24hr Endurance Race
(7 - 8 December 2013)
T – 3648 hours
So… this epic count-down starts a few months ago when Nienke phones with some silly request, “Will you be part of an all-chickens 24hr team?”
This would be for the BikeSA 24hr Endurance race held on 7 & 8 December 2013.
Her reply when I asked ‘why me?’ was that they knew I was mieliepap arm & couldn’t help the team financially. They also knew I haven’t been on a superbike in years & would probably be sluismot slow. But they thought I was ‘special’ so they asked… I don’t know how I get myself into these things – but the answer was YES!
We had our first spirited team meeting. There was a team, meat & spirits. We were off to a good start.
T – 1296 hours
We got a VERY generous sponsor from Rookie who offered his Suzuki 750 for us to use, but not only to race – for practice too! We had a few days out in the field & day by day the chickens were turning into hawks.
Every one of these chickens is (s)TUFF(ed), but this one…! Sandi broke her femur on 26 August during some MX training. Considering that Sandi is midway to 100, we didn’t know if she would be ready to race. At our first practice we had to help her onto & off the bike.
T – 20 hours
African Bank Racing Sisters!
We registered the team on Friday & Auntie Sue gave every chicken a rose. NOT TO EAT, Nienke!
T – 18 hours
There were a few changes to the team during the planning stages, but we ended up with 6 gggghot… I mean – FAST chickens; Judith Kerr as our manager for the day; & Brendan as the mechanic. Not sure if working with the chickens OR working on the bike was harder work? Kekkle-kekkle!
T – 2 hours
At riders briefing all the teams still looked fresh & ironed.
We called ourselfs the B-team… the 32-B team!
T – 1 hour
Zoë, being our little speed demon was sent out for qualifying. She is only 17 years old & has only ever raced a 250cc before. What helped is that with the 250cc, they don’t really ever use the brakes. She applied the same principle here…
Out of 42 teams that entered the race, we started at spot 31 with a time of 02:12.
T - nada
The time had come…
The chickens were out on parade, some with fewer feathers than others.
Masochist on the left… …bikes on the right
Our chicken flapped her wings…
We lost a few spots, but it was just safer to stay out of the rush-hour traffic.
T + 1 hour
The chickens had three goals:
To finish the race!
To do the best we can!
To have as much fun as possible (…this was the most important goal)!
At the end of the half hour session we would get this sign going into corner 1. You had exactly 5 minutes to get your boude back to the pits & gooi another rider on the seat. Be late – and you lose laps!
T + 2 hours
We had Sheridan Morais on the track – literally!
It was time for a rider change. We had another 17 year old in the team & although she’s never raced before, she went out like a pro!
T + 3 hours
T + 4 hours
SANDI PITCHERS KEEL
T + 5 hours
Can you imagine – a speed trap on the track?!? But as there were very strict rules per class they made 100% sure that you did not go too fast in the class you were allocated. Some of the faster teams had to actually slow down during some sessions, & some of them took the punishment of a few laps rather than lose a few seconds.
T + 6 hours
THE CHAIR! Being next rider up, you had to be fully kitted & ready to draf 5 minutes before the end of the next session. ME – keeping warm THE CHAIR!
SKINNY VAN SCHALKWYK
T + 7 hours
Multi-tasking… by Donovan!
T + 8 hours
You put your left leg in… You put your…
T + 9 hours
T + 10 hours
T + 11 hours
The view, when riding at midnight!
Midnight snack got a whole new meaning – Louis braai-ed us a few hamburgers on a small gas stove. YUM-YUM!
T + 12 hours
I was merrily minding my own race line when I saw a few extra light ahead pointing my way?!? Both me & the rider ahead slowed down, but okie behind us saw a gap & shot past us on the left – straight over the oil spill. Sien sy gat & sommer the other two riders’ gatte too…
End of the inside straight, there’s another victim & after the long straight as well…? Was the guys getting tired? What was going on?
Next up we see a yellow vadoek… & only then when we sat up & slowed down did we realize that it was drizzling!
Safety car out & we did a follow-my-Lantra for 3 sessions.
T + 13 hours
It eventually stopped raining, but the track was wet till about 6am.
T + 14 hours
Ghost-town at 2am.
T + 15 hours
Klasie-Vakie caught up with Sandi…
…but she soon left him eating sand korrels.
Fresh rider please!
T + 16 hours
Guess what position we were in!!!
T + 17 hours
We were freezing our eyeballs into ice cubes, but the team did not stop!
T + 18 hours
Bank robber… hi-jacker… fuel-filler! Multi talented, ek sê!
T + 19 hours
Hmmumhh…? You want to what?
T + 20 hours
I ran out of skuiwe! Purely because of laziness. After 20 hours of racing, you just don’t have it in you to move your bum off the seat anymore…
T + 21 hours
I’m not sure we want to ask what you were doing here Nienke? Guess boredom was setting…
T + 22 hours
Last rider change for Skinny!!!
T + 23 hours
Ek kan nie meer nie korporaal…!
T + 24 hours
Nienke standing ready to take last shift …& off she goes!
SKAAK MAT! Oh… wrong game!
T + 25 hours
Everyone looking a bit moeger than 24 hours ago…
Except the B-team – that is…
LOTS OF THANKS TO:
We had Wonder Woman on our side - Judith Kerr our team manager!
The man of our dreams - Brendon Hilt! One that could keep our motor running… through rain, sunshine & PMS!
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