Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Le Mans 24 Hour Rollers 2012

So I just got back from our annual London Wheelers team trip to the Le Mans 24Rollers event.
I've done it 4 times now, 3 running our own team, and it was mostly excellent!

Every year I go to the event and think of something that could be done better next year. Last year, after a long train journey and a horrible walk to get to the campsite with several heavy bags, I saw some friends roll up on motorbikes and in cars and thought "I could have done that" so this year I did!

I wanted to really look after the team this year, as some were travelling from across the Atlantic ocean and others hadn't been before, so I bought enough tent space for everyone. This consisted of a gigantic tent that was sold as a 6-person tent but could probably fit an entire battalion of troops in it. The best tent on the whole campsite though, was my VW Camper Van shaped tent. It was very popular with hundreds of people stopping to take photos of it. At night while trying to sleep I kept thinking a thunderstorm was about to start from all the flash photography, and people were using it as a landmark for describing how to get to places!

To transport all this stuff there, I spent some money getting my old BMW 528i back on the road. It has a huge boot and, apart from the problems with fuel consumption and steering that both still need looking at after the MOT, it was a great motorway cruiser.

Back at the track, the team got on really well and it was lovely to have everyone there with smiles on their faces. The only downside was that although we were sharing our pit lane with several other London teams consisting of a lot of our friends, we arrived at the pit lane a little later than everyone else and they had left no space for us at all, filling it with double mattresses and a baby change area. It made the pit lane useless to us and we mostly found ourselves sitting by the trackside instead of with friends. This is reflected in the photos which either all show the other teams or our team but never together.

Next year we'll turn up early and set up a Hard Rock Cafe in the pit lane. And maybe fit a toll booth for anyone who wants to pass.

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