What was the defining race that turned you into a motorcycle racing fan? Can you remember the riders that took part?the track it was held at?the time of year?the smells of the paddock? How about the result?was that as important to you as the action on track? I’ll bet a hefty Classic Racer 50p bit that you can remember that race and many other elements about it too. Racing is such a tangible, visceral experience on and off track that once you’re bitten it’s hard to let go. And it’s that element which every part of every race boils down to. Give the riders and fans what they want and the all-important cash will follow. In the first instance it’s the thrills, spills and action that draws people in.the inviting atmosphere and inclusive feel of classic racing is what keeps them coming back. Providing we all are inclusive, friendly and inviting, that is. If you’ve spent a lot of time in and around paddocks over the years then a paddock, any paddock, is not an intimidating place.you know how they work, you know how to behave and you know what’s going on, and when, on track.you pay attention and you enjoy the full experience. But if it’s the first time you’ve been in a motorcycle paddock, then we can all seem pretty intimidating. Even when the opposite it true. If anything, a classic paddock has the potential to be such an inviting place, for us, not the layer of corporate rubbish that hinders the modern world. As time passes and factory bikes find their way down the evolutionary ladder, they become the classic race bikes we know. Suddenly there’s more ‘new’ classic machinery to have a look at and talk about with the people who own it. It’s an evolving, developing world. So much more than anything modern. So how do we encourage more people in? I’d very much appreciate your thoughts on this. I’ve said it before but I don’t see any reason why classic racing couldn’t seriously increase its reach with the modern world. This is a cool sport. It’s a cool past time. It’s cool all round. And the masses would love it. If they came along.
Stay on the grey bit, Tony