teamed up with me to make up numbers, finally beat his old man with the fastest lap time.
Generally I felt more skill was required to manage the conditions and that theory was supported by the fact that Kartmeister-Kerr and sidekick/partner Basher-Brian were both well off the pace this year, only managing a pitiful; 3rd place….and I might add, neither of them could crack the 27 second barrier for lap times, a feat that was achieved by the drivers in both the 4th and 5th placed karts! This also confirms my other theory that they are both just bullys……and perhaps consistent?
After a most confusing start, all the karts were stopped (I think it was due to two karts having issues out of the blocks so they were levelling it up) and things were pretty even after 10 laps and the first change. I had watched Lance hanging-out excessively as he rounded the sweeper, but I was in for a real shock when I took the wheel. It was totally different to previous years and after a couple of warm-up laps to get the feel, I tried giving it the curry around the sweeper….only to come to grief! After that I ‘tried’ to use a bit more restraint and got on with the job. I seemed to be passing quite a few karts, parked at odd angles along the way, so I wasn’t the only one.
As we came down to the last change Lance and I were in front and there was nothing in it, but the other ‘cheaters’ had already made their last change so it was going to be tight. I considered letting Lance just finish….but I had to give the ‘cheaters’ a fair go (‘cos I’m good like that) and so we made the change….and the bloody seatbelt jammed didn’t it!!!...and we lost by 18 seconds.
I say cheaters, because, although I have no evidence to back up my theories and suppositions, I am positively sure that John Medlin, who won the event partnered with Bryan Fergusson, bribed, or coerced the two innocent looking ladies who participated, into taking us out. Shock horror you say, but nothing could be surer. On one occasion, as I was on Fergs tail, he tricked me into taking the low side on the split and right as I was committed, Jacquie parks up in front of me wanting a cup of tea and a chat, gaining the dastardly duo half a lap. On the second occasion, Ingrid sucks me into passing her going into the ‘S’, so she could ram me, pin me to the barrier, and hold me there for about 5 minutes! Criminal behaviour elicited by the devious, dastardly JohnM. A man who must win at all costs (the other JohnM that is)
Ahh, but it was bloody great. We had a ball then went to the Peppermill for the aftermatch.
At that time, it was revealed that Andrew C received 4 visits to the sin bin, but I never found out what that was for and there was a mention that there is a new Daytona Raceway out at Seaview, on Port Road and as Lance & I didn’t have anything on….we went out there to have a look ….and managed another 35 minutes….(as you do)
It is along the marina end of Port Rd and has a very large/long, very wide track, with proper plastic barriers all the way around and brand new biggish karts (apparently they opened about July last year). It took about 3 laps for the tyres to warm up and the kart I had, had crap brakes, although Lance said his were good. The track is reasonably technical, but Lance whipped my arse either thanks to the few Kgs….or maybe his kart was just a little quicker….or both. He would gain a few metres per lap coming out of the two hairpins and our ‘best-lap’ times were 27 & 27.5 secs, compared to the best drive times of 24-24.5secs. (Must be very talented migets!!!???) Although he was quicker and on the wide track, if I stuck to the programme, he couldn’t get past until I made a mistake. The proper barriers were way better than the tyre barriers as they don’t grab the kart and although we both spun out a couple of times, we didn’t need assistance to get moving again….of course that would different to our kindly Kartmeister cur forcing, nudging and blasting us into the barriers!
It was fun but I suspect that for our purposes, the session at Elsdon was probably more exciting and more competitive…..but of course, we really will need to have a recce drive sometime, to test it under busier conditions.
The results for the day: Medlin & Fergusson won…..narrowly.
Karts / Drivers (IN FINISHING ORDER for 80 Laps)
Kart Driver 1 Driver 2 Finish Time Best Lap
1st 3 John Medlin Bryan Fergusson 0:44:80 26.929
2nd 1 Lance Maroulis John Maroulis + 0:18.13sec 26.599
3rd 0 Dave Kerr Brian Woodcock + 1:01.61 27.009
4th 2 Trevor Taylor Chris Dummer + 1:47.39 26.944
5th 5 Brett Chapman Bill King + 1:51.30 26.882
6th 8 Andrew Cresswell Jacqui Cresswell + 2:49.62 27.386
7th 11 Ingrid Vos Partner + 5:20.28 27.404
8th 7 Bruce McCaw Dean + + 2 laps 27.520
1st 1 Lance Maroulis 26.59sec
2nd 1 John Maroulis 26.71
3rd 5 BrettChapman 26.88
Today was a Uly ride to Hunterville for lunch. My worker has abandoned me for three months so I definitely don't have time to ride at the moment....and hence I needed to go.
As it was a relatively long ride, the start was scheduled for 0900 rather than the normal 1000, so I checked the tyre pressures last night, as well as packing the wets and other usual gear, charged the Sena and phone, then had to get up early this morning to scrub, gear-up, fill at BP Mana and get to the Weigh Station by about 0840.
It was a lovely clear morning (only 12° but), there were 10 or 11 of us and the earlier start made the drag of hauling up SH1 a bit easier, until we peeled off to go to Shannon for a coffee. Woody and I were connected and chatted along the way and I used the time at Shannon to try to form a Group Intercom with Chris and a couple of the others that had intercoms.....but that didn't really work, so when we moved on, it was with mixed results.
We scooted up to the opiki turnoff, then cut across through Rongotea, up to Mt Stewart, then over to SH1 via Halcombe....then more dreary SH1 riding to Hunterville, arriving at around midday and all the others made straight for the pumps. I couldn't help asking Woody why on earth they were all filling when we weren't even down to half a tank!
From there it was down the road to the Station Hotel for a feed. They are pretty average, but I think they opened especially for us and while munching away, we spent more time with the Sena App trying to set the group up. Voila, we finally had it sorted.
Once we got back on the road, we scooted up to Ohingaiti, then over Mangamako Rd to Pemberton Corner, then headed for home via Kimbolton and a pause in Cheltenham to don the wets. It's a great ride through the section of Rangiwahia Rd between Pemberton and Kimbolton but today there was enough drizzle for the road to be wet, as well have having the odd bit of loose stuff, so it was a sedate affair and with it looking particularly gloomy to the east, then the downpour around Cheltenham, we opted to just come back via SH1. When we got to Mt Stewart, we didn't even divert via Penny Rd, but just headed straight to Sanson.
The wind was quite strong at this point but we didn't have any issues and made quite good time. Once we got to Paekak' though, the traffic was almost at a standstill and bumber to bumper as far as the eye could see, so we peeled off at the Paekak' Hill. Chris and I enjoyed a jolly good fang up to the summit, but after that, there was quite a bit of traffic also trying to avoid the queues, so it was a bit more sedate....and lucky to because the patrollers were out and about.
I ended up getting home at about 1645 after having done about 480km for the day. It was quite pleasant to get out and hopefully I might feel a bit more refreshed for the daily grind ahead. The bike now has 67,500km on it....and I'm still enjoying the Z8's.
We spent a week in Phuket recently and that was a bit if an eye opener.
On the night we arrived, I was gobsmacked as we were driven to our resort at Patong Beach (about 40 minutes) and small bikes and scooters were passing us on both sides, and vice versa. Then at one point, a bike passed us on the inside, then continued to pass the vehicle in front of us as they negotiated a right hander. My heart was in my throat because the road was quite narrow and twisty, with no verge and a drop off into jungle.....but all was good!! By the end of the week it was all, 'She'll be right!'
Over the period we were there, I didn't bother to take my life in my hands and hire a bike, but I did manage to take quite a few pix, which tend to highlight how bikes rule in Thailand??.....well not really bikes......let's say scooters and stepthru's!!
There are so many, I think they have their own gods and worship centres.
…and they carry monks.
…who are trendy and also use mobiles.
It looks like helmets and gloves aren't required.......but it also appears that 'The Powers That Be' might be trying to change that? (It was hardcase one night we were out because a lady turned up at the market and she must have rushed out of the house while cooking dinner, because she still had her oven mits on!!!)
Domestic use extends to the whole family.....all at once. I even witnessed dad riding one handed as he carried the 3 month old while mum carried the 1 yr old on the back.
....and even the round-eyes are into it!
Some ladies prefer side-saddle....maybe it's more styley?
Others prefer to bring all the kids in the sidecar.
They are handy to fetch the groceries and since they don't have saddle-bags like every good ST, they just take the flatties or neighbours to carry the stuff home.
...or maybe you just want to get the banana tree home?
Commercially, stepthrus rule!
They carry everything including the kitchen sink.....and the bar-b-q!!
....or the recyling.
You can use them to get all the crew to work!
….or the fleet of jet skis to the beach!
Filtering is in!
They have servos just for bikes.
Not to mention Bike Bars.
And Bike shops.
...and the servicemen have a few tats.
Basically, bikes are just everywhere!
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.