So where do I start? Well 2017 has been a tough year after what began with so much promise! I got myself back on board a 2-stroke with the acquisition of a rather lovely KTM EXC 200 just after new year. After a bit of prep to make it suited to myself, with a stiffer set of fork springs and some re-valving of the rear shock, it was a case of gas and go! Well, that’s how it was supposed to be!
A massive lack of testing really hurt and it showed at round one, where my bike fitness simply wasn’t good enough. Still I learnt a lot and managed to have the Kunstvoller backed orange beast running good, and, the lap times weren’t far off where they needed to be.
Round 2 was so much better, with a lot more pace and consistency, until a tree decided it wanted to step in front of me, just for shits and giggles. After a sudden stop and a rather large slam, I found that my exhaust resembled a piece of crumpled tin foil, and thus, a retirement was forced.
After remodelling some poor Austrian's welding masterpiece I got set for my third event of the year. Unfortunately things away from the sport meant I ended up with a nasty hand injury and was lucky not to lose the use of my right thumb. This time it was me who needed surgery, the plastic kind, to reveal the skin around the bone. Yes it was gruesome, yes it was painful and no, I wouldn’t recommend you try it! This meant by round three I was struggling to hold onto the bars properly, and despite styling for the lead for the first 2 hours of the event, by the three hour mark I was in agony and had to stop. I also needed to get a new pair of gloves after the wound reopened and decided that scarlet red was a better colour scheme!
So now we're pretty much up to date. Due to the injury I took the hard decision to focus on rehab rather than riding, and I am pleased to say it seems to have worked! I got myself back out and managed to do a full four-hours of bike time, at pace, and didn’t jump off or do myself another boo-boo! Happy days!
Looking onwards, it’s gonna be a corner of a second half to the year. I’ve booked in to do a Sprint Enduro up in the Eastern Centre championship, which is a new event for me, so hopefully I can get a decent result. I’ve got the KTM rising just how I like and the confidence is growing. I've also been managing to hit the gym four times a week, so the fitness is coming along nicely. I’ve got an idea of what events I can do to see the year out and I’m planning to do the KunstSquad proud!
Oh and there may be a return to some road racing exploits on the horizon, just don’t tell the Mrs . . .