The LCGB supported Production Class makes for very close racing, however, our man, Barrie Braithwaite – who was leading the championship – fell off and broke his collarbone and a finger at Darley Moor.
He shall henceforth be known as Broken Bazza. The worst thing is that the medics cut off his custom SLUK race leathers obtained from RST.
Having seen the footage, which showed the crash as a live feed on the BSSO Facebook page, Barrie said it was the most mincing crash he’s ever had. Or words to that effect.
Darley Moor 21/22 May 2016
Rocking up to Darley Moor in the drizzle is never a nice experience, especially when the paddock is full and the grassed areas notoriously dodgy to park on – unless you have a Massey Ferguson to hand that can pull you off…
We ended up pitching camp in the middle of a gravel-laid quagmire which began to resemble the third battle of the Somme late on Saturday night, or so I’m told. The weather could not decide what to do on Saturday morning, raining one minute sunny the next, so I took to the track for practice shod in one wet tyre and one dry, the rear being the wet which was brand new and needed scrubbing in. As it happened the track was dry and the effect on handling was interesting to say the least, with the wet shod rear wobbling around all over in a straight line.
Deciding to opt in the middle as the weather was still changeable, I fitted my Continental tyres – reasoning that they were more of an intermediate compound – and headed off to the grid. As is becoming normal, Hammy was first out of the blocks and leading into the first corner with a Group 6 machine separating us. Heading down the long back straight I slip-streamed the Group 6 and pulled out to try and pass Hammy on the brakes into the Paddock bend, but didn’t quite pull it off. On the next lap we were side by side down the straight and I managed to get in front going into the bend when for no reason that I can think of I ran wide, clipped the grass. I almost got it back when my back wheel hit a rumble strip that had no business being there and was as high as a curb, kicking the rear wheel into the air and sending the scooter sideways. The result being that my shoulder hit the floor first and my collarbone tried to vacate the premises through my arsehole.
A quick note of caution to anyone falling off at Darley Moor; don’t expect medical treatment in a hurry. I can vaguely recall three different people trying to get the doctor and ambulance to attend but I was sat there with bits hanging off me unable to even open my visor for what seemed like an eternity. Eventually I ended up in the medical hut where I was pumped full of morphine and despatched to Derby hospital and an A&E department crawling with smack-heads. A broken collarbone, skinless forearm, broken right index finger and a battered right hand was the diagnosis. Back at the paddock a vandalised set of leathers where they had to be cut off and a knackered helmet awaited me, along with ankle deep mud and incessant rain. I went home.
A lot of people helped after I went grass tracking and I’m not going to name them, they all know who they are but I would like to say that without that help I would have been right in the shit. So thank you to the nameless, you all know I owe you a very big drink.
Lee Hollick’s Darley Moor gallery
Incidentally, we understand that there are rapid recovery options for injured athletes, involving oxygen chambers and fit nurses. If anyone in the North East has contacts who can arrange rapid recuperation for Broken Bazza, please get in touch.
He has an entry for Cadwell – the next round – and is currently trying lots of alternative therapies in a bid to recuperate in time. Whoever said lots of gentle movement would help with the healing? As if repetitive wrist movement ever made anyone feel better…
Barrie’s ‘Postcard from the Infirmary’
If you have never thought about riding in some decent kit before, have a look at these photos and think again. I binned it at around 60mph, possibly a bit slower, and the first point of impact was my shoulder. The armour in my RST leathers has taken a battering but it’s done what it was supposed to do and absorbed a lot of impact, and actually left me with some skin.
I did lose some bark up my forearm and had a ride in an ambulance to be diagnosed with a broken left collarbone and a broken right index finger and battered hand. Unfortunately the paramedics had to cut my leathers off, the best set of leathers I’ve ever had by the way, but despite still being in mourning over them at least I didn’t go sliding down the A1 wearing a flight jacket and Levi jeans. Imagine having melted nylon mingling with open wounds and compound fractures…
The other thing to look at is my Shark Carbon helmet. I’ve had it nearly two years now and back when I first reviewed it for that magazine we all used to work for, I said that I couldn’t think of a better helmet to be wearing if I face planted the Tarmac. Well I have done just that and I’m extremely pleased to say it hasn’t made a liar out of me. The damage may look slight but after my shoulder hit the floor my head followed and I dropped the best Glasgow kiss yet seen outside the Gorbals onto Darley Moor’s start finish straight.
I walked away without the slightest bit of head trauma, so please, if you haven’t already, think about investing in some decent riding kit. You only have one head so why stick it in a coal scuttle? Shark more than did me proud.
Barrie is currently on the look-out for sponsors to help kit him back out again.
While the absolute points table currently shows Barrie trailing the points in the LCGB-sponsored Production Class, once the race drops are taken into account he reckons he’s still in the lead so there’s everything to play for. Team SLUK may yet prove victorious.
Anyone interested in supporting him with clobber should contact firstname.lastname@example.org