We've written a lot about Mablethorpe in the last few weeks. The reasons for this are many. It's a unique event in the world of motorcycling. I've raced it for a few seasons (even winning the unlimited road bike class there once) and have a fondness for the place. It has been taken over by good friends of ours and has just made a comeback.
There was speculation and concern that the event would not return after Covid, but yesterday so the dawn of a new era for this historic series, a series that has taken place on the North Sea coast of Lincolnshire for over half a century.
I didn't race yesterday, but attended to take photos, support the scene and talk to some of the friends I used to race with. These are just my pit snaps. For great action photography visit Braking Point Images facebook. GI
Top Photo: Aaron and his Kawasaki ER500.
You can race just about anything on the beach, but a spiky front knobbly is essential if you want to have some proper fun. We don't even have tax discs in the UK any more, but I appreciated the old joke.
Obed raced his Sunday in the Minibike class. The chain jumped off in one race. These are the lessons that are learned the hard way. If you're prepping a bike, make time to fit an MX-style chain guide that means the chain runs through an enclosed tunnel. The beach has a knack of stretching chains in a hurry, and it's much rougher than a dirt track, so chains often jump off.
250 road bike class Yams, ridden by Mabo regulars Martin and Will.
What a bike! I always feel sorry for the battering the rutted beach gives Will's expansion chamber.
Mabo hero from times gone by, Barrie Gammidge, made a comeback on his BSA 250 Starfire. Put it on the podium in the 250 road bike class too. What a star. We featured Barrie racing a BMW HP2 Supermoto on the beach way back in SB3!
Author of the Beginners Guide to Mablethorpe post, Joey Brindley, on his Honda 450 that he also uses for dirt track.
Random Chinese Commuter (I think) given a new lease of life (and taste of the North Sea)
Mabo fast guy, Andy, debuting his new Yamaha MT-07 racer in the unlimited road bike class. Says it was an animal, that wanted to rip his arms off.
Andy's son, Dylan, rode this Kawasaki-powered special. Top marks for racing it a Spongebob hoodie.
SB35 cover star Steph ready to race in the minibike class. Dirt Craft's Gary Birtwistle won the 450 MX class.
There are always a handful of grasstrack bikes (they look like speedway bikes, but have rear suspension and, I think, two gears). This fella, Arran Butcher, is a pro speedway racer and was something else to watch.
Honda 450-powered? Not sure. Carbon fibre wheel disc is smart though.
DTRA regular Brad Hardman was grasstrackering too.
John from Rally Raid Products rode his Tenere 100 miles to the track (for a 9am sign-on), raced, then rode it home. Incredible.
Classes for 125 and 250 road bikes are always pretty popular.
Unlimited road bike class is a crowd pleaser. SV650 looks like a good basis for a sand racer to me.
Andy (I'm sure it's Andy) is a long-term Mabo regular on his CBR600.
Beach race novice Tim ready for first practice.
The weather was uncharacteristically beautiful for this time of year on that coast. The winter series does get a couple of meetings, at least, like this a season.
One of the four grids of MX classes waiting to be called to the line.
250 road bikes lining up. A change made by the new regime was a square that only racers and officials could enter, and the only place, except for the track, that bikes could be ridden in. For years the pits felt like an accident waiting to happen, as riders often rode too fast in the pits, that were open to the public, kids and dogs on (long) leads. A sensible change.
Massive crowd (as far as the eye can see in this photo), over 100 race entries, a town buzzing, cafes all doing great business, racers over the moon to be back at an event they love.
There's another race on 20 March, then that's it until the start of the 2022-23 winter season in (I'm assuming) October. Congratulations to Mablethorpe Sand Racing.