Gary Inman

The first two races of the UK DTRA series have been a mixed bag. I've comfortably won a heat race in each meeting, but then crashed heavily in both. At the last round I highsided on a freshly watered track, trying to make up a place that wasn't really possible. That is very unlike me. Not the crashing bit, but being confidently ambitious.
I tore something in my shoulder. A rotator cuff injury, I'm told. The day's racing was over and a cloud descended for a week or more. I was flying up till that point. I had to drive home one-handed, tricky in a manual van. 
This was the first time I'd really hurt myself crashing a motorcycle for years. I've crashed on a lot flat tracks, but, since 1996 and I was knocked off my FZR600, I've always bounced. I began to feel old and scared. 
The accident happened five days before going road tripping with Sideburn in the US, a tour that had a couple of opportunities to ride on track. 
Julian at Deus Ex Machina organised a night practice at Perris in So Cal, and invited a bunch of his friends. I rode a ton of different bikes, but slid off Mule's Yamaha 500, digging the footpad into the back of my leg. A few days later, the night before Dirt Quake USA, I borrowed an XT500 and flipped it off the line at Castle Rock in Washington. I started the exact same way I do in the UK, but the track had so much traction the front wheel as at head height, the bike ricocheting off the bike next to me, before I knew what had happened. 
Luckily, I was able to get out and have another race and beat a few people in the vintage class. If I hadn't have got back on the horse my head would well and truly have been fried. As it is, my shoulder's improving and I think I'm going to make the next DTRA race. 
I understand if you want the team shirt back. I'm becoming an embarrassment and a danger to myself.
Cheers for now
Gary Inman, #13
Photos: Ian Roxburgh, DTRA