Cadwell 2011 Review

Russell Brown

Tue 9 Aug 2011

Ixion at Cadwell 15

Fifteen years eh? With the sad demise of both the Beezumph and Motorcyclefolly, Ixion at Cadwell is now, AFAIK, the longest established trackday still running in the UK... if not the World! Crumbs! Whodathunkit?

It was really nice to see so many familiar faces year after year (and some old ones returning Hi Reg!); we must be doing something right and it's all credit to you guys for making it (certain Woodcocks excepted!) a fun and friendly place to be.

I still miss Amanda's organisation; specially for the meal side of things but thanks to Bob Moody and others for substituting. See comments/suggestions re. the Shed in a later post.

Despite the weather on Thursday afternoon (we really must have seriously offended the Weather Gods at some point) people seemed to be having fun and I certainly did, playing splashy games on my Mille with full race wets although I didn't actually get on track till around 11 o'clock as I was in the office trying to sort out the evening sessions.

It turned out that Brands Hatch had neglected to inform Cadwell that we had the evening booked and they hadn't rostered any staff to cover!

At first it looked unlikely that anything could be done but most of the marshalls and medics rallied round and, supported by several office staff donning the orange overalls, we had enough to man the circuit for an extra hour and a half. Huge thanks to the people at Cadwell; I'm damned sure they wouldn't have done this for any other trackday.

Anyway, huge kudos to those playing on road tyres and keeping it shinysideup (although I did notice quite a few running onto the grass rather than chancing leaning the bike further; a questionable strategy in my opinion).

Err.... speaking of Shinysideup.... yeah OK I admit it; a certain organiser of Motorbicycling trackdays for the Ixion mailing list at Cadwell Park did manage to have a woopsie on his Mille... on the chequered flag lap.... whilst wearing an instructors bib!! Oh Blush!! Oh Shame! Oh Infamy, infamy, they've all....

I'd noticed the front brake on the Mille was doing bugger all when I loaded her onto the trailer..... couldn't find my MightVac bleeder (found out today who I'd lent it to... Grrr..) so I bought some fresh DOT4 fluid on the way to Cadwell, bled the front brake on the Wednesday evening and all seemed fine.

In the last session before lunch the front brake again went 'long' so with assistance from mechanics, mechanical engineers, experience bods and other ne'er-do-wells I again bled the front brake and it returned to normal.

Having done this and with the bleed nipple locked down and a clear hose with some fluid in it still attached; the system suddenly burped a dozen bubbles from the hole in the bleed nipple. Huh? Where did that come from and how did it get through the tightened nipple? Nobody had touched the system for several minutes; it just burped out the gas.

Much more discussion ensued with my favorite theories being:

  • a) My brakes are Haunted.
  • b) There's a flatulant life form living in the brake fluid.
  • c) Something was corroding and generating hydrogen.
  • d) It's impossible and we were all hallucinating.

I bought into option (d) and went out on the bike for a bimbly try and everything turned out fine and dandy. A session or two later Nick asked me to go out with him in the Piglets and do some instructing which I gladly did.

Having ridden round for half a dozen laps with Nick, I waved byebye and finding some clear space in front of me upped the pace a smidge. Exiting the old hairpin I gave the Mille a roll on the throttle, as one does cos it goes Vrrrooooommm so nicely, and then found myself approaching the rear of another bike going into Barn, pulled on the front brake to scrub some speed off, found my fingers trapped twixt the lever and the bars, saw the bike in front coming back towards me, panicked and reflexively pressed the rear brake. Wooops!!! BadIdea(TM)... Crunch!!!!

I picked myself up, helped load the Mille into the recovery van, then seriously considered jumping over the tyre wall and legging it as I knew the ribbing I was about to get!

One slight amusement was the medic (a new face to me) who rolled up, checked I was OK then proceeded to fill in the "You've crashed you muppet so need to get the trackday organiser to sign you back on" form... handed it to me, I promptly signed it and handed it straight back to him informing him that I *was* the organiser! 'Feck Me', he said, 'First time *that's* ever happened!' :-)

Arriving back in the paddock in the recovery van everyone was very kind for at least four milliseconds and then ripped the piss for the next 48 hours :-{

It really was a very very silly little crash at bugger all mph. I could have ridden round that corner five times faster and it was only because I was sitting on the bike with the instep on my right foot on the peg that my panic reaction managed to press the rear brake pedal and send me spinning off. Ho Hum.

Other folk on Thursday all got away with a few minor woopsies mainly involving wet grass AFAIK except for Brummie Jon who stacked his GSX1100 (well I think it started life as one of them) on Charlies. According to the lady marshall on the corner it was at least five seconds after he'd crashed before he gave up trying to save it, still on the gas when the bike was at right angles to the track!

Sadly everyone in the Tiggers (having seen him hooning the old slab sided monster around for years at an unbelievable pace) concluded that it was kind of inevitable :-{

It turned out he'd only sprained his wrist and rejoined the fun and games on Friday when the sun came out to play with the rest of us.

The day was going really well and we'd not had one red flagged session either day when comming up Coppice I saw a waved yellow then, rounding Charlies, saw a marshall running along Park with a yellow flag in his hand.

'Oh Dear, oh dear, oh dear', thought Ruffle and true enough as Park straight hove into view it was seen to be littered with bits of ZX7R Kawasaki and the unmistakable sight of Wobblin Mayhem limping towards the tyre wall :-(

As Jon Collett commented; "it looked like the aftermath of a NATO air strike".

Fortunately Robin was sore but unbroken which is more that could be said for the bike but Bruce, the owner of the now dismantled Kawasaki, was mind bogglingly understanding about the whole thing and Robin's already sorted paying for the damage with him. Big Boys Rules and good to see them being honoured.

Druid's Idiot has already been thrashed to death (or so Druid hopes!) so I won't cover that again.

Friday evening was the normal rush to the Masons Arms for the dinner and yet again the organisation was put under pressure with 52 people sitting down when I had 47 on my list :-(

Post meal I spouted oblocks at everyone for a bit (sorry if I was a little disjointed; by then I was completely mullered and I'd developed the normal Ruffle at Cadwell sore throat) then the Lovely Alex stood in for Katrina and presented the 'Spirit of Ixion' award to Paul Hounslow.

Dinner and speeches out of the way most folk retired to the Kings Head and supped stuff till they chucked us all out and that was the end of another Ixion at Cadwell.

Thanks to everyone who helped out with signon, scruting, instructing etc. and the biggest thanks of all to the Ixies who make the event such a damned fine thing year after year.

I've given up pretending that I won't do it next year so.... roll on Ixion at Cadwell #16 in 2012.