Desert Rose Racing may not be a familiar name to Rye locals but to cross-country off-road motor bike riders they are the home of motorcycle rallying in the UK. Run by Patsy Quick they are in very safe hands, after all she was the first British woman to complete the gruelling Dakar Rally on two wheels and now runs the Desert Rose Adventure Riding Academy.
Last Sunday, June 2, she staged one of her regular events outside Westfield, the Hare and Hounds, set deep in the beautiful East Sussex countryside which offers riders, woodland, open fields and options of ‘extreme’ and ‘easy’ sections. This way riders who want top results will have shorter but challenging sections to cross and those who just want to enjoy the ride can take the longer but easier route round. There are classes for all, Expert, Sportsman, Clubman A, Clubman B, Beginners, Over 50s, Over 60s, Ladies and Youth (16-18).
My eldest son Alex Forman (pictured) completed the race today but despite the blistering heat and rugged terrain all the riders were in safe hands and the day went to plan with a few inevitable ‘spills’ but thankfully no incidents.
There are strict rules regarding noise and rider safety which was evident as all the competitors were given a health and safety briefing before taking a slow drive along the track to familiarise themselves with the layout. The groups then set off in sections as they headed into the woods, dipping in and out as they climbed across fields and followed the well laid out and thoroughly prepared track for the next four hours, stopping to refuel in the pit stop along the way.
Each rider wears an electronic tag which activates a lap counter as they complete each circuit, eliminating any possibility of ‘cutting corners’. CCTV cameras are also discreetly positioned along the route, which are not only a safety feature but help to eradicate any foul play.
The whole event was very professionally run, well organised and well attended. Everyone played by the rules, gave it their all and both the riders and spectators enjoyed a really good day out in a beautiful setting. Check out the Desert Rose website and see what they are about and if you are tempted to give it a go, get in touch, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Image Credits: Nick Forman.