Red mar­ley hill climb Great Whit­ley, Worces­ter­shire

Easter Mon­day

Classic Dirtbike - - Sporting Action - Words and pics: Timbrit­ton and Fiona Wat­son

Some­times an event is so sim­ple it takes your breath away… take Red Mar­ley Hill Climb for in­stance. There’s a start line, then 400 yards or so away there’s a fin­ish line. Four rid­ers line up at a time, the gate drops and the first two over the fin­ish line go through to the next round. As that cute – other points of view are avail­able – furry crea­ture on UK telly ads is fond of say­ing “sim­ples!” And it re­ally is that sim­ple to do. The bit which makes it dif­fi­cult is it’s up a hill which gets pro­gres­sively steeper nearer the end... and then gets re­ally steep very quickly at the end... oh, and there are three other rid­ers, none of whom will back off, aim­ing for the spot where you are. It is a very lev­el­ling ex­pe­ri­ence and just be­cause you’re mounted on a hy­per bike which sups methanol like it’s go­ing out of fash­ion doesn’t mean you’re bound to get through each round.

Take this writer for in­stance… not noted as a speed­ster and mounted on a road bike with scram­bles tyres on and the lights off – though for 2017 a smart small ca­pac­ity alloy tank was fit­ted in­stead of the huge steel one stan­dard on 650 Tri­umphs – I ac­tu­ally made the quar­ter fi­nals one year thanks to a se­ries of flukes and luck. The flukes were to be drawn in a class with only two rid­ers in (yes, I was sec­ond but both of us went through), then was drawn against a re­ally fast bloke who hit ‘The Pim­ple’ – as the top bit is called – at a zil­lion miles an hour, took off like a moon probe and landed with his bike in one county and him in an­other, which let me through. Then next time one lad didn’t make the start and an­other broke on the line… all of a sud­den I was among fast lads won­der­ing how that hap­pened... but that is the beauty of this event, things like that can hap­pen.

An­other year I drew re­ally fast guys in each of my first runs and went out af­ter one go. Yes, there are a few rid­ers who will be vy­ing for the win, but there are many more, like me, who go along for the ride. We don’t too­tle up and we’re keen to do our best but I know the only way I’ll win is if ev­ery­one else drops out, but it doesn’t stop me, or those like me from lin­ing up… con­cen­trat­ing on that gate and grab­bing a hand­ful of throt­tle when it drops.

Tom Crump flies high on his Jawa.

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