Monday, December 07, 2009

2009 - the year of not doing much!

This year has been pretty much as expected - with a large financial commitment towards the kids education and work being pretty comitted too. I haven't been able to do much to indulge my Triumph hobby. That said I was able to get over the Isle of Wight for the IoW Triumph Club event, not a driving event in the CT style, just an excuse to camp, drink and BBQ.
The next event was the "cancelled" La Carerra Caledonia proving that you can cancel a Triumph event but none of us will take any notice and just turn up and do it anyway. Dave pulled the rally Vitesse 6003VC out of the museum and we were off. Now those who know me will say they aren't surprised at the next revelation, but I was. You see I have found I have a big arse, it's quite wide, hip to hip - that means that it doesn't really fit in a narrow rally seat. 6003VC's seats really did hurt, squeezing my bony arse into them gave me a couple of nice bruises on either hip, bruises where seat and pelvis felt like they were meeting and trying to squeeze out any flesh between! After the first few hundred miles I realsied that I must be doing something wrong as I could no longer feel my legs! A bit of shifting about and trying different positions over the weekend eventually allowed me to enjoy the car. It's a full on rally machine and great in the twisty bits but crap on the motorway!
The only other event I was able do was the 10CR and I was keen to maintain my commitment to this event. I had intended to take the PI but with crew changes I found myself partnered with another team. It's always difficult to know how well you'll get one with others in an endurance event, I'm a pretty relaxed, happy go lucky kind of guy but not everyone likes that! This time I was driving Nigel Gair's car with Dave Tongue, I'd not crewed with either of these guys before and it's fair to say I didn't know them well. However, this has to go down as one of the best laughs I've had for ages. The boys really were out to play and with constant banter, jokes, bad language, non-PC inuendo and mickey taking plus a set of strictly imposed rules we got on well. Oh, the rules were all related to engine speed, tunnels and narrow streets - 6500 rpm was compulsory. I can't remember ever been told off for driving a car "too carefully" by it's owner - Mr G, I salute you ;-)
With such a frugal year you'd have thought I would have had plenty of time on my hands, sadly not - my work has sent me to many different places this year and usually at a moment's notice! I seem to be one of the few people who is prepared to do the "dirty" jobs and as such I've been all over Europe as well as India this year. It looks set to continue with the European role likely to be extended and the India trips stopped.
What that has meant is that I do get home on weekends more and am in control of things a little more. All that left me with time to fulfill a committment to administer the RBRR entries and help Tim out with the organisation. I really enjoy this but I am always worried that I won't be able to fulfil the commitment - I hate to let people down so I try to take on things I know I can do - I've seen hassles caused by well meaning people who walk away from things half way through. I've got a lot more confidence in this now and I know I can continue for as long as there is a need. It's something I can do between work, travel, family, etc. It's also my way of putting something back into this fine club.
Next year holds pretty much the same for me as the financial committments don't end in 2010 but I should have more time to myself and that means working through the list of jobs on the car and getting her out and about a bit more.
As for events well I will go back to the IoW and I've got a drive lined up with messers Pearson and Kipping on the RBRR - the rest is fluid! I would like to have a go helping organise a navigation rally just to learn a little more about these. I've no idea how feasible this is but it is something that's always interested me. I just hope I get the time!