Jeff’s doing his bit for international diplomatic relations with a pre-season trip to Spain. Extradition proceedings anyone?
“Ou est the ******g beach an’ that por favor?” Y’know I don’t know what’s wrong with these Spaniards – they can’t even understand their own lingo. Ask a simple question and they stare at you as if they’ve opened the front door to a naked Jonny Vegas claiming he’s a Jehovah’s Witness.
I don’t want to insult your intelligence but unless you’re as thick as Jordan’s bra wire you’ll realise that this month’s instalment comes from sunny Spain.
I gotta admit it makes a change from penning this from my damp, dingy boudoir. I’ve finally been shoe-horned off the sofa by Rosco’s urgency to get away from the doom and gloom of the UK and head south to warmer climes. I mean, it’s not as if you wake up straight from your jimmy jams and onto a sun-drenched track in Britain at the moment (unless your cold has turned to fever making you delirious).
So far it’s been a decision well made. That’s not to say the journey hasn’t been fraught with the usual cock ups, the likes of which I now gratefully except as a way of life. I appreciate these moments will fill my head with blissful memories when my body seizes up on the final lap of the moto of life.
It was decided by all concerned at Bronco Racing that the Fun Bus 2 would stay anchored up at home and we’d cane the axles off a hire van. Like any top teams the logistics are essential for a smooth operation so, after playing scissors/paper/stone, Rosco had the job of sorting it out and he got a Sprinter van from a geezer called Mark for minimal dough. We were catching the Friday night ferry so Rosco called in that morning to collect the van – and that’s where our luck ran out…
“All right mate, I’m here to collect the Sprinter from Mark.” “Mark?” said the pizza-faced YTS trainee, “nobody called Mark works here mate.” So £550 and some colourful language later we had a Ford Trannie.
Four hundred yards down the road Rosco relieved some tension by giving it a dent when he locked up after seeing some doughnuts in a baker’s window. After a quick get together with Revs and Wayne from Eastpak bags to look at the new equipment, we had a brief fly-by to Perrett Palace to throw everything we needed into the van of love. That’s no exaggeration, it wasn’t packed neatly – even my full-factory 50cc Rieju was treated with disrespect.
On the ferry I called Ben ‘Weaver’ Taylor and threw him a huge porkie by telling him we were already south of Paris. You see, we had this race thing going on as to who would be at Mark ‘Totti’ Eastwood’s house first. Trouble was, we were already last behind the TFWV (Taylor, Fuller, Williams, Verbeeten) team and the rest of the Dixon Yamaha squad.
To say we gave all we had to give to the Trannie is a fair assessment. We had more than our share of scary moments as we fired through the ice and snow covering all but the very south of France. The worst came when I was dabbing the brakes to make my co-pilot do his best nodding dog impressions while he was out cold and dribbling. Unfortunately, while having my fun she got away from me and I slid into the kerbing. Rosco didn’t sleep on the road after that – which was a bonus because I didn’t have to wake him up just so he could muster more warm water to defrost the wipers with again. Desperate times, desperate measures. It was all worthwhile as we blitzed the Yamaha boys with 120k to go and sailed past the TFWV team within 50k of our destination. I hadn’t tasted the sweet twang of victory for some time.
The following day was like a British champs at the local practice track as we were joined by the Smyth Bros, the RWJ squad and even Pete Mathia, a Brit champ of yesteryear, was there topping up his tan. The track was rougher than some of the things I’ve seen in the top-shelfer mags out here but perfect for setting up suspension. It was so good we decided to return the next day. I wish we hadn’t.
After pulling in to buy fuel for both bikes and the van and get some brekkie we were happily head-banging to AC/DC when the Trannie started to cough and splutter… “That was diesel you put in, Rosco?” I enquired – that look of ‘I’ve forgotten her birthday’ indicated quite possibly that it wasn’t. I’ll shoulder half the blame as I drove up to the pump but I’m disappointed eye-witness Danny Smyth kept schtum.
I think Danny’s the sadistic one of the two Smyth Bros as his angelic brother, Jody, was so considerate he even got his lips around the syphoning hose after Rosco had lost his tan and nearly spewed trying to suck the petrol out. In the meantime, Totti had gone to get some more diesel – but returned without any after leaving it on the garage forecourt. Ya see, our influence rubs off!
Then, on top of this calamity, we also had two flat tyres on the van – I hope the hire company’s reading this! Thankfully, our stress was eased that evening with a massage and yes, it was all above board. We’re at a track now as I pen this and, once again, the circuit is blinding – along with the sun. Today we’ve been testing DEP’s ’03 exhaust system with Craig Elwell and his R+D henchman Berv (in this case, I think R+D means red and dangerous).
The bike’s going awesome, especially with standard jetting. I on the other hand have been very poor, in every sense. So I was made up when the owner of the circuit charged us half price because he hadn’t watered the track since the previous night and it was windy – like that’s his fault. Hmmm, a GP-standard circuit to ride all day while the sun burns your neck, all for 10-Euros. You even get to shower and wash your kit before you throw the bikes in the van. I think the term ‘there’s no place like home’ is a loose expression!
See ya all when – or if – I return… El Jeffro Xxx