To those of you who do not know, Cadwell Park is one of this country’s most esteemed race circuits. It is located near Louth on the East Coast. The year is 2010 and I am turning 30 so my brother decided we need to mark the occasion in style. We achieved our goal but for him the legacy of this week would haunt him for years to come. You see, what makes Cadwell famous apart from its flowing corners and long straight is the jump. Right by the grandstand after a hard right you climb on full throttle and crest. Is it spectacular!
While planning the trip we found a lovely 8-bedroom property complete with its own gym, sauna, hot tub and grounds. The main appeal was its remote location. We could make as much noise as we wanted at whatever hour we wanted, nobody could hear a peep. The property was in a place called “Boston” about an hour south of the circuit. There was about a dozen of us there at any one time through the week we rented the property. People came and went visiting from London where my brother is based or from York. Loud cars and motorbikes rocked up at ungodly hours but with nobody for miles, who cares! I don’t believe from arrival to departure 7 days later the music went quiet or the hot tub became still. Now this is a family friendly blog, so I will leave it there, for those of you reading this of consenting age…. You can fill in the blanks.
My brother was the participant of the track day at Cadwell Park. It was a 2-wheeled day only and for all abilities so something for everyone. The faster guys were unreal. Their 1000cc machines screaming joyfully as they lapped round and round hunting each other down for sport. His weapon of choice that day was a Kawasaki Ninja. I believe despite being an accomplished rider it was my brothers first track day. It didn’t turn out to be his last, but it was by far the most dramatic.
So, there we stand, reeking of booze and trying to focus on the blurred leather clad super heroes blasting past us on the track. There were ten of us roughly all watching in awe about 200 metres down from the jump. As the riders complete the hard right and power up the hill towards the jump you can hear the rpm’s jump and you know someone is coming. It was at this point the riders come into sight from our vantage point. There is a straight, a medium right and then a medium left. Flat land and gravel run off’s. It was this series of open corners that caused the issue. You know that moment when you are loving a country back road and your vantage point just opens up? Where you can see you are alone and the corners are there to be seen and enjoyed? That was what was waiting for the riders after they survived the crest. Full of adrenaline and bravado they get the front wheel back on planet earth and approach the “S bends” at speed, no doubt feeling invincible.
My brother was easy to identify as everything from the bike, to the leathers, the helmet, gloves… everything was black. While its not the best idea for road safety it did look extremely menacing, like a 2-wheeled fighter pilot on some top-secret stealth mission. Over the crest he comes with a warble of revs and rev limiter. Our cameras click away as he tucks behind the bubble screen and winds open the throttle. Taking a good photo with a raging handover is not easy, our hands were far from still, but I did manage to catch an absolute beauty which is now framed in his home.
Throttle as wide open as his eyes he hurtles towards the series of bends that are 50 metres from the fence we spectate from. He approaches, we see the front dive as he hits the breaks to scrub off speed. You have to do your braking before you can lean the bike over, so his plan of action was correct. He just left it too late. He leans carrying too much speed and the front end washed out. The bike falls onto its side and he is on his arse sliding rapidly towards the gravel. Meanwhile my hangover is gone as the adrenaline dump from seeing your flesh and blood have an accident as significant speed is sobering to say the least. I am over the fence and sprinting towards the bike and rider. Both of which are laid horrifically still on the gravel.
Catch Part two of the Cadwell story for the 7 year legacy that day produced.
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