I’m writing this as I bounce along in the passenger seat of a Mercedes Atego truck on my way to Spa Francorchamps. I’m heading down with a couple of mates to race my trusty old ZX-10R in a 6 hour endurance race. Five days ago, I didn’t even know this event existed. Platty called me on Sunday night to ask me if I fancied it and luckily, I always have a helmet at hand. So I said yes, and now here I am.
It’s a bit last minute, but some of the best experiences I’ve have had proper last minute affairs. Some opportunities I’ve capitalised on, others I haven’t. And it’s taught me something very important. It’s taught me that you always need to be ready to ‘go’. Whether it’s a last minute trip to a MotoGP round at Valencia, or the opportunity to race at the Le Mans 24 hour, you’ll be kicking yourself if you can’t make it.
Take my old man, for example. He’d of loved to get out the house for a long weekend and come down to Spa with us. He’d have been able to put his spanners to good use as well as watch some bikes go round in circles. But he doesn’t have a passport. It ran out around the time covid hit, and he thought he’d wait till the world opened back up to renew it. So he can’t come. What a wasted opportunity.
A few years ago, I was at a race meeting helping some friends out when I was offered a ride on a Supersport bike. I didn’t have my license, or any kit with me, so I had to decline. I was gutted. So from that moment on, I vowed never to go to a race meeting without taking my kit… just in case. And a couple of months ago, it payed off. Because once again, I was there (Croft) with some friends, when a team needed to replace an absent (covid related) rider. It was brilliant, and I spent a weekend racing somebody else’s Kawasaki Z900.
Now, I rarely go anywhere without my leathers and a helmet in the back of my van, just in case. Maybe I’m a little bit obsessed. In fact maybe I’m a lot obsessed, but that’s another story.
What I’m trying to say is remember to always be prepared (like a good boy/girl scout). If you like going away to watch/do bike racing, make sure you’ve always got a passport. If you like riding bikes, make sure you always have a helmet at hand. And if you like making sweet, sweet love, make sure you’ve always got a packet of three handy. Simples.