“Last race of the Eastern League season saw a 150 mile round trip to Bury. When the rain started as I was packing the car I nearly went back inside, put the kettle on and stayed at home but with it being the last race and having missed a couple we headed off to the sound of some new tunes. Anyone heard the new Wild Beasts single?

Topic of the day early on was, unsurprisingly, tyre choice. The course was pretty dry considering all the recent rain so I plumped for the Fangos. The other head scratcher was the course being set up in reverse to last year. Splitting hairs, I prefer going round the other way but that’s just because I feel I’m better turning left than right. No idea why! Anyway, to prove my point, I came off three times. Two of which were fairly poor bits of bike riding, the other was due to someone else.

But overall I was very pleased. A nice wide start grid meant the rarified air of the second row on it. Usefully, and for a change, I made the most of it and headed off in the top 10, possibly still top 15 overall on the first lap. I thought my second lap was awful but looking at it on the lapometer, it was my second fastest! Then some dude from Norwich ABC couldn’t ride one of the banks and blocked me, meaning I slipped off, wasting a good few seconds. Max and Bruce went past soon after whilst I was still grumbling and grovelling for air. I just about managed to hold on and a biggish group stayed together for the next couple of laps. Max pulled away slightly with Phil Peacock but the rest of the group hung together. I came off again and almost took out Bruce whose nifty bike skills took him off course and through the tapes but, impressively, still upright. As we hit what turned out to be the final lap, our group was still together but in the final third I managed to catch the wheel of a Junior and followed him home to grab a top 20 (4th E/Vet). Max was 17th (3rd E/Vet) and Bruce was 23rd (6th E/Vet) So a good day with two Phoenix in the prize money.

Well done to Bruce who finished 4th in the E/Vet League standings. Having lead for a week many moons ago, I ended up 7th which is probably about right. I started well but lost a bit of form when I spent November in Belgium drinking beer. Everyone else spent November collecting points and racing well so chapeau to them. A fun season but time to clean up and spend a bit of time on the road…”

By Steven Drew

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