Armed with my 535 lightweight outfit, my passenger, Des O'Connell, and I arrived at our first hillclimb - Loton Park in Gloucestershire. One of the rules of hillclimbs is that you must walk the course first but with my bad leg I decided to give that a miss. That was a big mistake. I am used to road racing with fast wide bends and plenty of run-off. Loton Park, like many hillclimbs, is narrow with blind corners. And winds through trees.
On my first run, from the start I ne I could see the course went immediately right and into a light left. On the start line, 11,000 revs, drop the clutch, the outfit pulled a wheelie and shct off to the left, on a right-hander! This was the first time I had ridden the outfit and the last time I had raced was 1985. Tie thing was unrideable. You CAN have too much power; every corner it lifted the front, wheel and went left on right-handers and right on left-handers, by the end of the weekend my confidence was completely shot.
For the next hillclimb I lengthened the swinging arm by three inches to put more weight on the front wheel, this helped but gave different and equally scary problems. We had an eventful, but short, season and learned that hillclimbs were not as easy as I had thought! For 2011 D&D Racing, the builders of Windle outfits, are going to modify my outfit, mak ng it longer with wider wheels for stickier rubber. Then I am going to need more power...
Pipes by Blue Haze Engineering
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