By John Leitch
Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2017 - 16:41

Eight guards surrounding just the one prisoner wasn't enough to stop no end of escapes as gaps opened, freedom beckoned, and the prisoner made a dash for freedom.

Alan Gayle was ‘upstairs’ on Level 2 with the younger group while I had Level 1 which is ‘the ground floor’. It has the bonus of an extra-long stretch of surface to whiz along…. end to end it must be close on 100 metres with just two traffic-calming molehills to negotiate.

Also, it is bounded on the low side by bushes…. which is a good thing because Bethan went straight into one (as opposed to cornering and staying on our planet) which wasn’t the best of starts, but she emerged smiling, so not too bad.

There was a lot of mass action, of groups on the move.

With an engine pressed into service (thank you new dad Chris) we did some ‘black flag’ laps whereby every time the train came past, the two riders immediately behind the engine (Chris) were hauled in to one side and halted.

Only when the train was about half a lap away, did they get the whistle to fly off and catch up with the group again.

Joseph sure got up a head of steam with some spirited attacks out of the sharp corners.

Then came the most memorable exercise of the day….. prisoner and guards.

It calls for all nine riders to stick together in a tight group, riding in three lines of three.

The rider in the centre spot is the prisoner and wears a red bib.

The challenge for the prisoner is to escape through a gap while the challenge for the eight guards is to ride in such a tight formation (front, back and sides) that escape is impossible.


Annabel, the first prisoner, escaped, and next up, Joseph as the prisoner, and he did the same.

So did Ella. Then Aston too. In fact I can think of any prisoner who didn’t escape.

But it was such good fun…. and lots of communication/babble/chatter which was good to hear.

The picture shows the group setting off and not yet in tight formation…. be assured that mostly on the straights they were closed up and making a good unit…. the leaks came on the corners.

Final race - older group, handicap 3 laps, the younger members.

Aston, handicapped so that he set off last, was the winner after cutting his way through the entire field. Well done. I can’t remember any of the other placings –sorry.

Final race - older group, handicap 3 laps, the older members.

Our action-man Aston was again involved only this time he was first off, being by far the youngest, with the big cheeses steadily trying to chase him down….. Joseph and Annabel fought their own battle on the lines of ‘I can match anything you can do’ until Annabel crashed, leaving Joseph to roll in first. Again I remember little else…. I think I might need more pills.

Notice: Kim Canning (secretary) now has a new supply of clothing in stock.