Well I couldn’t let a bit of rain – and a lack of speedway – leave me kicking my heels could I?
As previously mentioned, following the double Glasgow rain-off I took the opportunity to go into Scotland and hike a Munro.
A quick check of the weather radar meant that I chose Tuesday to tackle Ben Lawers near Loch Tay in Perthshire. In the car park the weather was a reasonable 15 degrees -- but at the top waiting for me was a minus 3 wind-chill factor.
The hike itself was a good combination of hill walking and steep hiking with no scrambling. The views were amazing and the sense of isolation impressive. There wasn’t a sound as I made the four-mile round trip which gave me real value for the effort involved.
To seal the deal I found a cracking little camping spot for the van and took in all the fresh Scottish air I could before returning south the following day.
It was the perfect start to what was to be an intense week as I had accepted guest bookings for Swindon at Ipswich and for Glasgow against Sheffield as well as my Bandits’ duties.
After the long drive down to Ipswich it turned out to be a frustrating night as I suffered a problem with one of my engines and only got three rides, which was annoying.
However, on the plus side my problems didn’t stop Swindon from winning the match and the issue hadn’t come during a Berwick fixture.
Next morning began with a phone call from the Glasgow promotion telling me that their meeting was rained off so my plans quickly changed and I was able to focus on Saturday night at Berwick.
Roll on last Saturday night and what a performance from everyone at Berwick Speedway!
The track had a freshly laid surface and even showers between 6 and 7 couldn’t dampen the spirit as we showed our strength from the start.
The Eastbourne supporters who were on a northern tour were full of praise for the track, the atmosphere – which they did a lot to create – and venue and despite the result swinging heavily against them they enjoyed the racing.
There were many visiting for the first time and another Berwick “virgin” was Dave Fitch who has worked as my mechanic in the Ipswich area for many years now. He was amazed at the entire show that is Berwick Speedway and thoroughly enjoyed his stay in the town.
He says that there is something very special about this place and he is already looking forward to his next visit.
As I write we are still waiting to see just how badly damaged Nicolaj’s shoulder is and how long it will sideline him. He’s already missed meetings for Berwick and Belle Vue as well as his Danish and German teams but, hopefully, by the time we come to tapes against Birmingham there will be some good news.
True to form Jye bounced right back from their horrible-looking crash and enjoyed a great meeting guesting for Belle Vue on Monday night - in place of Nikolaj – including a couple of race wins in his tally against Wolverhampton. Obviously he couldn’t really fail as he had me in his pits throwing the spanners about the National Speedway Stadium!
Belle Vue was my first British club when I came over in 1999 and I am due to pull on the famous Ace of Clubs body colour again tomorrow (Thursday) night when I’m booked as Nicolaj’s replacement at another of my former clubs, King’s Lynn.
All that sandwiched between Bandits’ duty tonight in strange sort of win against Scunthorpe and at Redcar on Friday. Plus of course, we have those Brummies at Shielfield on Saturday night at seven!
No rest for the wicked!
Maybe I should finish by thanking Simon Lambert for tonight. When my back chain snapped – at the fastest part of the circuit – I went down very quickly, and ‘Rambo’ was right behind me….
I tried to curl into a ball and waited for the big bang – but all I felt was a sort of nudge from his bike as he slid in, having done a smart lay-down.
I don’t know of anyone who could have taken better, or quicker avoiding action. Except maybe Freddie Lindgren!