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Marshalling days are a bit special to me, my Family all do it when we can for bike racing, from club level to MotoGP, we work for the clubs and ACU and also do World Superbike and some British Superbike rounds, me and my two sons are in a group of bike racing nuts cristened the Cadwell clique, we travel around the UK to the circuits and below is the tale of a one day trip to Croft circuit near Darlington in the North East of England we did yeaterday

Friday night and everything is ready, bike prepped and due to an early finish from work has new oil and filter, new rear tyre and freshly lubed chain and controls and its now time for bed due to the early start, sleep however did not happen, was it exitment was it fear of Gary (Honda 600 f) getting lost on the A1, Steve (R6) running out of fuel, who knows but after a few minutes sleep it was time to hit the road, Nathan my 19 year old son on pillion we set off in the dark to get to the meet up for 0530, Markham moor services in the dark at 0510 even when drinking hot coffee is a desolate place, but was cheered by the rumble of the clique arriving, Lee (ZZR1400), Steve, Gary and Anje (Triumph Legend) rolled in for fuel and coffee and after the usual banter off we went, I think we all now realise that the speed limits in the UK are dire, 80mph on five lane sections of the A1, feels like your doing 30mph, and being passed by poxy cars and vans doing 90 to 100mph was difficult to take for some of us, (me)! but we said 80MPH for comfort and economy and thats what we did, arriving at Croft with stiff legs and Hunger 157 miles from home at 0710, to find nowhere to get out of the cold, No cafe and No free breakfast, basically just an old airfield with a burger van and a series of gaden sheds near, but not at the marshal posts!!! what a huge dissapointment Croft circuit was in that respect! It bought back to all how good we have it at Cadwell and Mallory parks and even to a lesser extent Donington, with well appointed cafes for breakfast, bars and real toilets not porta loo's. We signed on and then met up with the early starters Beautiful Lucy and her consorts Rich and Simon, we then sat on a pile of wood (after we all ate sausage in a bun( £3 ) which was interestingly and"expertly" only cooked in two thin strips down each side, apart from Steve who managed to get sausage bacon eggs beans chips mushrooms two rounds of toast some random flies and a small grilled rabbit in his breakfast roll), for a couple of hours waiting for the start of the action, at 0845 we hit our posts, Me Gary and Steve had the deep gravel of Claervuax, Nathan Lee and Anje chicane, and Lucy Rich and simon somewhere out in the wilds, the racing was genrally OK exept for our favourite Sidecars, which due to a lack of numbers was a bit dissapointing.
We had a number of visitors to the gravel including Yamaha600 number 5 who liked us so much he kept coming back, no injuries though which is more than can be said for the chicane team who had some bad fast ones, which they all handled in the usual fast and exellent clique way, me and Steve also did some gravel diving, you should try it just try running as fast as you can in a gravel trap, its great fun!! and after his usual easy ride as sector marshal at the other gravel trap we work at Donington, Gary now knows how difficult running with a bike on a strop through the traps is, and also how me and steve keep our svelt thourghbread figures by doing it!!
The day was as usual delayed due to fallers and reds and DP thought it would be a good Idea to keep running races till midnight if possible, we finally finished trackside at about 1815, and warmed by the whole 10 minites of sunshine we had all day it was time to start for home, we had to make a stop for fuel pretty quick due to Garys Honda needing to fill up every hour!(surely a cbr600 should get better than 120miles to a tank of fuel) and set off for the A1 Leeming bar services, guess what fuel station shut down, no worries I know a shell station 4 miles south, Gary now running on empty we got there to hear, "Sorry shutting down due to roadworks next year, no fuel"!! ***.

Seems there is a conspiracy or a new game of endurance being run by fuel stations, its called lets not sell fuel for 100 miles but not tell anyone about it cos then recovery can charge £10 per litre!


Gary and anje now sweating a bit!!!, nearest fuel on A1 25 miles (not a hope for Gary), or off A1 near Thirsk 9 miles, off we went to Thirsk (nice/not), arriving 5 Minutes before closing, pwew!!, next hour was a usual tale of jolly japes, fun and mayhem in the clique away day fashion, off we go with Lee leading back to the A1, taking a short diversion to see the school car park in Masham! (a little known bike destination it seems well it is now, LOL), then on to the A1 where lee dicides Northbound would be fun and goes onto the Northbound slip, the rest of us wanting to get home via Markham Moor and not Edinburgh head onto the south bound slip and stop to wait for Lee to come back........... exept for Steve who buggers off south at a great rate of knots. Lee comes back and informs us that he cannot see as his helmet lining is slipping over his eyes, always handy when your riding a ZZR1400! sorted we set off after steve who I expect will have stopped at the next junction when he realised we were not with him.........., we pull off the A1 at next junction, no Steve, but Gary said he saw a bike going back Northbound that could have been him!!! waiting and calling steves phone eventually bought results! he was on the hard shoulder 10 miles south of us, well noticed Steve......! off we go again with the phrase HURDING CATS coming to my mind, anyway off we go again and we all moved onto the hard shoulder to let steve tag on, exept for Lee who just pushed on, having probably not even seen him, (souomy helmet linings eh) anyway we shook out into our usual traveling positions, me leading the herd on the Daytona forllowed by steve slipsteaming me for fuel economy, Lee, Anje then gary dreaming of 25MPG, (dream on mate you need to get a new bike mate think of the planet! 675's are great) and we stop at Bawtry to say "see ya" to Anje, who deserves a special mention for hanging onto her unfared Triumph at 80mph for 5 hours on her first clique away day. We then we pushed on to markham moor for fuel and Coffee with a cheeky cheeseburger to keep body and soul together, apart from Steve who had one of everything, with a large diet coke on the side as he is watching his figure. We split up and me and Nathan were at home eating Spaghetti bolognese by 2200hrs, we all seemed to agree we had a fantastic day, and being with great mates on a day out with bikes is fantastic, and we may just do some rideouts to sit and watch the traffic on the M1 out of season cos the craic and banter with the clique is enough to make the weekend brilliant, racing or not!

Totals for day 18 hours from getting up to getting home 9 and a half hours trackside, six hours riding (approx) 350 miles with detours for fuel etc, Ciggarettes smoked None (yea me) enough fun and memories to last a long time, roll on next meet up two days at cadwell in two weeks time.
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Interesting read doodledog. I take my hat off to all Marshals, without you there would be no motorcycle sport. I used to do Grasstrack racing (in my miss-spent youth:))and always appreciated the efforts of the marshals who enabled me to have fun on the track at the weekends. I have fallen on a few occasions and it is always a marshal that get's there first to assist. I know that being a marshal can be difficult sometimes, having to be on duty come rain or shine but you obviously get a lot out of it.
 
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