Thanks to Wales Blog Network I totally scored tickets to the British Speedway at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium! For those who have about as much of a clue as me, this means motorbike racing. When I first saw they wanted bloggers on board I didn’t think I’d fit but then I noticed they were asking specifically for people who had never been before. If you read my ‘I think I could be drifting into oblivion with this mumming lark’ post then you will know I was on the look-out for something a bit out of the ordinary, a bit exhilarating and the Speedway certainly delivered.

Adrian Flux British Speedway Grand PrixAdrian Flux British Speedway Grand Prix

Background & Underground

In it’s 17th year at the Principality stadium Cardiff (still calling it the Millennium Stadium in my head every time) the speedway is the second longest residency at the stadium next to the rugby. It’s a well established event with a huge fan base. Some geek stuff – the bikes are 500cc with no gears or brakes!

 

I got to see the bikes close up on a pit tour the day before the main event. Our guide led us through the pits past all the rider’s stands. They were doing some final checks on their bikes making sure they were race-ready and revving the engines. Some of the more die-hard fans got to meet their favourite riders and see the draw for the first set of riders for the practise runs.

The stadium was really quiet for the practise runs, see in my video below I’m almost whispering. Watching the practise runs gave a good idea of what to expect at the main event the following day.

The Main Event

Race day was very exciting with hoardes of fans arriving to support the event, a lot of them having been to the free event day on city lawn. The official sponsor Monster energy drinks had the ‘monster girls’ who did an opening ceremony with flame throwing. We got into the stadium just as the riders were announced and the heats began. There are 23 races overall with each rider meeting each other at least once. The final race was the most exciting; you could tell each rider wanted it as much as the next, with Polish rider Maciej Janowski taking the 1st place. He was a very popular rider and the crowd gave him loads of support.

#MumsOnTour

guest passes! british-speedway

It was a really fun night off (well 2 days off in the end with the pit tour the day before as well) and just what I needed. I went with my friend Ceri from MyahzineTV and we both really enjoyed the whole event. Even though I didn’t know anything about it beforehand, it’s set up so that anyone can fully immerse themselves in the excitement really quickly. It was really special getting ‘backstage’ guest passes and I was made-up to get the opportunity through the blog. It was great to meet some other local bloggers too. Thanks again to The Welsh Blog Network.

Top Tips:

  • It’s billed as a family event and if you were hoping to take littlies you would certainly see lots of other families and kids. I personally would prefer to take older kids mostly due to the crowds. It is really loud as you can imagine with the bikes’ engines and there were a couple of collisions which I suppose could be a little scary for some smaller children.
  • The speedway is shown live on BT sports.
  • It doesn’t smell horrible! The fuel is made from potatoes so there is often a waft of what smells like cooking oil but I didn’t leave coughing with the smell of diesel in my hair like I thought I possibly would.
  • Buy a programme to follow along with the race running order during the live event.
  • Stay until the end. Once the 3 podium place winners have taken their trophies there is an amazing fireworks display show.
  • Buy memorabilia on the way out. This is a bit of a naughty tip but the touts were flogging everything half price on our way out! 😉
  • Book a horn free zone if you have anyone in your party who would not appreciate a very loud horn being blown next to them full blast at any given moment!

I would definitely go again, I had a great time. Tickets for 2018 are on sale now at speedwayGP.com

Have you ever been to the British Speedway before? Let me know if you’re a fan in the comments.

 

I love me a bit of Americana, who doesn’t? So I was excited to be invited along to the promo evening of the new Hollywood Bowl. Cwmbran bowling has had a major facelift with a £250,000. refurbishment and upgrade complete with new diner and entertainments area.

 

Greeted by Marilyn Monroe we then had a quick tour of the new premises. They’ve really upped the game over the whole place, the pool table area is now a really nice area, the bar serves real ales if that’s your thing and the diner is really kitsch with American style booths. We had some tasters of the food and it was really good. Thick burgers with bacon, cheese and salad, nachos, vege burgers, fresh milkshakes – strawberry and oreo flavours – served in cute little retro milk bottles –and they also had gluten free options on the menu as well.

half eaten (gluten free!) nachos

 

We weren’t really great at bowling! We had our fair share of gutter balls. I got a strike so I got a sticker which made my inner child people-pleaser immensely proud but totally fluffed it for the prosecco competition. When a pink pin came down at the front of the pins you won a bottle if you got a strike. I’m usually a very lucky person with things like that but alas I buckled under the pressure!

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Each lane had a server, ours was really great offering help with setting up the game and was on hand for drinks orders from the bar. All the uniforms were like 50’s diner style pink shirts adding to the Americana theme. Our server was especially friendly and sorted us out with gluten and dairy free nachos. Kids parties can have a dedicated server too (sounds good to me!).

Game of bowling complete we went over to the arcade bit and had a turn on some of the video games. It was fun we went on Jurassic park and a shooting one, a driving one, (can you tell I’m not a gamer) and this green one that moved the seat around. I’ve never seen one like it before in an arcade! There was Mario Kart too but it had a bit of a hovering queue.

video game

bowling

I had a great time thanks Hollywood Bowl for the freebie evening out. Definitely well worth a visit if you like a bit of Americana too and you like bowling and big fat burgers (which I do – all of the above) and you can pre-book your lanes too. Even though I’m suffering ‘bowler’s bum’ today I had a great time. It’s a stance thing, check out my live vid on my facebook page if you need to know more about that.

Thanks Hollywood Bowl and Laura of vans comms for the invite.

If you would like to read about another blog event I went to here it is at Smiggle.