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West Glos & Dean Forest
Motor Cycle Club

Celebrating 64 Years of Motor Cycling 1953 - 2017

Weston Beach Race 2005

Words By Ian Vessey

Summer's over, the evenings are drawing in, must mean only one thing - time for the Beach Race!

The race was a lot earlier this year at the beginning of October not at the end, which meant that we had a nice warm dry weekend (not that it's been cold yet!!). This year we had a change of camp site, moving to the south of Weston just outside Bleadon at the seaward end of the Mendips. Last year, Roger from Dunstable came down to watch me and Neil (who crashed Ian Beards bike), and decided he should have a go in 2005.

Friday.

Signing on was a little bit better organised this year so only took an hour in the morning, so me and Roger went for a little cycle ride (training!). We ended up going UP Cheddar Gorge, then took a left at the top along a bridleway over a hill into low cloud. We then got a bit lost in the fog and ended up back down in Cheddar, so cycled back to Bleadon and the pub.

I had an early night but the rest of the crew crawled out of The Queens in the village at various times up to about 2am. Apparently, the landlord was heard to say "You can only have one more drink before you have to go" - on several occasions!

Saturday

Was dry and sunny, which made watching the sidecars and quads much more pleasant than last year in the pouring rain. It looks like bloody hard work on the outfits (and I'm sure it is!) and far too easy on a quad - until they get stuck. The really lazy gits had a reverse gear - where's the challenge in that!!

Saturday night meant a return visit to The Queens for some excellent food. The crew were a bit subdued after Friday nights' excesses, which meant that most people were up in plenty of time for Sunday's race.

Sunday

We arrived on the beach in plenty of time on Sunday. Setting up the pits was straightforward but we had a short delay to the start because of a small track invasion of people watching a stunt show. The race start was a bit of a farce again. Riders were meant to queue behind a couple of diggers blocking a gap in a small dune across the beach, but some idiots started to ride over the dune. Of course, as soon as one went over, others followed. They were crossing right behind the diggers as well, so the diggers couldn't move to let out the riders who were queued up. Guess where I was? In the queue. By the time barriers had been moved and we could get onto the beach, the 'cheats' had forced the start and were away up the beach. The first few dunes were the usual chaos, but by the end of the first lap I had managed to get into a reasonable rhythm.

About lap four, going down the straight, I had one of those rare moments - knowing why we do this. I saw a couple of wobblers on the infield attempting, and failing, to get over a dune, at which point I started to smile. So that's why we do it, not to win anything, just to have a bloody good laugh doing something which is daft by any measure. And there were 50,000 other daft blighters who paid to watch!

Nine laps (for me!) later, and it was all over. The winner did eighteen laps - at least I'm consistent and for the last three years have done half what the winner's done! If the 200 hasn't dissolved away by next year, perhaps we'll have another go.