And now for something completely different...
I have to admit that my main sport and pastime has always been motorcycle trials in whatever guise, be that modern, Pre-65, twin-shock or whatever. But being a motorcycle enthusiast it opens up a wider world of sport and for me that has to include scrambling or motocross, whatever way you wish to label it.
Last December I was invited to help the like-minded enthusiasts who went on to form the Galloway Motorcycle Club to organise the Drumlanrig Grand National, which took place on 13-15th July. No ordinary venue either, because Drumlanrig is a castle situated on the Queensberry Estate in Dumfries and Galloway! The category A-listed building is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry. They were going to race motocross in the grounds!
My main contact was John Fleming, the son of a Glasgow motorcycle dealer who has competed in motocross since a youth and someone I watched racing over the years when I went to spectate or work at motocross events in Scotland. His father knew my father, the connection continues.
So how would I get involved? The phone calls increased over time and the answer was simple, they wanted some publicity and someone to handle the interview with their guest of honour. I asked John Fleming: “who have you got in mind” John replied: “Brad Lackey”. I replied: “What ‘THE’ Brad Lackey, the world motocross champion?” He replied: “Yip”. I couldn’t refuse.
Coupled to that they wanted a Galloway Gathering of past Scottish Champions and folks from the sport to have on the Saturday evening in a huge marquee tent and would I host that? Hold me back, I’m in there! It was nothing short of awesome; the interview with Brad on the Friday evening went down so well, you could hear a pin drop; they hung on his every word. The ‘gathering’ was terrific too with many of the old-school riders being interviewed by yours truly, it was very well received. In the words of Graham Milne: “it brought the crowd closer to the riders”. To crown it all, Brad told me on the Friday that he was so taken with the track that he had asked if he could do a lap of honour and do a queen-like wave to the crowd.
The organisers said it was possible, but he had to ride slow. I suggested an upgrade, why don’t we get some well-known riders to do a parade behind Brad; he thought that was a ‘neat’ idea. Before I knew where I was I had the following former champions and stars on borrowed motocross machines: Vic Allan; Roy Black Jnr; Billy Edwards; Tony Caig; Willlie Wallace; Willie Simpson; Mark Fulton and even North West 200 winner Glenn Irwin out on a gaggle of Maicos, CZs, Hondas, Bultacos and a JAP Metisse. The crowds loved it!
The icing on the cake was on the Sunday, when Brad came up on my blind-side and presented me with a copy of the book he wrote with Len Weed, ‘Motocross Techniques, Training and Tactics’, inside it read: “To John, thanks for the chat – Brad Lackey #82”.
Dude – You are the man!