Securing your bikes in the back of a van? It's easy, unless your name's Whit
We also had only one mechanic each. There was Mick running it, then my mechanic were called Butch Cartwright and Mez's was Malcolm. Now, these lads had a hell of a lot of work on to prepare all those bikes, so they never got any time off. The other problem was that neither Mez nor myself were that averse to jumping off the bikes.
It was the fourth round at Snetterton, and up to that point either one or both of us had jumped off the bikes and the lads had been working to midnight putting them back together. We got results as well, so there was some reward for their efforts. That didn't make it any less hard though.
We had a cracking meeting at Snetterton. None of us had crashed and we were right up front in all the races.
So for a change, the bikes just had to go home, get cleaned and that was about it. Two short days' work, so the lads were really pumped about having their first half-a-week off in months.
I used to drive our van sometimes, with a caravan on the back of it. So the lads waved us off at Snetterton with big grins on their faces. Andrea and I had somewhere to go, so I was driving flat out like a twat to get home for the do.
There was some clattering and banging from the back of the van, but I thought it was probably just empty fuel cans banging together, or the work table had come loose or summat. I daren't look at the back of the van because we were in a hurry and had to be at Mick's for the crack of dawn Monday.
When we opened the back of the van, it was like the bikes had been put through a mangle. Three of the four had come loose and smacked around in the back like debris from a bombing raid. Even the one that was tied down was knackered, because the handlebar of another was gouging great holes in it.
It was a disaster for Butch, who lost all his time off to fix them up, and obviously, I was no longer number one rider of the week in anyone's eyes!
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