Saturday 23 August 2014

Practice is over....

What a week of mixed emotions, the lows at 18 miles and the absolute joy of seeing Emily Rayner-Evans complete a lap with Stuart on board. At that point the other pit crews in Parc Ferme watching from the wall with me must have thought I'd lost my marbles as I leapt around like a daft thing. Well I don't care I was just so happy for everybody who has been involved that we'd finally cracked it. Stuart had an analogy for what I had done it sort of goes, so you've decided to take up hill walking and decide that Everest would be a good place to start, that's what running a bike at the TT is like. 

So how did we get there? After finding the loose wire on the fuel pump I still wasn't convinced that that was the fault from Wednesday but all we could do was set out on Friday night and just hope that it was. As I said above yes the first lap came and went and Stuart was running at just over 91mph average for the lap, that's his first full lap in fourteen years so really pleased with that and for Stu. The second lap was just over 86mph and having heard from Steve Moody that Glen Helen was carnage with bikes and riders all over the place I guessed that this was the reason for the drop in pace, but no. We now think we know what stopped Stu on Wednesday, the rubber mounted clock assembly does move around and quite a lot it would seem. On the second lap the bike cut out as before and Stu pulled up into an old garage forecourt near Rhencullen, I had asked him that if Emily should stop again just check the switches are in the correct position. Well the main switch was off it had been hit by the clutch reservoir and killed the motor, a quick flick and he was off again. It did the same a couple more times and so Stu battled through to a second lap finish. Later that evening the toggle switch became a Manx cat version and was made shorter with the aid of my Dremel.

Not to late a night found a fuel hose chaffing on the rear rocker so a small fix applied and a belly pan that will make Del Whittaker smile when he gets to repaint it.

Good job Stuart, although he did say that he had a brown trouser moment at the bottom of Baggarrow to get the scrapes.

Saturday morning comes and Stuart's beauty sleep is ruined by an early start to be at scrutineering for 8.00am, again we sail through but the weather is not great. The start to practice is delayed and we need three more laps to stand any chance of qualifying. The almost unpredictable Manx weather clears and with the session lasting till 11.20 we have time for three laps, one down two to go and it starts to rain in Douglas, bugger as the session is cut short. We need that third lap to stand any chance of racing on Monday. Paul Baleta says to ask the Clark of the Course if we could tag on to a later practice and get that last lap in, we do and get the thumbs up to go out. A check over of Emily and again attend to the fuel hose, which should now be good, we are ready to go out. Stuart sets off and  a while later we hear of an engine blow and bad oil contamination so the red flags are out. My first worry is if Stu is involved and that he is OK, second is will the lap he is on count. I wait in the pit lane for him to return, as always it seems like an age but he does come past and I send him into Parc Ferme to park so we can check if his lap is valid. Off to the race office to see the secretary who is happy that Stu's lap will stand and it's his best so far at over 93mph. We can pack up for the day and await our fate, we'll find out Sunday if we are in. To finish today here's a shot by Keith "the clutch" Fothergill of Stuart and Emily at the Gooseneck.


  1. Just checked the start list... you're in! Well done guys!!!!!

  2. Thanks Paul, another full day here just going over stuff. See you Monday but the the weather looks poor.