Waddington Airfield Riding Day 2011

The weather was against the start of the Airfield Riding Day however, 2503 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment braved the torrential rain late on a Friday evening to set out the course ready for the following day’s riding event.For the second year running the Squadron organised an event to allow like minded bikers to come and test their skill and improve their handling of their bikes as part of the government THINK BIKE initiative whilst raising money for local charities.

With close to 1000 cones placed out around the 4.3 mile track all that was needed was for the rain to stop and the track to dry out sufficiently for riders to arrive and for the sessions to begin on time.
At 0700 as the bikes began to arrive, the airfield transformed into a busy paddock, with riders arriving with a wide variety of bikes ranging from top of the range race bikes to vintage bikes with one rider even arriving with a side car!

Kitted out with their tents, motor homes and tyre warmers suddenly it was more like being at the Moto GP than being on an airfield. Local businesses were in attendance selling everything from photos of the sessions, to offering a full suspension setup and tyre check for their bikes.

With 150 bikers checked in, a comprehensive safety brief delivered and with all the bikers ready to go it was the job of the 2503 Squadron marshals to lead the groups out for their first laps! The sound of bike engines cut through the air as a tentative sighting session by all three groups saw the bikers begin to get a feeling for the damp track and sight their lines for braking and with the first glimmers of sunshine beginning to bathe the track we knew the times were only going to drop and the speeds were going to be very high!

The first session started with the advanced group heading out on to a damp and slippy track. The one biker who decided to attempt his first lap on slicks should be commended for his bravery, however quickly realised the error in his ways as he crept round at 30mph before returning to the paddock for a tyre change!

At the end of a very successful day of riding, in which there were no serious accidents or injuries, only some bruised pride, the Sqn is happy to announce it has raised over £4000. This will be split between the Lincolnshire Air Ambulance and RAF Benevolent Fund. 2503 Sqn would like to thank everyone from Station for their assistance in making this event a success and look forward to seeing increased numbers for the event next year!

By Flight Lieutenant Stephen Milne

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