Come and try Short Tracking - Tuesday Night Sessions Resume
Whatever your age or ability you can come to the Sporting Club and try our Sport on Tuesday evenings, beginning 10th March from 6:30 pm. All you need to do is turn up, we'll provide everything you need, although if you have your own helmet and gloves that would be better for you. Trainers are the recommended footwear for Cycle Speedway as they give better grip performance on our narrow, flat pedals. Just turn up and ask!
Parr takes the Crown
Vikings Skipper, Gavin Parr fulfilled everyones' expectations by lifting the Cramlington Crown season opener at the AstroDrome on Saturday 7th March but not without a scare! With brother Michael limping around the pits and unable to take part in this year's contest it was always going to come down to a clash between Gavin and current Northumbria Champion, Jason Keith to decide the title. However, when they met with Jason on the inside gate position, their corner entry speed on the first turn carried them both wide enabling the wily old Terry Kirkup to squeeze underneath both going into the straight. The trio had just about reached maximum lick when the intruder slipped his inside pedal, causing him to lose control and swerve wildly from side to side, desperately trying to remain upright while straddling the crossbar with both legs flailing wildly. With Gavin having nowhere to go but down, that's where he went, while Jason managed to thread his way between the rapidly looming fence and the manic gyrations of the purple peril. Somehow the inevitable slam-dunk was saved by the Oldie, who emerged slightly battered and white as a sheet, while Gavin's finger took the brunt of his fall.
The other notable occurences were the performances of both Dan Wharrier, who stayed unbeaten in his heats, and Dan Redshaw, looking very pacey. Once again, veteran Keith Oldham showed plenty of speed in his races, as did Neil Magee while his legs held up! Great to see a brand new rider turn up after finding us on Facebook, Brandon being a 15 year old mountain biker from Bedlington, just up the road, though he is originally from Hull.
Now's Your Chance - Come and have a go!
Saturday 7th March, and from 1:00 pm you can come and have a blast around the track, bikes and helmets FREE, we are on the lookout for fresh talent and we're SURE it's YOU! Following a nice little warmup at 2:00 pm we stage our annual season opener, the Cramlington Crown. This individual event pits all riders against each other, four at a time, with plenty of opportunity for brand new riders to try the Sport and join one of our teams. Don't forget, this Super Sport is for Girls and Boys of any age from 6 to 66, it's never too late to have a go and if you were a competitive biker in your younger days this is by far the best way back into two wheel racing, or of course just do it for fun.
Saturday 28th February was supposed to be the day we made our final pre-season effort to finish track preparations to allow us back on the thing with bikes after what seems like three long months off it. However, with the unexpectedly decent turnout of riders it was only fair to let them ride first. It seems that Fred Mitchell is our most regular training session participant so far, and he lives over 50 miles away in Cumbria! If we can find a few youngsters with Fred's level of dedication we'll be extremely lucky.
With only Dan Wharrier missing from our expected first team lineup, Misery Maker in Chief, Vikings Skipper Gavin Parr couldn't shake off an evil grin on seeing the numbers present, so we knew what was coming. In his defence, he did allow us plenty of warming up time with everyone circulating calmy to get the blood flowing before the inevitable merciless fast - slow - repeat - stand - sit - 50 laps - rest. As well as the seven first team members, also in attendence were our two SuperTots, Lewis and Lee, together with two very small people from the same two families. Seniors Jim Graham, Keith Oldham, Norman Carson, Jim Smith (taking quite a few laps himself), Daniel Thompson and his Dad made up the numbers. I think we may have another victim, I mean rider, for Division Two!
Well done to all twelve NL riders for making use of this first, and for some extremely long-awaited chance to race again. And "No", we didn't get any track prep done! It was, however, amazing apart from two small areas.
Flat Tracking on Sunday 22nd February
There were five cars circulating around our Cramlington "AstroDrome" today in an attempt to compact the surface ready for racing. We spent around an hour and a bit tyre-packing the track which will still need one of the heavy rollers on certain parts, particularly the entry and crown of the third bend. We intend to try that next Saturday afternoon, and even get a ride on the thing with any luck. It sure looked inviting when we'd finished.
Well done indeed to Keith Oldham and Michael Parr who were there well ahead of the rest of us to give the other vehicles a good start. The icing went on the cake when Jason Keith arrived with his nice heavy works van and that certainly made a difference on the softer parts. Although we may not have seen the worst of the weather it couldn't get much colder and damper than it was today, so please make a point of turning up next Saturday from about 1:30 and see if we can get the job finished and get the bikes out!
Third is a little down!
We gathered again on 14th to repeat the previous activities. Club Captain Gavin Parr, brother Michael and Northumbria Champion Jason keith all showed plenty of speed, and this time they had first-timer Daniel Wharrier to give them a lot more competition which made for a faster set of races. No trees were damaged during this exercise!
Second Practice in the Park attracts nine members
Following a low turnout for our first practice session, racing on mountain bikes around a makeshift tree-lined circuit of 95 metres due to the track being far from ready, the second attempt on Saturday 7th February was much better attended. Amazingly, regular Club Sponsor Fred Mitchell made it over to Gosforth Park from his snow-bound Alston home to take part, a superb effort from the ex-Newcastle Rebels Number One. And Treasurer Jim Smith had a very long walk into the woods from where his bus dumped him, keen to see how things were progressing. Michael Parr, Gavin Parr and Jason Keith all brought their own MTBs while Terry Kirkup provided four more to ensure everyone got a few laps in.
The ground under the trees was relatively firm but still energy-sapping, but it was agreed that it is certainly an efficient way to shake off the winter cobwebs until we can get back onto shale once the weather improves. Next session is at the same venue on Saturday 14th February commencing around 1:30 pm, all are welcome, whatever type of biking they are into. See our Facebook page for latest updates.
Euro-Vets here again
Once again the Northumbria Vikings have been awarded a round of this exhillerating individual Grand Prix Championship for riders in the Over 40, Over 50 and Over 60 age groups. The series has been running for about a decade now travelling all over the UK and supporting its chosen charity, Orchid Fighting Male Cancer. Round 3 will take place on Saturday 6th June 2015 at the Sporting Club with riders from as far apart as the South Coast and Glasgow taking part.
The Season Looms!
Not too long now before "tapes up" time at the Sporting Club as the Northumbria Vikings begin their 2015 Northern League campaign. With a great many rider transfers taking place over the winter across most of the English teams there''s a feeling that the Vikings may be the only club not to have strengthened their side, so expectations will start out pretty low. But in reality until we see an influx of strong teenage talent from local bike clubs, schools and passers-by we've accepted that the wooden spoon is a distinct possibility this season. On the bright side of course, the spirit in the camp is perhaps stronger than ever as we continue to build and improve both the track and facilities in readiness for World Domination!
Prediction time And although we've been out of action now for a wee while I can't resist making a long-term prediction based on the evidence I've collected over the 2014 season. And what pearl of wisdom does TK wish to impart before the new season gets underway? Well, little has changed since we took the bold step of rejoining CS on a national league basis, we are still little more than a Veteran outfit with only half a handful of youngsters, not quite what we expected. We did nevertheless see some magic performances by a couple of schoolboy racers last year so there's a clue for you. The answer? If he continues to progress like in the last six months I have a strong fancy that we may have unearthed the next Gavin Parr in the shape of "little" Lee Redshaw. No pressure!
Cramlington hosts Northern Referees Course
On Sunday 18th January thirteen delegates from Sheffield to Glasgow attended the British Cycling backed Referees Course held at Cramlington for the first time. British Cycling and the Cycle Speedway Federation's referee's Co-ordinator Mike Hack travelled up from his Manchester home to present the course from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm which gave delegates plenty of opportunity to participate and voice their opinions, as well as getting a great insight into the current interpretation of many long-standing rules. A buffet lunch and morning refreshments were provided for those attending and the day was deemed to be a great success.
Penny (Farthing) for your thoughts?
Work steams ahead both sides of the Border as the scramble to produce a set of vintage cycle speedway bikes nears completion. This super idea came from the Edinburgh Falcons riders and it looks like the Geordies (OK, most are indeed Northumbrians!) will take on the Falcons first at Redbraes Park early next season in an attempt to re-live the past, just for laughs of course, with the latest plan now being a re-match down here at Cramlington!
The meeting was opened in a conference call by the Chairman, Keith Dyer approx 10 mins late, the first AGM ever to have needed mobile phone technology in order to commence!
apologies were received from the chairman, with regard to the tardiness of his arrival and from Treasurer Ronald Smith who had some anal issues.
It was agreed that all club members will pay an annual club membership fee with reduced cost for families and juniors.
New riders will be allowed three sessions before having to take out a club membership.
If they apply for membership after 1st August, then it is half price.
A new level of Subscription was agreed
(The joint senior membership/subs cost per annum can be paid in advance... send cheques to Jimmy Smith, c/o Jimmy's swanky new massive villa, Malibu Beach, or better still pay him direct just to be sure)
After being let down by one particular sponsor last season for our major event of the season, all sponsorship monies must now be paid in advance.
(Any interested sponsors, please see the treasurer or another committee member for details of sponsorship packages available, e.g. meeting sponsorship etc)
The same will apply to programme advertisements.
Gavin Parr informed us that he is fairly sure the new cricket pavilion is going ahead.
Our club is to fund any e/o items to the design we may require, eg. door, 2 x windows, decking, o/s tap water etc
Head Coach Richie Smith stated funding may be available.
Neil to source quotes, with help as required from Gavin.
A new website is to be in place for 2015 following an offer of assistance from Linda K, our brilliant Photographer for the last two seasons ( via Cechu Speedway!)
Any riders who have borrowed equipment including parts from the club bikes, must return it asap, and it would be nice to be asked first!
Volunteers are needed to help in servicing all the club bikes prior to the new season.
Michael Parr will continue to take the lead in track preparation, but club members who do not already have assigned duties on a match day, are to make themselves available to assist.
As above. Terry Kirkup will run a 'course' to instruct how the starting gates are assembled, so they can be used in his or Jason Keith's absence.
Gavin, Terry and Michael should not expect to be providing transport for every trip.
Neil Magee will make his car available for southern trips from Durham. Others to please do the same.
Welfare Officer Carol Wilby and our super Sheffield import Andy Knowles may also make their transport available for Scottish trips.
Richie is to source the availability and costs for a minibus. Ronald will do likewise with a local amateur football club.
A minibus may be used for the following away trips:
April 12th - A v HULL
May 25th - A v SHEFFIELD
July 19th - A v BURY
August 16th - A v STOCKPORT
September 13th - A v ASTLEY & TYLDESLEY
We will run another Go-Ride event before the winter ends and continue with another series of the successful Rock Up & Ride fun club sessions.
See separate topic for all fixtures.
It was agreed that on top of the Northern League and other competitions which it is up the individual to enter, that only the Three Rivers League would be added to the fixture list (3 nr meetings)
The Northumbrian Riders Championship is to be moved to a summer date.
Mark Mulvey has completed his transfer to Astley & Tyldesley.
Dan Redshaw has been banned by the league from riding in Division Two. (he can ride but will incure Division Two penalty points). The Club wishes to thank NL Chairman Jason Burke for supporting our appeal against this decision.
With Mark leaving a big gap to fill (hopefully the availability of John Wilson may offset this), it's planned the team line up for 2015 will usually now be as follows:
1. MICHAEL PARR
2. DANIEL WHARRIER
3. TERRY KIRKUP
4. JASON KEITH
5. GAVIN PARR (capt)
6. DAN REDSHAW
(reserve spots to be taken from our pool of Division Two Riders, we used 20 last season!)
Jim Graham will remain as Division Two Captain.
The track will open for practice sessions on the weekend of 7th February.
There will be an Official Team Practice on Saturday 28th February @ 2.00pm(this will focus on our pairings at both Div 1 & 2 levels) and take the form of a structured pairs competion.
The Cramlington Crown Individual will take place on Saturday 7th March @ 2.00pm (sponsors required for a trophy ?)
Northern League then kicks in the weekend after as we visit Heckmondwike on 15th March, followed by 2 home fixtures against Bury and then Stockport.
Notice of Annual General Meeting
The 2014/15 Annual General Meeting will take place at the Percy Hedley Sports Academy, West Lane, Forest Hall NE12 7BH on Saturday 20th December at 1:00 pm and will precede the next indoor racing session due to start at 2:00 pm. All Vikings and friends are urged to attend the meeting and put forward any views they hold or ideas they may have. Advance payment of membership fees would also be most welcome.
First indoor session goes well
With the outdoor season finally over and some track revitalisation done the previous weekend, a slightly reduced field of Vikings moved to their indoor venue at the Percy Hedley Sports Academy in Forest Hall on Saturday 9th November. Eight riders raced a 4-man team match with as expected Michael Parr and Jason Keith looking sharpest. It was a decent workout to keep the legs moving and we are looking forward to a much healthier turnout for the second session on Saturday 20th December at 2:00 pm following our Annual General Meeting.
Jason Keith - Champion of Northumbria CSC
Vikings Number Two rider Jason Keith added his name to the list of NRC title winners today with a clean sweep at the AstroDrome, Cramlington. With five impressively quick starts in his five rides he left little but a dusty blur for the others to follow as he amassed his unbeaten twenty point score. Second favourite on the day, Michael Parr, offered most resistance and these two stood above the others in another great day's racing at the Sporting Club.
In another great season of Northern League racing, the younger set of Vikings riders showed excellent form both at home and on their travels around the northern UK to finish a very creditable third in Division Two. Team Manager Neil Magee would love to hear from anyone who would like to try Cycle Speedway with a view to gaining a place in the team as it prepares for winter training and aims for a higher position in 2015. Just turn up at the track, e-mail vikings@northumbriacsc or call/text the number shown above for further details.
SEE ALL OF NEIL'S 2014 RESULTS HERE
Northumbria loses a fine servant
Sad, but also inevitable news released today, 12th November 2014, sees Vikings favourite import, Mark Mulvey announce the conclusion of his wonderful stay at Northumbria. Veteran Lancastrian Superstar Mark came out of a long retirement to help us in our Northern League exploits two years ago and has been a dependable and exciting star on track for us with his brilliant track craft and solid presence. Pictured below in this year's Euro-Vets round at Sheffield wearing the purple colours of the Vikings, Mark was one of very few riders in the country to lead top Over 40s runners Mark Winwood and Martin Hollebon at any time in the season. His performances for the Vikings were always warmly appreciated and he will be sorely missed for his on-track effort and his canny wisecracking in the pits. Once he shrugs off his unfortunate current bout of ill health he will be a fantastic addition to whichever club he decides to plump for. Good Luck Mark.
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