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Mablethorpe: Winter 2016-17

After missing the first couple of Mablethorpe Beach Races of the 2016-17 season, I've raced regularly on the beach on my cheap, bitsa, brakeless Honda 650. Race entries seem down this year, which is a shame, because it's peanuts for the amount of fun on offer and this is a unique race series, not just in England, but anywhere in the world. Race bikes come up for £600, and usually need less than £100 spending on them. The entries themselves cost £35 for one practice and five races (if your bike lasts that long). It costs £15 to join the club for the season and you don't need a licence. I can't imagine how it could be any more affordable.

The photos above are from the first race I made this year. The silver bike is Carl CFM's Yamaha TDR250. He won the overall club championship last year, but isn't having it all his own way this season. There were lots of faces from the DTRA, itching to keep racing now the flat track season has finished. 47 is Anthony Brown, Mr DTRA on a Honda 250 racer he bought for about £600 (then had to rebuild). He races in the 250 class with Carl CFM.

Middle row is another DTRA regular, Brad Hardman on his grasstrack Jawa. It's a brave man who enters the grasstrack class.

Bottom L-R. A very rare twin-cam Rotax is offered as a sacrifice to Mablethorpe and Neptune; DTRA hotshot and Sideburn favourite Leah Tokelove on her Death Spray 450. She flies!; The Inmen at the end of a frustrating race day, but still a good day out. I love having the kids come racing with me.

Top row L-R: The weather never stops the racing, just makes it slightly more miserable; A very contentious bike that I've mentioned before. It races in the road bike class, but that's no road bike engine. Still it looks fun and sounds wild revving on baffleless exhaust; My son/mechanic looks after me.

Bottom row: Race face. This lad absolutely flies on a grasstracker; 'Greenfield' George Pickering has moved out of the motocross classes into the unlimited road bike class on this KTM Duke special. This used to be Paul Baleta's DTRA bike. George is mustard on this bike; New rear tyre made a huge difference to my starts. The bike is down on power to some others in the class, but the racing is cheap fun to me. I think it's making me a better dirt tracker, by racing through the winter, and it's good to see Carl, George, Leah and the DTRA guys when they make it all the way Oxford and Gloucestershire (3.30am starts for them...).

Top row L-R: The tide was high for the New Year's Day meeting. I'm not much of a drinker, so I wasn't bothered by getting up early on January 1 to go racing, but the weather was shocking. Wet and freezing; Beach racing seemed like a daft idea in these conditions until we saw the charity swimmers; He's about to show me something I really didn't want to see.

Middle row L-R: The sand was so spongy that vans were getting stuck left, right and centre on the way onto the beach; Sideburn columnist Guy Martin turned up to race a road legal Tiger XC800. It has a 17in rear wheel, so he could only get a Continental TKC80 rear tyre and it just didn't work.

Bottom: Yamaha XJ550 Seca for the same unlimited road bike class I race in; Look at the difference between the slushy mess of the start compared to the earlier meeting above; Max, top half ready with January, bottom half prepared for July. His feet were freezing.

The Mablethorpe season runs every two weeks till March 26. For dates go to Mablethorpe Sand Racing.

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