What a weekend it was last week, gorgeous weather, two equally-matched teams and some close, spirited racing.
I say equally-matched because I know the Bandits’ strength is in battling and never giving up and that will always rise above formbook predictions or calculated averages.
As a team we made many mistakes, we misjudged track conditions and bike set-ups, a few lads had falls, some including myself struggled with starts -- and don't get me started on refereeing decisions -- but I have to say I was actually even more excited and driven after Saturday than I was before.
When you can see the lessons being learned and the level of potential rising with every week, it's hard to feel negative about a draw against a team that is good on paper.
After a draw away we were excited to get a big win at home. It wasn't to be, but the Bandits’ fight was there and it was in full flight at the end of the meeting when we had our backs against the wall and it definitely wasn't the first time we have had to fight that hard for it and it definitely won't be the last time that we will have our backs against the wall and be fighting with all our might.
A lot of people have asked why I wasn't in Heat 15. I was there 100% fired up to go out and win, I had made some adjustments to my set- up and was focused on doing what was needed.
Scott and I were discussing gate positions and then it hit me! My starts had been poor and Aaron had made his last three, so I pointed this out to Scott and we got Dany and Aaron in for the decision. Dany was 100% in as his form and starting was great and Aaron and I discussed the track and starts before handing it over to Scott for the final decision.
It was a tough meeting to analyse and there was no way one person could see all of the on and off track pieces that were necessary to make the correct decision. In that situation we were working perfectly as a team and no one was thinking selfishly, no one worried about egos just honest communication to get the best result for the team.
For the record I think we made the right decision. Ty Proctor flew in Heat 15 and it would have been a big ask for any of us to beat him, but we secured a draw and Dany gained more valuable Heat 15 experience and we put on a tension packed night of action.
Away from Bandits action I was guesting for Newcastle on Sunday against Ipswich. I managed a steady 6+1, not a great points-haul for me but some more valuable track time and more interestingly the match finished as a draw which was my third draw in three nights!
Possibly more importantly than that with the weather being so amazing, on the Monday I decided to skip doing bikes and go out into the Peak District on my Mtb, I took a bit of food and a couple beers with me and made the most of the day. The scenery was amazing and it seemed that for one day everyone in the UK was able to enjoy the benefits of getting out into the countryside.