It's the mid season break and with no rallies for the next few weeks, I need to find something to keep me occupied before I eat myself into a Robbie Coltrane shape. The other day, whilst walking the Labradoodle beast I stumbled upon just the thing - throwing myself down the side of mountains.
It involves clambering to the top of the steepest mountain that you can locate, climbing aboard your mountain bike and bouncing down at great speed whilst avoiding trees, rocks and walkers. I found this to be greatly entertaining, and when one of my mates decided it would be fun to make it a race I couldn't wait!
With a dogged determination I launched forward hurtling down the steep slope and things appeared to be going well. Right up to the point whilst travelling at full speed a large branch hit me square in the face. My bike transformed into a bucking bronco for the 20 meters that followed, and as I did my best Rossi impression in a bid to regain control I was pleased to say the least when things settled down. Only for me to hit a solid object and the next thing I knew my bike and I had parted company, and I was several feet in the air hurtling towards the ground. I had done a Seb Loeb. A tree stump laid nestling under some undergrowth which I rode straight into, acting as a launch pad.
Undeterred, and having dusted myself down, I readied myself to climb back on my charger, only for an all too familiar realisation that the front tyre had punctured. So, while I wait for my new rubber to arrive, I'm on the prowl for things to do to fulfil my need for all things speed. Whilst having a conversation the other night with a friend, they told me of how they had just competed in a Soapbox race, and despite the fact one of them broke their leg it was awesome fun.
If, like me, you're not entirely sure what Soapbox racing is, it involves building what is effectively a go-kart but without the engine. You go to the top of a steep hill and gravity takes over. At first I wasn't that impressed by the idea, until I heard they reach speeds of up to 50mph! Yes, 50mph on a lie-low attached to wheels only 2 inches off the road - that's brilliant! And the best thing of all is you can use solid rubber tyres, making punctures a thing of the past! Meaning we may finally be able to win something this year!
For more information see our News section.