CAT TRIAL TABLE MESA 2008

CAT TRIAL TABLE MESA 2008

CAT TRIAL TABLE MESA 2008

One Armed Keith ready for sum’ drinkun!

Postponed twice from last December’s rains one of my favorite trials is on for Sunday 16 March
2008. Keith will have been busy repairing and rebuilding the roads but it still takes a good 30
minutes to cover the 4 miles from the main road. I still remember the first time Brenda and I
went to look at the place following a primitive map drawn on a bar serviette…….. follow gulch
…… first windmill bear right…… second windmill straight on. Still it is worth it when you get
there.

Brenda having “Taken 1 for the Team”

Today we have yet another problem as they have I-17 closed at Carefree while they take
down the bridge so we elect to take the New River road which works out well and we make it
to the Table Mesa exit without any problems. The road in seems rougher than usual and there
are some really nasty bits where the washes have raged through all Keith’s hard work. The
saving grace is the “team” have cut back all the nice desert plants and we make it without pin
striping the car.

Keith has a huge fire going and very soon is off collecting chairs and more wood with his
backhoe. Let the party commence! It has become a ritual for Brenda to entertain “mine host”
and today is no exception. The forecast is cooler with a chance of showers and Mike and Jim,
our trialsmasters have elected to go for “buddy check” which I always think is more fun anyway.

I’m Ready!

The trial gets under way at 0930 and my group is starting at 3. With all the flowing rivers on
the property the rocks are really beautiful with some amazing colors obviously denoting various
minerals and treasures deeper in the ground. Section 3 has a firmish wash sand entrance over
a couple of rock steps leading up to a left turn and drop into a hole before another uphill
twisting set of turns in deep wash sand. I take a dab on the uphill entry but have a good ride
to clean the rest. The others in my group don’t fair so well with a 5 from Mark crossing the tape
a multi dabber in the sand from our other member, Colin.

Every color in the rainbow

On round the loop to 4 which on our first visit was a bit confusing as the tapes didn’t match
the pie plates, but we all went through with a clean. Section 5 was just a short ride into
another riverbed with some running water and a real deep hole on the Int line. For us a gnarly
entry over some rocks for a down hill drop into more wash sand then loose rolly rocks, a
wriggle out of a small hole and then a slippery adverse to the exit, all of which the Cub takes
in it’s stride.

Just like Scotland

Now the fun starts trying to find section 6! We find 8 and get off the loop and end up in the
riverbed careering around over boulders as we wend our way up the valley and eventually
find 7. Jim is on hand and shows us the error of our ways and directs us to the start of 6. By
the time we get there we have had a pretty intense workout and any early morning stiffness
is long gone.

6 opens with a full bore climb out of the riverbed to a classic up and round the tree game
before dropping back into the rocks and setting up for another up and onto the bank game
and then a simple turn and descent to the exit. I stray off line and leave myself an awkward
approach to the last hill but I escape with a dab from what could have been a certain 5.

Now we are on the correct route, we tackle 7 which was probably the most technically difficult
section of the trial. A start on some savage looking needle granite setting up for a righthander
into a difficult gully with loose rocks and then crumbly dirt and shale on the adverse run up to
a climbing lefthander. If you get this far then a run round the hill before a steep long drop back
into the river and across the rock pile to the exit. My plan is good but lacks execution and I pay
the penalty with a 3 in the gully.

Follow the wacky loop marking and back to 8 which is a super little section with a sting in the
tail finish. Starting in the riverbed a ride up the cut then climb out onto a bank in the
undergrowth then an uphill sweeper onto a rock ledge before dropping back into the gully
and taking on the last uphill turn to the exit. This is an absolute classic if you can place the
front wheel on the far bank and loft it round the corner which gives a perfect line to the exit.
The plan works and I’m well pleased as the Cub responds to all commands and weight changes
on the new super footrests.

Another uphill workout (could easily have been another section) back to the path and then a
longish downhill run on the loop taking us back to 9 which is back in the other riverbed a little
way away from 3. Jim has given us a break here and a simple cross the river type section with
some deep wash sand and then an adverse blast to the exit. No problems here and back to
the start past Keith’s gorgeous orchard and see the team now in full flow around the campfire.
Doesn’t look like too many photographs today as entertaining is clearly the No1 priority.

Section 1 has a nasty little uphill across some roots. A high line here or the rear will lodge
against the big root for a 5 or a guaranteed dose of footwork. Drop back down the hill then
over a log to another up the bank and left hander coming off the bank. Shades of some
“over the bars” here if any front brake is used in that loose dirt. The first part goes as planned
but I turn a fraction late and take a safety dab to ensure I don’t fall foul of the “mind”. Colin
took a nasty fall over the bar when he locked the front brake and the bike landed on top of
him, he wisely decided to give the rest a miss and go and watch his son competing on the
TY175

Looking good on the way up 2

Our last section up by the start is No 2 and is a classic, balance and throttle control section,
with an uphill wander to a high righthander and then a series of downhill steps to the exit.
No problems here and so a first loop total of 6 which I hope to improve on next time round.

A quick burst of Gatorade at the fireside bar and off for loop 2. Power through section 3 for a
clean so 1 better than last time and now back to 4 which has been changed and not quite the
“gimmee” of the first loop but a good clean here and repeat performance on 5 to keep the loop
score on zero.

Follow the correct route, this time, and enjoy a pretty good workout on Jim’s loop which is
almost like a practice session. A rolling rock, no not the beer, throws me off line on 6 and puts
me in an even worse position to tackle the last uphill out of the river but the Cub responds
and with a lot of weight transfer I’m out with just a dab.

7 looks to be getting worse but stick to the plan I had envisaged and now the front floats
beautifully over all the obstacles and I’m through for a great clean! Now that’s more like it and
overall 4 better than last time. Cleans on 8 and 9 and now back to the start where the
drinking party are in full song! After asking the question “are you taking any shots today?”
I’m informed that  it has fallen to Brenda to entertain Keith and get him plastered so she is
“taking one for the Team!”

Back to 1 and the two traps seem to have got worse. The big root has got more exposed and
the final turning downhill has a lot more loose dirt. I see a couple of nasties here and also a
brilliant recovery from a not too brilliant line from young Mike Carlton who is looking a lot more
confident and professional today. Round the roots without a problem but can’t resist a panic
dab on that last downhill turn.

Up to 2 and the photographer is now at the top of the hill but looking a little shaky as far as
I can see. Another clean here and just the 2 lost on this loop so a good improvement. More
Gatorade and a nutty bar before setting off on the last loop which should be a pleasant run
as we still have 2+ hours to complete it in.

Another great clean on 3 and more cleans on 4 and 5 and then the fun ride up to 6. At last
get the line right and finally clean this one! 7 is a repeat performance but requires a bit of
wriggling but another pleasing clean, so arriving at 8 I’m still clean for the loop. Stick with the
plan but a little too much lofting spins me sideways and I take a dab right by the exit…it was
close! Straight through 9 and back to that tricky little section 1. Clean the roots and a perfect
position on the second turn and then with no intention of dabbing I manage to stall the motor
from a position that should have been a perfect clean….****!

The top turn on 2

Another easy clean on 2 and the photographer has made it again so a bit of showboating on
the exit to finish off a very enjoyable event. Total for the day 14, which should have been in
single figures, it takes the Twinshock class and also gives me a new trophy “The Low Score”
which is always doubly satisfying against all the new bikes.

Last Clean of the day on 2

Clean up done and we stop at New River for supper to round off an excellent day. I REALLY
love Keith’s Place!!

The Owner finishes another cocktail…. come back next year!

Tony Down  with hostess/photographer Brenda

Close on 150,000 words in 135 articles, find them all in ARCHIVES

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THE TWINSHOCK MOVEMENT

THE TWINSHOCK MOVEMENT

THE TWINSHOCK MOVEMENT

A combination bike of Ossa/DMW/Yamaha  all pre 74 components

It would seem from reading through all the threads on trials central that the twinshock
scene in the UK is starting to have all the development nonsense that is currently plaguing
the Pre 65 Trials group. Unless the ACU steps in and defines what the rules are it will
develop into another shambolic mess that is causing so much discontent with the Pre 65
Trials men.

For the same reason that we are seeing a slow but increasing awareness and enjoyment
of the 70’s twinshocks on this side of the Atlantic the UK scene is in full flow but seemingly
with little if any rules to guide the prospective competitors by. What will this mean? ….well
it will follow that another batch of “cheater bikes” will be produced and will no doubt ride
in classes that they are truly not eligible for.

BJ Racing’s reworked 1985? Honda Reflex

People love to use their skills and time developing something that gives them an edge in
competition, so rather than whine and complain about it give them a class where all those
talents can come to the fore. The ITSA scene has just that class, MODERN TWINSHOCK.
Very simple rules ANY MACHINE as long as it has Twin shocks, an air cooled motor and drum
brakes. Those ARE the rules, clear and simple, no requirements to cheat, put whatever else
you wish on the machine in any area and RIDE IT!

If you wish to adapt a late model twinshock for the job using lightweight materials, good
for you. If I were to venture into this then perhaps I might think of putting twinshocks on
something like the RTL Honda from the mid 80’s. They had a good air cooled engine, a good
riding platform and drum brakes….. all I need to do is take all the mono shock linkages out
and all the piping that was never pretty and fit some custom alloy falcons down the back
and you might have yourself a sweet handling machine.

Trevor Kemp’s “V Special” Majesty using “That frame” and Mono forks

I for one, think the ITSA rules are pretty clear and have a simple enough class system that
the top class can have any modifications you like for machines produced after 1979 and also
all the stock bikes of that period.

The Historic class is for bikes in the 73-79 zone and here you could argue that a
72 Ossa/Bultaco/Montesa is not much different to the 73 model so perhaps all Spanish 5
speeders should be in the same class and put into Historic and let that be and end to it.

The Pre Historic class has everything produced prior to 73 which seems a little unfair to be
humping a big old AJS through sections competing directly against a 72 Ossa MAR. Maybe a
few changes coming in that area, and why not while the Organization is still in it’s infancy.

However, you have the “Rules” and YOU decide which class you wish to ride in and on
what machine….. and of course there are still the three ability levels of Expert, Intermediate
and Novice.

Another thing I like about the ITSA format is the sections which are tailored to
the rider and the class. Take a standard trial and lay out 25 sections. 5 x A, 5 x B, 5 x C,
5 x D and 5 x E. The sections are lined with traditional blue and red tapes and have
conventional start and finish gates, and NO splits within the section.

Dustin in action at Dickson on the Honda

So taking our Premier class of Modern Twinshock the Experts ride the 5 x A and the 5 x B.

Int                      5 x B and the 5 x C

Nov                    5 x C and the 5 x D

Beg                    5 x D and the 5 x E

Historic            Exp                    5 x A and the 5 x B

Int                      5 x B and the 5 x C

Nov                     5 x C and the 5 x D

Pre Historic          Exp                     5 x B and the 5 x C

Int                      5 x C and the 5 x D

Nov                     5 x D and the 5 x E

Bob on the “Standard???” TY

Using this format there are no more “missed the split” FIVES! and the sections go back
to the 60’s 70’s style of single line, same for everybody, Novice or expert and of course
you didn’t have Int in that period so you rode and lost marks, quite a lot of them, if you
were a Novice and that way you got to improve watching the experts ride the same line
as you were on.

There are some obvious differences between the capabilities of machines from the 50’s
and 60’s but, boy WE do pander to some of these sectors and make sections so easy that
they are not really reminiscent of anything a trials section should be. Here I can remember
my first experiences of the Scottish in 1970 when I wasted a long time at Culross, maybe
nerves, looking at the first couple of sections wondering what I was “missing” but
eventually I discovered these were “traditional sections” that had been in the trial since
it’s earliest days, and yes, they really were that EASY for a 1970 Montesa.

What then is the appeal for the Vintage/twinshock movement? Why would trials riders
want to ride an obselete and grossly inferior machine in competition?  I think the answer
comes in many shapes and sizes!

ONE, most of us like the thrill of competition.

TWO, a touch of nostalgia maybe?

THREE, the sections that modern machines can attempt and clean is probably outside what
most older gentlemen are prepared to risk and still enjoy.

FOUR, along those same lines the sections that are used are NOT dangerous or too
intimidating.

FIVE, there is a pleasure in rebuilding an “old” bike, putting it into a competitive state, and
riding what you built……. and the overriding pleasure of having fun with a lot of like minded
individuals.

Yours truly on the toughest “B” of the day at Dickson

LONG MAY IT CONTINUE….. PLEASE DON’T RUIN IT!

Tony Down       Old School

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  • 3/19/2008 8:02 AM Outlaw Dave wrote:
    A very good write up, on how things “Should” be. – I concur wholeheartedly.
    In our Outlaw Series, which I started some 22 years ago, the rules are simple – Anything thats twin-shock.
    Outlaw Dave
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  • 3/20/2008 10:44 AM Steveo wrote:
    twin shocks rock!My riding buddies bugged me for years,”Why do you ride that old bike so much when you’ve got a new one collecting dust?”This took me some years of riding before the light bulb finally came on,and I realized what it was.I’m older and slower,just like my bike,so we naturally get along better.Besides,I can ride my ty closer to its limits than I ever could a modern bike.As well ,in vintage trials,the sections are easier and hence more fun.for me trials is about having fun and sharing with my trials family,if there’s one thing better than beating someone on a modern bike,it’s doing it on a vintage bike-it kinda gets their attention.For many riders the older bikes have been shuffled off to the side and forgotten,its a treat to ride one and pay homage to where our sport has come from.With some decent shocks and bits,it is amazing how well these “older” bikes can perform,they are very under rated. Happy Trials all,Steveo
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A TALE OF TWO CITIES

 

A TALE OF TWO CITIES

A TALE OF TWO CITIES

The last flying Lancaster PA474

 While at RAF Coningsby after I retired from Trials I was looking for other things to do at the
weekends and Game Shooting during the winter months filled one passion but during the
summer months things were a little blank. However I volunteered my services for the Battle
of Britain Memorial Flight and from that happy moment enjoyed 8 years on the air show
circuit with the last flying Lancaster Bomber PA 474.

PA474 wearing the livery of “PMM2” the most successful bomber of WWII

The Yellow Bombs are night raids and the White are daylight. The Aircraft shot down 2
fighters and was awarded the Victoria Cross and the DFC and Bar

En-route to a display with the Spit and Hurri

The RAF has 2 display teams with the Red Arrows being the world renowned air display
team. The Battle of Britain Flight has the last Lancaster, 5 Spitfires of different marks and
2 Hurricanes. After I left the Flight they acquired a Dakota to go with the Devon and 2
Chipmunks for continuation training. During my time on the Flight we were offered the last
Mosquito from British Aerospace but this was turned down by some fool in the Ministry of
Defence as it would take one extra airman to service it!

On this particular day we are scheduled to leave RAF Coningsby on a Saturday morning,
fly to BAE Warton, do our display and land there. Later in the day we take off do a single
pass then depart for RAF North Weald just to the north of London.

PA 474 with different squadron markings

We cross the Pennines and do our display, land and taxy in, crowds everywhere and pick
out the marshallers amongst all the waving arms. However, can’t help but notice one
individual who looks a bit like the big British comedian , Bill Maynard, who used to stick both
thumbs up and always say “All right?” This man has enormous thumbs, a bit like a human
CRAB!

102 foot wingspan, and carried 21,000 lbs of bombs!

We shut down and start making our way to the crowd barrier when the big guy comes over
and says I’ve got a present for you and hands me a propellor carved out of a “Bobbin” from
a Lancashire cotton mill. You can’t help but notice the man’s hands and these enormous crab
like thumbs. “Oh yeah” he says quite casually lost them, pointing to his hands and missing
8 fingers, one night over Germany. We got shot up pretty bad, lost the heating, intercom
and most guys were killed and I was stuck in the rear turret and couldn’t get out. When we
landed they pulled me out but my fingers were frozen on the gun handles so just got to keep
“Me Thumbs” and they just got bigger and bigger! Only reason we got back was the Flight
Engineer kept rubbing the pilot to keep him warm so we could get home.

Later in the day we depart and wend our way southbound to the old wartime fighter base
at RAF North Weald which always has a fairly exceptional display of old warbirds. We are
cleared in, do our display and then land. We taxy in, shut down and leave our engineers to
prep the birds for tomorrow and now make our way to the pilot’s tent for the first refreshing
beverage of the day.

RAF North Weald with a North West 747 and TEN wartime fighters

I’m just ducking under the crowd rope when an older gentleman stops me and asks me a
question. This distinguished gentleman has a RAF tie on and the classic blue blazer…….he
says “I wonder if there is any chance of going out and touching the Lancaster for old times
sake?” Now in the course of any one day at an airshow we must get 100+ requests like this
and unfortunatrely most of “Joe Public” come armed with little screwdrivers and before you
know it pieces are missing! This man doesn’t seem to fit that bill so I ask him why I should
make an exception for him and he then retells a story of how he was a pilot on Lancs during
the war and one night while on one of the big 1000 bomber raids they had been shot up
and only 3 of the crew were left alive and his Flight Engineer had kept him alive by rubbing
him and keeping him warm so that he could get them home.

I took him out to the Lanc and let him sit in the front seat and within minutes we were both
in tears. I then showed him the propellor that his rear gunner had made and given me earlier
that morning. What an amazing coincidence and neither of them had any idea the other was
still alive. My thoughts went out to two very brave men who had endured the most
horrendous night together some 40 years before and it also brings home the real privilege
of being a custodian of part of Britain’s heritage.

My favourite Spit, the MK19 with Invasion Markings

Sqn Ldr Tony Down   BBMF     1983-1990

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  • 3/17/2008 8:10 AM Outlaw Dave wrote:
    Great Story Tony and also really good pictures.
    Reply to this
  • 3/20/2008 10:56 AM Steveo wrote:
    A very touching story,about those old boys who went off to fight,so that the rest of us might enjoy this great life.What a nice sharing,so many years later of the pilot and his gunner,thanks Tony,thats really special
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NO MORE BREAD

NO MORE BREAD

NO MORE BREAD

 The time has come! The Baker sits unwanted in the shop, never sees the light of day and so
Austria’s finest must leave us for newer pastures. She was a good friend, never threw me off
and was generally well mannered everywhere we went. So, the gorgeous 2001 KTM 520 EXC
is going.

When it first arrived it came with the usual federal stickers saying “Competition use Only” does
not comply with etc, etc. However for some reason MVD licence it for the road without any qualms!
Originally equipped with just an odometer I needed some extra work done on it so I had an all
singing, all dancing computor fitted which does an amazing array of things but essentially gave me
a speedo. Also had a substantial bash plate made, some rear footrests put on for local
adventures and a steering damper as with the “upside-down forks” and knobbly tires it tends
to start “tank slapping” at around 65 mph on the highway.

Only other thing to change was the oil filters from the standard paper cartridge to washable
stainless steel.

My standard “fun” ride was up the Bradshaws to Crown King, a remote little fun village at
around 5900′ a single store selling hand pumped gas, recently on electricity, and 2 bars, one with
a hitch rail and “bat wing” doors. This was a favorite haunt of all the ATV and 4-Wheeling
wannabee fraternity, and the equally unwise clowns who had ventured up the mountain road
in their bog standard car!

Two routes to the place which I will call the “Back Way” and the “Cleator Way”. Normal plan of
action for solo riding was to leave the house and go about 35 miles on the highway to the back
of Lake Pleasant then set off on the cross country and uphill run of about 30 miles. Initially about
5 miles of fastish track on dirt and loose rocks and gravel with all the standard potholes and
water splashes then the track became narrower with some great climbs and descents and after
another 10 miles it brought you into a pleasant shady clearing where I would always stop and
have a drink and a smoke before setting off on the last 15 miles on the slower but more arduous
part of the run.

Most of the run is now through the trees and the gradient is increasing and the rocks are
becoming larger too! There are a couple of stretches where the 4 wheel drive guys take their
jeeps and then haul themselves up and over the rocks using winches, and the look on their faces
is something else as you bounce by them in true trials rider fashion. Still further up and you burst
back out of the trees for a couple of miles on a goat track with a huge drop off….. don’t want to
meet anyone going the other way on this bit! then it’s back into the trees to follow an upward
river course through, round and over some really big boulders. Finally amid the pines you come
out on a standard forest track for the last 2 miles downhill to the village center…….and checking
the watch it’s definitely time for a refreshing beer.

Depending on where the “fun meter” is the return route is normally down the hill hi-speed with
the run down to Cleator. This is a single track path of rubble and gravel, graded once or twice a
year and with a 3000′ descent in 17 miles.

Some nice hairpin bends and an assortment of conditions that change all the way down.
It never ceases to amaze me where some preople will take an ordinary car or in some cases a
road bike! this track is for serious 4 wheelers and dual sport/enduro bikes.

Coming into Cleator there is a sign “Cleator population 7” but they do have a bar and it’s fairly
traditional to stop there and have yet another beer. Out of Cleator and then the track widens to
2 lanes and is fast dirt and graded and I think it must have been on this stretch that the KTM
recorded it’s fastest ever time and speed. For some reason it records the “fastest speed of the
last trip” and I just happened to be showing someone the functions and there it was 96 mph….
YES, NINETY SIX!!
now thats travelling in the dirt whoever you are.

After the wide dirt road as you approach Black Canyon City there are a series of blind bends
and big, big dips and these are super fun and a bike that is engineered for this makes nothing
of it and then it’s back to metalled roads with some fierce bends leading back up to the freeway.

A quick stop for gas and as I’m about to pull out I manage to get a ****ing nail in the rear tire!!
I repair same, but not in the 4 mins…… must be losing my touch!

THE END OF AN ERA

Tony Down

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THE ONE WAY BEACH!

THE ONE WAY BEACH!

THE ONE WAY BEACH!

H.M.S. Liverpool

 In the aftermath of the Falklands War Great Britain maintained a fleet of ships and aircraft and
a large contingent of Army to protect the 1800 inhabitants of the God foresaken Islands. During
my stint down there we had 5000 British troops deployed either at sea or on the Islands and in
most cases personnel were replaced after a 4 month tour of duty. The Navy, of course, had their
own rules and when they were replaced on station they would enjoy all their normal activities
on the way home.

The Ministry of Defence had spent a lot of high priced time “twinning” Ships with Squadrons and
Army Regiments and so one day while I’m still the Boss of 64 Squadron I get a signal from the
Captain of HMS Liverpool to send 2 officers to join the ship in Jacksonville Florida and then
experience the trans Atlantic crossing on a Warship.

HMS Liverpool had done her time and when released she had sailed round the Cape come up
Chile, stopped at various exotic ports, slipped through the Panama canal and then over to Florida
where she was berthed for 2 weeks.

I announce the details of the invitation to all and amazingly there is zero interest! Station
Commander tells me WE ARE TO send 2 officers and thats that! My good friend Grant Taylor is
volunteered and as no one else will play ball. I tell the Station Commander I would go but feel
a bit guilty about it. The word is GO!

Grant and I have to get a whole load of special ceremonial uniforms at RAF Brize Norton before
leaving at some ungodly hour for America. We duly arrive at Dulles and after waiting fruitlessly
they announce they can’t find my luggage but they will send it on when the flight comes back
from Belize….. thanks!

Onward down country on another flight and the Navy pick us up and take us to the ship.
Introductions all done and cabins allocated we discover that most of the ship’s company is away
on holiday while they are docked and of course the usual “you should have been here yesterday
when we had the official cocktail party”

HMS Liverpool in Jacksonville Florida…. our home for the next 3 weeks

We blunder around the ship falling down companionways and banging our heads on bulkheads
and other assorted nautical hardware. So it’s pretty much free time for the next week with a few
outings the crew have organized to amuse us. Clearly we need transport so we hire a Ford
Escort and that takes care of that.

The introduction to Bud!

Two days on the beach drinking with visits to “fun bars” and then we decide to do the Disney
thing. About a 400 mile round trip to Orlando and one thing that stands out in the memory was
zero bug smash on the windscreen and a constant smell of insecticide. Also a lot of “hard”
roadkill in the form of possums.

A walk on part for Grant

Disney was great fun, Space Mountain, something else and incredibly clean throughout. The
queues were fun as a fantastic “con trick” always made it look as though you were nearly at the
front only to come round yet another corner and find a 10′ line to the next turn….. very, very
clever!

…. and then of course it came onto rain….BIG Time!

We take in Gators and Turtles

……and next a beach bar-b-q. We are told to go to Daytona Beach and look for a red Ford
Mustang which we naively do. Follow the instructions and pull onto the beach……huummmmm!
4 rows of cars, one down close to the Atlantic, two in the middle and one more on the slightly
higher ground before the sand dunes……. a red mustang you say ?……we creep on ……mile
after mile, and still no red mustang and thousands of cars, eventually with the Ford Escort’s
lamentable air conditioning at overstretch we decide we are hot and thirsty and this is getting
nowhere and it must be time for a beer. So having covered 7 miles down the beach and seen
nothing I turn round and start back.

We haven’t gone more than 200 yards when I hear some sirens and looking in the mirrors I can
see an emergency set of lights hurtling down the beach in a sandstorm, I ease over and this
black and white pulls across my nose and out jump two policemen holding their sticks and guns.
OH O!

Hands on wheel, wait…….

“What der f*** d’ya tink ya doooin?”
“Excuse me ?”
“Ya going der wrong way Pal”
“Licence and registration”
Grant fumbles in the glove box and supercop tightens his grip on his side arm.
I gingerly open my wallet and extract my old Pink UK drivers licence.
Supercop notes it’s a hirecar, maybe the Hertz was a giveaway, but is having trouble with the
British licence, so now it’s Passport time and he sees “Govt Service” in occupation so maybe
assumes we are MI5.

“OK, OK, so yer Brits? I should giv’ya de citation and it’s a big fine”
“What exactly have we done wrong”
“You’se goin der wrong way on a ONE WAY BEACH 

We of course can’t contain the laughter and after wiping eyes I ask the officer how I get off
his ONE WAY BEACH, so he points south to Miami and says,
“Ya goes down der beach for about 3 miles then hang a right”
Well I guessed it wasn’t LEFT”
“Don’t get smart with me A*******”
“Thank you Officer”

….. and on that happy note we left southbound and eventually regained the road. The story was
relived many times…..ONE WAY BEACH INDEED!……. only in America!

So the visit comes to an end and the ship get ready to put to sea………to be continued…..

Squadron Leader Tony Down with Flt Lt Grant Taylor on HMS Liverpool

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Comments
  • 3/14/2008 8:55 AM Outlaw Dave wrote:
    Ah! Yes, Daytona – I remember my first visit back in 1976 – waiting for our luggage at the Airport dressed in quilted jackets, while everybody else was wearing shorts & tank tops. ! – We had just flown in for Speed Week in March. – Still Cold in Canada at that time of the year. – By later that afternoon we all looked like red lobsters, having spent the time soaking up both the sun and the local beer around the hotel pool.
    Reply to this
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