Just when you thought you’d mastered concrete and gravel track racing, what could be the next challenge to give you even less grip and destroy your bike? Sand, that’s what!
I travelled to Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire UK to meet up with the locals on one of the longest beaches i’ve been on where the dog walkers have to step to one side and give the speed junkies the right of way. This is predominantly a winter activity so the beach is fairly clear, the sand is icy and crisp and the sun weighs heavy in the sky. The riders are separated into engine classes to keep it competitive as most sports are. But what struck me was the competition was for all ages and the skill involved in navigating the oval track is one of great skill. Like with Speedway racing, oval track racing is usually on loose gravel or in this case sand so the art isn’t about how fast your bike can go, it’s getting the best out of your bike and the track. Finding the right traction as there is no real grip. It’s an experience of the senses and feeling your way around the oval whilst in a race against others.
I’ve been trying to find competitions in their purest form and I think so far as motor cycle racing goes it’s probably as pure as you can find. It’s you and a machine against nature. The tidal sea carves out the surface so it’s fresh each day, there’s nothing to add other than cones and a starting line. A lot of good racers have come from this stock and it’s not going to tire out anytime soon.