It is time to introduce you to my other passion in life, motorsport. It may seem an odd bedfellow with cycling but the roots are deeply ingrained in me as I am named after a famous British rally driver.
I do generally like motorsport as a whole but my main sub-area of interest is rallying. There is just something about being in the woods, watching the rally cars, that appeals to me. Yes my Dad is largely to blame as he loves it too and took me as a child, but I have taken on the baton now and watch 30 or so different events a year.
Well this weekend has been all about the other passion from Friday afternoon until sunset Sunday. Today has been the highlight as I have been up in the beautiful North Yorkshire moors on a little known event, the Riponian Stages Rally.
The first special stage was truly wonderful as a 10 minute walk took me away from all other humanity and at one with nature, albeit fairly cold in an Easterly wind. So much so I even had two deer almost stumble in to me!
The actual rally stage was fairly treacherous as a light dusting of snow covered the ice, on the North facing slope, (image above). This had the potential to be interesting. A few crews had moments but all recovered okay and the pleasure of this view being solely mine was fantastic.
The rest of the day saw me travel to two further stages, each good in their own way, especially Boltby. This is a stage which requires a decent level of effort to get in to which puts of all but the hardiest of spectators, but the rewards are worth it. A 40 second plus view as the crews tackle three hairpins and a few other corners, all from one vantage point.
A lovely serene, hassle free near 170 mile journey home followed as the sun set on another good weekend. Great days where you feel really alive, where you return tired and ready for a good deep sleep, (I do value the simple things in life too).
It all goes to show what makes me tick, I am a hedonist. I love experiences and generally ones away from the mainstream. You will rarely find me shopping or sitting in front of the television for hours on end, chewing gum for the eyes.