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Old 06-Jun-2005, 11:31 AM
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Chicken by name......

Apologies for the length of this post as I’m covering several topics. I should also apologise for the way this post jumps around – there are just too many thoughts in my head that I have to get down.

Firstly, some of you already know of my plan to step down from the DD series. I made the decision as I was coming back to the pitlane in the back of the recovery van. So what happened? After about four laps in the untimed practice session I went into Quarry too tight and ended up running wide on the exit and slid onto the grass. Only damage to the bike was to the screen and a bent clipon, while I survived completely unscathed (in fact, since the grass was still wet, my leathers ended up cleaner than when I arrived!). There was no blaming the bike for this one – purely down to rider error.

Why am I quitting? It boils down to my competitive streak, or rather lack of it in this case. All my life, I have had to fight for everything I wanted (you don’t need to hear my sob-story here) and have always been fully committed to my goals – I assumed that this would be no different. However, I’ve never done anything where serious injury might be a possibility. Some of you know that my wife and I recently adopted our daughter, Morgan, from China and I don’t want to risk her growing up without a father, especially after what she has been through already. Every other DD racer must have similar thoughts but the difference is that they know where the limits are and I don’t think I do.

This is not going to stop me riding. I’ve come to realise that my love for motorcycling is as great as it has ever been but that I want to ride well within my limits. I’m still on for ride-outs and trackdays and as many socials as I can fit in.

If you are thinking of entering DD in the future, please don’t let my experience put you off. There are other reasons that I don’t want to go into here that contributed to my decision. Look at Phoenix and Psychlist (and many others) who are showing that you can do it – of all the people on the grid, these are the two that I have the most respect for and they are the ones I will be cheering for at the next rounds.

So there it is, I was a bike racer for 10 minutes. I can’t say that I’ve ticked that particular box of my life ambitions but I can at least remove it from the list and move onto the next one.

Now that that’s out of the way, I can fill you in on the rest of the weekend. Some of this relates to Antonye as well but since he’s nursing a swollen hand and is probably having a hard time typing, I’ll list the catalogue of disasters that we experienced.

On the way back from Tec-moto, Antonye breaks one of his tie-downs meaning we miss our planned 1pm leaving time.

As we are loading up the bikes on the trailer, his daughters pull off the rear-view mirror in the car. We turn a molehill into a mountain by trying to force it back onto the mount and end up cracking the windscreen.

45 minutes after heading off, Antonye feels the car go squirrelly and sees the lorry behind us flashing us frantically. I look in the side mirror in time to see a shower of rubber pellets come off the back followed by a black hoop spinning off – we’ve had a blowout. Coincidentally, Antonye gets a call from Ericthered who offers to bring the spare wheels from Antonye’s house. Unfortunately, one of them has a puncture and the other one has perished sidewalls. Fortunately, Eric manages to persuade the tyre garage to open up again and fit a couple of new tyres.

As we know we are in for a bit of a wait, we sit up on the embankment on some folding chairs. After about 20 minutes we come back down again as we both receive a big dose of hay-fever.

Once Eric arrives we change the wheel in record time. It was starting to rain at this point and, as I only had one spare t-shirt, I stripped down to my vest. I did not appreciate Antonye’s “ladyboy” comment. ¾ of a mile down the road we hear another bang – we’ve blown the second tyre. Fortunately, Eric was right behind us. Further investigation shows we had put the tie-down on the wrong way so the hook was right next to the tyre….

Upon arriving at the circuit, we regale the group with our woes. We get to the point where we describe the backwards tie-down hook only to see that it has come away altogether.

After a bit of work to the bikes, we head off to my mate Darren’s house for a few hours kip. Wake up at 5am with throbbing pain in my left jaw – swollen gland – great! When I pointed it out to Antonye he wondered what I was talking about, until I turned my face so he could see both sides at the same time. “Oh….” was about all he could say at 6 o’clock in the morning.

I’ll stop here and leave my detailed account of the day for another post but I would like to say a few “thank you’s”;
Martin (748Mart) – a true gent who pitched in whenever anybody needed help.
CK & AK – for the loan of the brake lever. I only used it for 10 minutes but returned it clogged with grass. Charlotte was polite enough not to mention the ball of grass at the end of the peg.
Eric (Ericthered) – for making a 100 mile round trip for a couple of knuckleheads, and the moral support. Star.
Annette – for being there, and supporting my decision.
The Perrin kids – for laughing at my jokes.
Antonye – for putting up with my mechanical incompetence.
And to everyone else that made the day so enjoyable for me. I won’t be riding in future rounds but I will be there supporting a fantastic bunch of people.

Cheers, Chi
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Old 06-Jun-2005, 11:34 AM
Dibble Dibble is offline
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far from Chicken mate, thats 10 minutes longer than a lot of people will ever truly be involved in racing fo.

You have my respect.

See you for a ride out and Dim sum soon .....

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Old 06-Jun-2005, 11:35 AM
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DSC Member AK AK is offline
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Respect to you Chi, for your decision

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Old 06-Jun-2005, 11:40 AM
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DSC Member Jools Jools is offline
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It takes more courage to be true to yourself
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Old 06-Jun-2005, 11:44 AM
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I agree - you've given it a go. A lot of people don't get that far. You've got nothing to be ashamed of and I'm impressed with the way you've taken this decision.

Chin up fella and it will be good to have your support at future rounds

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Old 06-Jun-2005, 11:46 AM
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DSC Region Organiser skidlids skidlids is offline
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Chi its good to see you stand by your decision and give what I find a enjoyable but dangerous hobbie a miss. It takes guts to make that sort of decision when in a paddock full of your peers so all credit to you for doing so.
It reminds me of another rider I have a lot of respect for, he always wanted to race at the IOM and after spending a lot of money to get there he did one lap of practice then put the bike in the back of the van and said NOT FOR ME.
Sometimes you just have to strike the right balance in what you do.
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Old 06-Jun-2005, 11:50 AM
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Respect to you for being honest with yourself.
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Old 06-Jun-2005, 12:11 PM
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chicken chicken is offline
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thank you all for your support.

I also feel it is appropriate at this point to change my avatar.
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Old 06-Jun-2005, 12:17 PM
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A tough decision to make but ultimately the right one if you're not 100% committed to it.

As the others have said there is no shame in not continuing (it's not quitting...) the racing as you've been there and given it a try.

Thanks for the help and support over the race weekend and also the testing trackday. Make sure you come along and a bit of support my way wouldn't go amiss at future rounds

BTW, anyone want any spares off his bike before I give it back?
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Old 06-Jun-2005, 12:18 PM
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dickieducati dickieducati is offline
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you big baby!

no, as everyone has said totally respect your decision and you should only have to answer to one person; yourself.

if its what you wanted to do, then its the right decision.
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