50 Hours Of Cadwell, August 2013
Let's just cut straight to the chase - this was ace and if you missed it, you should kick yourself now.
Building on the success of their previous events over the last couple of years, Classic Bike Trackdays decided to go big this time. Cadwell was booked for the whole weekend, with the Saturday being adopted again by Practical Sportsbikes and sister magazine Classic Bike hosting their 'Burn Up' on the Sunday. They also wanted to generate a festival atmosphere to the event, with live music on Saturday night and the cafe/bar open until late. The hope was that the various bike clubs would set up camp, arrange informal displays of their bikes and fire up the BBQ's whether they were riding on track or not. And on that subject, free lunchtime parade sessions were set up so that those who didn't fancy the proper track action or whose bike maybe wasn't suitable for it could still do a couple of gentle laps.
Diff'rent Strokers arrived at 3pm on the Friday afternoon to set up and found that someone else's trackday was already in progress. In fact the action went on until late, with excellent band 'Feedback' playing in a trailer at the top of the paddock and people dancing on the tops of hired vans in a way that they plainly weren't designed for. Tim was still humming 'Nellie The Elephant' when he woke up at 7 the next morning, remembered he was only booked on the parade laps and promptly went back to sleep.
Our camp also comprised Sara, Rob, Nic, Mick and Bernie with Tom appearing on Saturday. Noise testing, registration and briefing done, the fully-booked track sessions got underway. These were split as usual into 2-Stroke, 4-Stroke and Novice groups, with the usual eclectic mix of machinery from an ex-TT RC45 down to obscure Italian trail bikes. Plenty of TZR's, TDR's and RGV's as usual, with familiar faces on board. Over the weekend our somewhat half-hearted 'stand' was visited by DS'ers Karl, Fletch, Andy, Warwick, James, Wolfman, Norbo, Jim, Doug, Weaver, Simon, Gary, Fiona, Dean, Paul and others we shall hurriedly add on here as soon as they complain that they've been overlooked again...
The 2-Stroke Forum had turned up mob-handed and set up camp nearby, putting on an excellent display of mainly aircooled strokers. They comprised most of the parade lap runners too, with the odd X7 and LC swamped by a sea of Fizzies. Rob took his gorgeous 3MA-5 out at lunchtime too and Tim's RB50 surprised both the travelling marshal and the bloke on the YSR by being quite a lot faster than they expected. Mick was out in the 2-stroke sessions on his TDR with the Go-Pro cameras affixed again, so keep an eye out for this year's video.
Once the afternoon sessions were over, the 2-stroke fumes were rapidly replaced by the smell of BBQ lighter fluid and the beers were cracked open. Covers band 'High Rollers' had set up in front of the clubhouse and as it got dark and people got more, erm, refreshed, the dancing began. Another great night, helped by the weather which remained hot and sunny from the start of the weekend until (almost) the end.
Sunday was a repeat of Saturday, but with a healthy dose of old Brit and Italian classics as befits the Burn Up, including a proper Vincent being used as it should be. Classic bike fan and circuit owner Jonathan Palmer dropped in by helicopter after lunch and a Spitfire and Me.109 detoured from a nearby air display to buzz the track too. The parade laps were less busy than on Saturday (hangovers maybe ?) but actually more fun, as the marshal cleared off and let the Fizzies and Gag race each other.
And that was it - one of the most enjoyable laid-back weekends we can remember, thanks to the great organisation and the friendly attitude of everyone present. A handful of minor spills, a couple of blow-ups and the rain finally appearing for the very last session on Sunday were the only downsides.
Thanks to Darin and Rob for setting this up and letting us join in again, to Chell, Emily and Caren for hanging out and feeding us jelly worms, and to everyone else who turned up, said hello, stole our food and helped make it a brilliant chilled weekend. See you at the next one !
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