Dirt Bike Bird
There are several characters that pop up during my adventures round the UK. Feel it is only right and proper that they get a formal introduction!!
My bike. The centre of my Enduro Universe. She is a 2007 KTM 250 exc-f and we have been partners in crime since 2013. Despite many peoples efforts to separate us (if I had a pound for every time I’ve heard “Kate – you need a 2 stroke”, I’d have been able to buy one by now), but like Posh and Becks, we have remained together against all odds. I can regularly be found at events underneath Kitten rolling round in agony begging someone to pick her up off me, but apart from her sturdy mass……she’s perfect!
This is my Father - John. He's been riding since Adam was a boy. He’s now in his Seventies and flatly refuses to give up competing on his Trials bikes (legend) and spends more time in the garage than in the house. He’s had a varied career in bikes ranging from Motocross, Sand Racing (he was National Champion for a couple of years in the Sixties) to Trials riding. Stalwart of the Twinshock classes in North Wales, his first love (more so than his wife and two outstanding children) is his Honda TLR 200 and can be seen all season chasing championship points. This man is the reason I first sat on a bike 3 years ago.
My Pocket Rocket Bike Bestie. Glaswegian born and bred and one of the driving forces behind Sniper Graphics. Usually she is shouting at me to stand up on the pegs or glowering at me for making her go to an event that I may/may not have said was easier than it actually was. It normally takes at least an hour after an Enduro before she is speaking to me again without a murderous glint in her eye. She is my thoughtful moral compass and refuses to print me any graphics with Kittens/Unicorns/Rainbows on it (I do kind of say on purpose to see her reaction and general eyeball rolling). Can often be found walking beside me at events either shaking her head or holding her hands over her face in despair.
Ben and Selina
The organisers of the friendliest biking event on the planet – The Dirty Weekend. I first contacted them when I purchased Kitten and asked if they thought that I’d be able to come along (even though I’d only just tried riding on dirt). They welcomed me with open arms and I thank them so much for that. They continue to arrange weekends round the country for us dirt bikers and their hard work should never go unnoticed.
CA - aka Carol Ann
Raised in South Africa, she can often be found in Wales riding her bike “Foxy” and brandishing a South African sausage (it is edible…promise!). One of the few of us that has immaculately polished nails and owns a hairbrush (and actually uses it……who’d have thunk it). She makes me look scruffy!
The man behind Lee Walters Off Road Training and the (un)lucky chap who has the task to make me in to a better Enduro rider. Can often be seen flying round the Welsh countryside in a Bobble Hat (hence he is sometimes referred to as Mad Bobblat) and yelling constructive obscenities at us. He does occasionally tell a story about me kicking Kitten and maybe swearing a bit after a fall…..this isn’t true of course!! Apart from that he’s a patient trainer (yes, I said patient….he is….I promise!) and will have to continue guiding me up and over things I don’t always think I can do!
Nick @ Eurotek
The man who keeps Kitten on the off-road and has legal guardian status (can sign her permission slips for school trips and everything!). You can almost hear the note of panic in his voice when I call these days. “Hi Nick. It’s Kate”……. “What have you broken?”……… “Erm…….” A Workshop genius who can seem to get us up and running no bother. A little bit fastidious about cleanliness – I sometimes wonder how he’s made the bike look so good…….apparently that’s what happens when you wash it, but a good egg who doesn’t mind part payment in cake. Keen Enduro competitor and when he’s not living up to his nickname of “Crasher” does rather well!!!
Brett and the Dirt Pup (aka Chris)
My two Lumberjacking friends from Yorkshire. Appear most places as a pair (even at work) and share a love of all things Vinduro. Brett has a longstanding relationship with his 1980's KTM 600 (lovingly referred to as Croc), but has also found the world of modern bikes riding a rather fiesty Husaberg 390 (with the misleading nickname of Harriet), whilst the Dirt Pup has an AJP 200 and a Vinduro Honda XR200 (which Brett calls the "Lady Bikes"). Key members of Team Tea'n'Cakes (Dirt Pup will roll over and let you tickle his belly at the sight of baked goods) and generally very good at picking Kitten and I up off the floor. Friends for life.......even if they do call me Teabuns!
My new pet in the form of a 2016 KTM 200 exc. Proper lightweight filly and slightly flightier than her sturdy stablemate Kitten. Already worked her way in to my affections purely by the virtues of being able to pick her up and actually choosing to start when I press the magic button.
My hugely talented Sister from another Mister. Amazing rider and general good egg. 5 minutes of spending time with her and I revert to my 8 year old self. By virtue of her being brilliant on a bike I do worry about her a great deal (especially when she decides to launch herself off huge drops). Mate for life and funny as hell.