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Gone... but not forgotten: C2C 2006

Dave Hepworth

Once again the C2C has come and gone but all too quickly.  This was my second C2C and my weekend was just as enjoyable as last year.  Gone was my Honda PA50 Camino; this year's run was done on a 1982 Honda C50 (version C).  This little machine performed perfectly, which was a pleasant relief after last year's punctuated and sometimes perambulatory performance of my Camino.

A Bown in trouble
A Bown in trouble - "but the back wheel's going round..."

Saturday evening was spent in the company of the lads from Granadaland along with copious amounts of real ale.  Post-traumatic stress counselling was administered to Pete Moore, whose Mini-Motor refused to start from the last time he used it (which was about 2 months previously).  He kept mumbling something about crankcase seals and excessive play in big-end bearings - poor chap did not stand a chance!  Next time we meet we shall continue our conversation about 'The Blues' Pete!

Sunday saw our climb up to Hartside in very wet and extremely dense mist.  My little Honda climbed up the summit working hard in top gear all the way.  The engine note was almost musical and never missed a beat - an enduring memory.

Once at the summit I witnessed visions of Frank Brzeski on Big Percy - he was braking as hard as he could to pull into the checkpoint, but to no avail.  The whole bike was shuddering and wobbling under the tremendous conflict between applied friction and forward momentum (and anybody who has watched Frank on his Mini-Motor in full flight will know what the latter means! - Ed). The result was severe overshooting and the near quick and precipitous descent from Hartside into the hinterlands of Cumbria and beyond!

At the top of Hartside
At the top of Hartside, looks more like December than June

The night before I remember Frank saying (over much real ale) how the wet weather would improve his chances of a fast ascent of Hartside due to the 'limited slip' effect of engine roller on wet tyre.  However Frank, you did not take into account that this welcome reduction in friction could prove rather unwelcome in the braking department due to wet rubber brake pads.  The other downside to this reduction in friction is an apparent rise in adrenalin output into the body.  This phenomena was made apparent by the spontaneous and unrestrained utterance of expletives such as "bloody hell" from the likes of rider and spectator!

Caught up with Peter Crowder and Cyclemaster just at the end of Uldale Common.  I then had difficulty in keeping up with said Cyclemaster on the descents into Basenthwaite.  He really was going for it.  When I had a chance to ask him if he was still using the 16cc Cyclemaster he said not.  After pedalling for about 60 miles the previous day he had had enough and dropped his 'souped up' 32cc unit into the bike.  Discretion being the better part of valour somehow springs to mind!

Following the Granadaland crew
Somewhere 'oop north' on the C2C, following the Granadaland crew.
The lead riders are showing the Cross of St George
on their helmets in proper Pikhalbe style.

After Basenthwaite, Whitehaven and its Beacon soon heralded the end of another wonderful C2C weekend.  As I said last year it is well worth considering - you will not regret it.  The joy of an open road on a small machine, in spectacular scenery.  Good company and laughs - with real ale at Alston on the Saturday night.  It all amounts to another great gig!

First published, August 2006

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