Mablethorpe has an almost unfathomable pull for me. The conditions are terrible. The salt and sand ruins bikes and kit. The biggest battle is waterproofing a road bike to survive the cold blast of brine, though you can turn up on a motocross bike and they seem to just plough through it. The racing takes place in winter, so it's often cold and always wet. Getting a faceful of sand thrown up by the back tyre of a mutant Cagiva 1000, sand with an impact speed of 120mph or more, smarts. Perhaps, because of all that Mablethorpe attracts a certain kind of racer. There aren't many, if any, egos or flash Harrys. There isn't any prize money or sponsors. It just survives in its own bubble, just like it has for much of the last 48 years. Here are some of my snaps, mainly of the bikes and riders from the three road bikes classes, from today's meeting.
Before the racing got underway the club arranged for Nigel Limb to take a couple of laps of Steve's grasstrack bike. Nigel crashed racing his own grasstracker on the beach a year or two ago. As a result of the crash he is now permanently physically disabled and partially sighted. It was a real touch and go crash that could've been even worse if not for the quick action of a fellow racer, Jamie Fenn-Smith, but Nigel was determined to have a couple more laps of the track and the club made it happen for him. He wasn't hanging around either.
Honda CB500 for the unlimited road bike class.
Honda 650 single I think (twin exhaust port), but I can't place the model. Again, unlimited road bike class. The class structure, for road bikes, is up to 200cc; 200-400cc and unlimited. Four-strokes and two-strokes are mixed together in the road bike class. There are also classes for juniors; MX 125 with two- and four-stroke split; MX 250, two- and four-stroke split; 450s and sometimes quads. Oh, and grasstrackers...
...like this one.
Colour-coding is optional, but very much appreciated. 250 road bike. Yamaha IT250 (I think)
Rachel was one half of Honda CG125, but they both were having problems and not running right. The beach will do that to a bike.
Chris and his CG125 budget racer.
Aaron Staniforth (Russian hat) and his dad Chris, they both race, dad on the TZR125, Aaron on a CG125. Aaron said his dad was a good road racer in the 1990s, but retired in 2002. He made his comeback on the beach this year and now beats his son. Riders can pick any number they want, including #1, which is a bit weird.
At the other end of the Yamaha road bike scale is this TDM850. It suffered a split tank in a crash at the previous round, so it ended up with one from what looks like a lawnmower or petrol generator. If we're stupid enough to race it, they're daft enough to let us.
Marshals need love too.
Sun's out, quick take a photo. I've done a lot of work to my £500 Honda 650 bitsa, with loads of help from Travis Newbold and Carl CFM. It came good today when I won my first meeting.
Want a shirt like mine? Order your SB x Hello Cousteau x 250London race shirt
Fancy some goggles like winners wear? Order Sideburn x Biltwell Moto 2.0 goggles
If you're new to the wonders of Mablethorpe, perhaps watch the video below that my old mate James Cheadle made and I wrote and narrated a few years ago, when I first bought the bike I still race. It's changed quite a lot.