After five long winter months it now feels that we are already well into the new speedway season.
With challenge matches and the odd league match already taking place the daily dose of methanol-fuelled action is upon us and we got the first taste of that in Cumbria on Saturday at the Comets press and practice day.
Although the Comets injury curse has struck again with Kenny Ingalls missing the start of the season we got a look at the rest of the team in action.
With so much positive anticipation surrounding the new season the riders seemed to underline that confidence with many looking like they hadn’t been off the shale since last season.
Brothers James and Charles Wright both looked fast while Richard and Rusty were also on the pace with Tomas as stylish as ever.
You couldn’t really tell how fast Peter was going though because he seemed to spend half the time pulling wheelies down the straights.
It all bodes well for the first league meeting on Saturday, although mystery still surrounds the last spot.
Local rider Gary Irving looks a good bet as he was quite impressive on Saturday despite coming to grief when he hit a rut.
However, it is always a risk relying on National League riders who are unproven and I know many people would like to see Casper Wortmann riding again if he can be tempted out of retirement.
After dealing with the controversy over the winter involving Coventry, Peterborough and the BSPA we now could have another crisis on our hands involving the new silencers.
Some riders have voiced their concerns over how they could affect set-ups for their bikes and also jeopardise their safety.
Other people have said it will affect atmosphere at matches and I for one enjoy the noise and smell that is generated on nights and is surely one of the attractions of the sport.
However, the situation is still unclear in Poland.
Many of their riders have been banned from competing with the new silencers, which could put some of the top names out of action, including in the Grand Prix series.
Last week’s meeting between Swindon and Lakeside was called off, as was last night’s rescheduled clash.
The situation needs to be resolved quickly.
For me, I can still hear the bikes from my house down the road so I certainly didn’t see – or hear – much difference on Saturday.
Published: March 31, 2011
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This week in... 1928Saturday, December 8, 1928...
The Miners' Hall at West Wylam was officially re-opened after undergoing extensive renovation.
Built as a cinema with a sloping floor 15 years previously, a ladies' cloakroom had been added and the floor levelled to turn it into a dance hall.
The work cost £500, half of which came from the Northumberland Miners' Association.