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Rye House Mudbath

Last Saturday, Mrs I and our daughter were heading to London to see a theatre show, so I asked our son, Max if he wanted a dad and lad day. I wasn't sure what we could do. He's not bothered about the cinema and the idea of the new Star Wars film bores him to tears. We used to go mountain biking, until he grew out of his kids bike and I gave him mine (meaning I don't have one to ride now)... Then Gareth Howes told me there was a practice day at Rye House. For some reason I forgot the first rule of UK flat track: Don't try do it in winter.

There was a good turn out, showing how desperate UK riders are for any track time, and the track was frozen when we arrived, but the surface felt ok underfoot. At least on the corner nearest the pits. We got on track and immediately realised turn three and four were soaked and nothing was going to improve it. Tip-toeing around the corner, steel shoe on the floor, it felt like my foot was draggin through a puddle of cold soup. And I'd forgotten my front emergency front mudguard.

On the positive side I was practicing throttle control on a super-slick track, at slow speeds. On the negative, the bike and all my kit was absolutely blathered in shale, that's taken hours to get anything like clean.

Max, blathered.

Kristen, blathered.

Brad Hardman remembered his mudguard, but did one session and decided he'd had enough. His Rotax looked smart though.

Peter brought his lovely ironhead Sportster, with its new rear disc set-up

This wild looking, great sounding, Suzuki GT500 did dozens of practice laps.

Max enjoyed it a lot more than I did, but it was a good Dad and Lad day for both of us.

I'll stick to the beach until spring. Winter dirt track is for mugs.

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