Mixed emo­tions

Some­times in life, and in scooter­ing, the sad times can really hit home. But the pull and sol­i­dar­ity of the com­mu­nity al­ways shines through no mat­ter what...

Scootering - - Mailbox - Paul

At times like these the scooter com­mu­nity can put aside its ri­val­ries and come to­gether. I think it will al­ways do that. The ma­chines and life­style we all share bonds us to­gether and gives us a lot in com­mon.

Idon’t nor­mally write about scooter rac­ing as part of the col­umn, but for­give me the in­dul­gence this month. The re­cent race meet­ing at Cad­well Park was the cli­max to a race sea­son that has seen some bril­liant In­ter­na­tional rac­ing all year. But the last meet­ing was one of in­cred­i­bly mixed emo­tions for ev­ery­one in­volved. Just a cou­ple of weeks ear­lier we had learnt of pop­u­lar racer James Campen sadly pass­ing away at just 48.

James had been a pre­vi­ous BSSO cham­pion, rid­ing en­gines de­vel­oped by tun­ing leg­end Char­lie Ed­monds who spent a week re­build­ing and pre­par­ing James’ ex-cham­pi­onship win­ning Group 4 Lam­bretta to ride in a me­mo­rial pa­rade. Young rider Joe Raven­scroft was do­ing sim­i­lar with James’ track mo­tor­cy­cle and it was re­painted to match the Group 4 Lam­bretta. These ges­tures showed the in­cred­i­ble ca­ma­raderie and re­spect that ex­ists in the scooter com­mu­nity at such times. To see these ma­chines along with James’ Sco­madi head­ing a pa­rade lap around Cad­well was touch­ing. As the pa­rade passed the spec­ta­tors sim­ply clapped and showed their re­spect, scooter­ists and mo­tor­cy­clists alike.

On Satur­day morn­ing a prac­tice tum­ble had seen Stephen Hamil­ton taken to hospi­tal with bro­ken col­lar­bones and ribs. His two ri­vals for the new LCGB Pro­duc­tion class hon­ours were truly gut­ted that they could not have a three-way bat­tle right down to the wire. The friendly ri­valry and spirit in that class has been a high­light of the year and has been a joy to watch for the spec­ta­tors. Even from hospi­tal there were mes­sages go­ing both ways to and from his ri­vals for the cham­pi­onship.

But be­fore we got to the Sun­day pa­rade the rid­ers and spec­ta­tors were shocked by a huge start­line ac­ci­dent late on Satur­day, which saw sev­eral rid­ers un­con­scious on the track. Sadly, JB Tun­ing rider Tom Rus­sell was se­ri­ously hurt – suf­fer­ing two bro­ken legs. Rac­ing for that day was aban­doned and the other rid­ers had a some­what sub­dued evening for the last race week­end. Ev­ery­one was very con­cerned for Tom and it showed. Other rid­ers were nurs­ing bro­ken ma­chines and bashed up bod­ies. Once again it was a re­minder to all of the dan­gers of rac­ing these su­per-fast ma­chines.

So on Sun­day with most class cham­pi­onships ready to go down to the wire we saw some of the best of the scooter com­mu­nity spirit as com­peti­tors wished each other luck and got down to rac­ing fairly and with rid­ers tak­ing maiden wins, as well as dif­fer­ent peo­ple win­ning races there was some in­cred­i­ble joy and de­light in the pad­dock and as we moved to the final race there were still classes un­de­cided. There was gen­uine de­light for Gary Pea­cock who took a race win af­ter de­vel­op­ing his own ma­chine all year.

Then dis­as­ter hit dur­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle race, re­sult­ing in the sad sight of an air am­bu­lance on track. The race of­fi­cials aban­doned the meet­ing at this point. The rider later died. This is some­thing none of us ever wishes to hap­pen to any­one, whether it’s a rac­ing or a road in­ci­dent.

So the day showed the high points of rid­ers tak­ing their first race wins, and cham­pi­onship wins, but this was tem­pered by the ac­ci­dents – which peo­ple can’t fail to be af­fected by. And added into the mix was say­ing good­bye to a pop­u­lar rider with a hugely touch­ing show of re­spect.

At times like these the scooter com­mu­nity can put aside its ri­val­ries and come to­gether. I think it will al­ways do that. The ma­chines and life­style we all share bonds us to­gether and gives us plenty in com­mon.

I’ve touched on it be­fore but this ca­ma­raderie, sup­port and re­spect has al­ways been part of our scooter scene, whether it be road rid­ers or rac­ers and when bad things hap­pen we come to­gether and sup­port. When good things hap­pen we can be joy­ous. So this Septem­ber week­end was a to­tal roller­coaster of emo­tions for all the BSSO Rac­ers and sup­port­ers. Laugh­ter and tears… That’s life…

Paul Green Paul Thomas

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