http://ftwracing.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/gary-inman.html) things are looking up. I spent ten days riding, watching and promoting flat track racing in the US, with the culmination being Dirt Quake USA at Castle Rock, WA, a run what you brung Dirt Track event that Sideburn magazine put on with See See Motorcycles.
I also rode a few borrowed bikes at Perris with the guys from Deus Ex Machina, Biltwell, Co-Built and other friends. I slid off Mule Motorcycles' 500 Yamaha while I was there. No damage, but another crash days after my big one in England and another dent to my confidence.
Then I went to Castle Rock, entered a rabid over-50s class on a borrowed Yamaha 500TT and crashed there. I got out in another race and got a finish, but doubts were entering my head.
My damaged rotator cuff was improving, but was not 100% by the time the next British DTRA race came around. I went along, with new bars after bending my last ones, thinking I'd go steady, not take any risks and see how I went.
Gentle in, gentle out worked on the tricky track. It developed a wide groove, but off-line it was very tricky for a rider of my skill. On the line you could pass on the inside if the rider in front made the slightest mistake. On the entry I could run in deeper and manage to turn inside a lot of riders, while still thinking I was riding steady. All day I picked off the odd rider while I just kept riding steadily. It helped I was getting great starts and not making mistakes.
I race in two classes, Thunderbikes and Restricted. Restricted is for second tier riders who haven't made a pro main. I qualified 5 in the 12-rider Thunderbike main and came in fifth (behind three national numbers and a super-quick Thunderbike rider, Dave Chadbourne). In the 12-man restricted main I qualified fourth and came third, getting on the podium for the first time in a few seasons.
After the pain of the last race and the doubts about if I'm cut out for even amateur racing it was just what I needed.
Gary Inman#13R, DTRA
Photos: Ian Osborne, DTRA