On any Sunday, if you listen carefully you can hear absolutely nothing, however, this Sunday that won't be the case. On this day six classes, comprising at least 150 riders, will line up at the starting gate to embark on their sighting lap as a prelude to when the red mist descends, and they launch into four sets of four laps of a 3.5 km track that cuts and grinds its way through a deep and steep valley of pasture and pockets of dense woodland. The noise will be epic, resonating through the valley like the Tabernacle Choir: the 100 odd two strokes screaming like children at the treble end of the vocal spectrum and the thundering KTM500EXCs growling out a bass baritone. Item 3 for 2018: ear plugs.
As I recall the circuit was nothing like is suggested on the brochure!! I was of the understanding that Natural Terrain Motorcross comprised a nice long flowing flat track through soft and squishy grassy pastures, with loamy, clayey dirt that would feel like mousse when you landed face-first into it. I was hoping that the corners would be bound by warm fleecy sheep ready to absorb your impact when you were high-sided off your ride. And being the middle of winter I expected the ground to be moist and the horrible dust we endure during summer rides would be but a memory. Wrong again. To get some appreciation please do yourself a favour and watch this clip. If not the dust then perhaps the fumes? If I were a smoker I doubt Motul 2-stroke Special Light would be my poison. We have all seen the old Quit smoking add where the man wrings out the sponges and squeezes the tar into the jar: that was my lungs by the end of the day as my alveoli stuggled to function under a coating of hydrocarbon. Item 4: race face scarf.
What caused my brain pain that very next morning? To be honest, I doubt it was any of the above. I am beginning to believe it was quite simply the pain caused by the yearning to do it all again. At least in 2018 I will be a little better prepared for this event sponsored by Motorcycle Studios. I'll see you out there.
Trail and Enduro Club