Round 4 - Croft, Easter Monday 17th April
Gold & Green
Easter means different things to different people. For some it’s a holy time of reflection, about sacrifices and the resurrection. For others, it’s about egg hunts in National Trust properties overrun with screaming kids and understandably exasperated parents. To some it’s about enjoying the delights of spring, the rolling countryside, the gambolling lambs and the cute but destructive bunnies.
To us, it’s the long pilgrimage to Croft, shrine of the glorious Darlington and District Easter Sprint. To intensify the effect, the rumble strips and armco are resplendent in the Easter colours of yellow and green, perfectly imitating the dazzling displays of the daffodils clustered around the circuit.
A strong northern contingent enjoyed the North Yorkshire hospitality. Heath (golden Chimaera), Dave W (Tasmin) and Bill (S2) came over from Lancashire for their first outing of the year. Dave B (green Chimaera) arrived from Cheshire to repeat last week’s tussle with local boy, Simon (white Wedge). They were joined by Blower (supercharged Chimaera), Briars and Shunter (shared Chimarsala) who travelled up from “darn sarf” to reflect in the glory of this glittering northern gem.
Various approaches were taken to determining the layout of this long circuit. Some walked the track the night before, some on the morning. One cycled it. The most local contender declared, nonchalantly, “as long as it’s not changed from last year, I’ll be alright!” And so it proved; Simon ahead by a country mile in P1, Croft virgins Dave B, S2 Bill, “Gold” Heath and Blower finding their way round nicely thank you, and Dave W enjoying the thrill of stretching the legs of his monstrous Tasmin 5 litre.
Simon improved (slightly) in P2, which was to be his best run of the day. Dave B improved a lot, which was to be his best run of the day. This encompassed an exuberant spin after the line, collecting a fine arrangement of succulent dandelions in his wheel rims to compliment the day’s gold and green colour scheme.
Everyone else made big gains, in times and enjoyment of this wonderful circuit.
Long lunch breaks normally result in sluggish performances for the afternoon. However, the fresh and bright conditions sustained a spring in everyone’s steps and all bar the top two went quicker still in T1.
Despite Shunter and Briars relishing their new Frodo Baggins pads, both outbraked themselves at Tower losing time for T2. Bill, Heath and Blower went quicker to improve their scores, and Dave W was still revelling in the joys of spring.
Dave B swayed around the track like a daffodil in the April breeze, but was unable to nail the local boy to the cross. Simon remained as elusive as the Easter bunny to resurrect a second 25 points in just over a week. Bless you.