TG Newsletter: 24HR ENDURANCE RACE

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)!

 

LINDI LOMBARD

 

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!

 

DAPHNE LANG

 

T + 3 hours

 

NIENKE FERGUSON

 

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

 

ZOë BOSCH

 

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…

 

Juice please!

 

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

 

Prize Giving

 

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!

 

 

HONESTY NEWSLETTER!

 

If you're familiar with the rural concept of the honesty bar, this honesty newsletter ain't much different...   I'm a completely un-paid journalist, relying instead on readers using the honour system.  You read the newsletter and then leave an amount you see fit for the entertainment you've received.

 

If you don't find it particularly amusing, then you fork out NO dosh.  I won't stop sending you the letter – it is still mahala to those that count their coins and... I love sharing my stories.

 

As requested by my overseas readers, you can donate to this newsletter on my PayPal account: skinny@tankgirls.co.za

OR...

You can do an EFT transfer to the account below.

 

Gooooooooooo!

Skinny

 

www.tankgirls.co.za

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YouTube: Skinny van Schalkwyk

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