Dragon Downhill - Abercarn
|1/||Dragon Downhill - Abercarn|
|3/||Racing - Sat & Sun|
Winter is coming, the races are coming to an end and the final rounds are upon us. It's also dark early, cold and wet. Depressing, I know - but I am from Yorkshire. And it's true.
And so to Abercarn, where Jason was wrapping up the Dragon series for 2005. One of the last races for me 'til 2006. I'll miss racing - good times with friends in a field - but I'll tell you what... I'll take the break from 3 1/2 hours burning diesel at £1/litre down the motorways of the country.
Approaching the forest at midnight was somewhat surreal. A steep climb up a terraced street where tarmac phased into dirt and houses to trees. A short rally later and the sleeping race village appears - to curse the late arrivals, who were making more noise trying to be stealthy than otherwise. A few hours recharge were required if any riding was to be done this weekend.
Several hours short of my requisite 8, it was time to crack the back door of the van to the site of a Welsh valley in October. Bump started with tea (cheers Si!),it was time to get up on the hill, learning lines for us Abercarn virgins, revising for the old hands or putting alternate lines to the test if you already had it dialled.
After a faultless season, transport woes dogged Jason at this round. First, the wagon drivers cut a swathe through the parked cars in the narrow terraced roads that led to the forest. One driver was late, so didn't arrive until practice (and queues) were well underway on Saturday. Once 4 wagons were running the queue evaporated in usual slick Dragon style.
Time to get up the course and check it out - while worrying about tyre choice ahead of the promised rain for the afternoon. With Sunday forecast warm and dry, riding this course well was going to be about not only knowing the track, but your limits, your gear and playing the elements...
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