GUEST BLOG: Heather Kay
Posted on July 11 2014
Redhill – Rd 3 British 4X Series The traffic was horrendous on the drive up to Gloucestershire, but I turned up to find the track was still damp and slippery from the previous days rainfall so I set up camp and had some lunch whilst waiting for it to dry out. A long winding ribbon of red clay, Redhill is the fastest track of the series, no rock gardens but it’s a track that needs to be worked, pumping and jumping to get maximum speed from all of the features. Practice was fantastic, I spent a while working on different lines and options in preparation for racing, feeling amazingly confident on the Stanton. It was tough to drag myself away from it in order to get dinner and rest up for racing Sunday. Photo by Wayne DC Photography After dinner I went up and had a look at a couple of options I wanted to try out on Sunday practice. It was another fabulous 4X evening chatting with the Cornish Crew, such a great atmosphere you forget that you’re at a National event. With practice starting at 9:30 I had a good lie in Sunday morning and woke up ready for action. I got out on the track and nailed the lines I’d looked at Saturday evening, feeling pumped I couldn’t wait for racing to start. First moto was a tough one, out of the gate fast and then completely lost it in the first straight, I stayed on but had lost precious time, I got the power down and the chase was on Meghan Wherry was in my sights but Cara had a good lead already. I caught up with Meghan who blocked me unknowingly on my line option I’d been practicing. I managed to get an inside line on the next corner but the young lady ahs some serious BMX experience and as I we came neck and neck to the next corner she shouldered me up onto the grass back on the edge of the track, finding myself on a steep bank looking down on her I somehow rode it out and was hot on her tail coming into the final corner, I wasn’t letting her get away with out and went all out into the flat grassy corner and boom, all of a sudden my face was slamming into the ground. I jumped up grabbed my bike to find my handlebars totally twisted looked up the track to see Sheena heading towards me and decided to leg it for the line. Once over the line Chris Roberts (series organizer) was right on hand to grab my bike sit me down and call the medics. I’d hit my head pretty hard but soon discovered my knuckle had swollen up a beaut aswell. One ice pack later Chris also helped me sort out my number board which had been almost entirely ripped off, I straightened up my handlebars and headed back up with little time to spare before my 2nd moto. Photo by Matt Phillips I was feeling very shaky in the gate but once it dropped all was forgotten. Liz Fowler got into the lead at the 1st corner and try as I may I couldn’t find a way past her. On to moto no.3, my hand was aching, I tried to keep flexing my fingers so as not to stiffen up, and got up into the gate. Approaching the 1st corner and Tyde D’Souza took the inside line cutting me off and rubbing tyres, we headed into the 1st straight with her just ahead and I managed to pump and jump my way past, into the line I’d practiced and out into the lead, and managed to hold on to the finish. As the motos came to a close the rain that had been threatening started falling, luckily it was time for a quick break before runoffs and finals so I went and grabbed some lunch in the shade of my van. After that I went and watched the racing until it was time for semis, I had drawn Liz, Tyde and Hannah Escott in my semi. The gate dropped and for once I was neck and neck in the first straight. Out of the first corner in 2nd I didn’t want to risk crashing out or making a mistake and letting Tyde or Hannah slip through, so I tucked in behind Liz and got myself through to the A final. In the other semi Cara and Meghan had made it through, it was gonna be one close final! Photo by Sheena Brooker We lined up, and I don’t know what happens to me but I am terrible in the 1st straight, I came into the 1st corner dead last, after a bit of work I took Meghan on the long straight and followed right behind Liz into the big step down. I was catching her bit by bit and as we pumped through the last quad I was drawing up alongside her back wheel, I tried the inside line on the last flat corner we touched, hung on and pedaled, I thrust my bike forward at the line, and had no idea who had taken 2nd place. Buzzing from the adrenalin of some amazing racing I went to check the decision. Liz had managed to hold on to her 2nd place, and although disappointed it was still great to come away with 3rd.