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NABbeD 10, Santa Pod
Well, what a weekend. I knew from the forecast that the weather was going to be a scorcher, but I thought I’d better put my waterproofs on just in case. Needless to say that by the time I met up with fellow traveller Bod at Corley Services I was soaking wet, but this time with sweat!
Leaving Corley we took a leisurely ride down to Santa Pod raceway for the NABD weekend. It was nice to see so many disabled people there. Both in Wheelchairs and the ‘walking wounded’ like myself. The weather lived up to its promise, causing the first bouts of sunburn of the year. The atmosphere was quite special; everyone was there to enjoy themselves no matter what. There was no posturing or attitude problems, everyone was extremely well behaved and sociable. Although attendance figures were down (possibly due to the last minute venue change) there was still a great deal of nice machinery in attendance, from trikes and adapted bikes, through to ‘standard’ machines, all of a very high standard. My friend won ‘best trike’ after wondering whether to enter it at all, it was a nice end to his journey all the way from Ireland.
I’m sure that the jet car burst a few eardrums when it eventually made it’s successful runs, after a false start, and a few hopefuls put their machinery to the test down the quarter mile. I preferred the more laid back beer tent, with the disappearing chairs and beer can scavengers.
I was continually amazed at the amount of people who offered help to me when I looked in trouble. From the instant I arrived I received help, from putting the tent up, all the way through to taking it down again. I know that the Marshall’s and Organisers were disappointed at the turnout, but they can take heart from the fact that all their hard work was worth it, with a weekend to be proud of, and a crowd that knows how to enjoy themselves without causing trouble for others.
The only ‘damp squib’ on the weekend were two points that could possibly be put down to the change of venue. One was the distance between the disabled camping area and the ‘action’. If I’d known how far it was, and how near the ‘standard’ camping was I would have chosen the latter. (I ended up riding my bike to wherever I wanted to go). The other was the surface of the road/area. Stones are not the best surface to push a wheelchair, or walk with sticks on. I noticed a lot of people having a great deal of trouble with the stone surface, and the general consensus seemed to be that it was not good enough. As I have mentioned, these points could be caused by the last minute change in venue, I don’t know what the usual venue of York is like, but these points should be noted in case the venue needs to be changed again.
All in all it was an excellent weekend. The chance to meet up with friends both old and new, and the very strange experience of meeting up with people who you know (over the internet) but have never met before. I would recommend the NABD weekends to anyone, especially if you are disabled.
You can find out more about NABD on their website.