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What’s plopped on to our door­mat?

Hi PB! The mag is still a great read af­ter all th­ese years. This sticker (right) is on the in­side of my Fire­blade fair­ing from the Cad­well Park Frenzy in 1996. I was just won­der­ing if any­one who went to the week­end is still at the mag? It was un­real and I was just re­mem­ber­ing what an awe­some time that week­end was. Are you ever go­ing to ever run a week­end like that ever again? Keep up the great work... Mark Car­roll CN: No per­ma­nent staffers re­main, but a few of the old dogs are still in the vicin­ity, con­tribut­ing in be­tween emp­ty­ing catheter bags and so on. We’re leav­ing Fren­zies in the past, though – they were a bril­liant prod­uct of their time, and try­ing to repli­cate it now wouldn’t work, and prob­a­bly do the name a dis­ser­vice. Trea­sured mem­o­ries to be left alone, we think.

Moon on a selfie stick

A thought oc­curred to me when watch­ing BSB at Brands ear­lier this year. I was watch­ing the live tim­ing on my phone, for a more in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ence, and started think­ing how this could be ex­panded. Imag­ine if we could bring up the on­board view from the rac­ing live. Or if we could choose the rider who was maybe catch­ing the lead­ers. There must be loads of other ar­eas that could help im­merse you in the ac­tion and draw peo­ple in. Gavin Hogg

A lit­tle help?

I’m 47, have been riding sports­bikes since I was 14, and been an avid reader all this time. But I’ve re­cently had to sell my beloved R1 5VY. I am wait­ing on a dou­ble trans­plant of a kid­ney and pan­creas which has left me fi­nan­cially un­able to main­tain my bike and hold down a full-time job.

My ques­tion is, do you know of any char­i­ties that hold bike days for peo­ple such as my­self as I am miss­ing not riding and don’t have the funds to do track­days. My con­di­tion leaves me tired but not un­able to ride, and the thrill and free­dom of riding is such a loss to me af­ter all th­ese years. Mickey Hunt CN: Not some­thing that rings a bell with us, we’re afraid. If any­one can help Mickey, drop us a line and we’ll pass it on to him.

Rock off, and don’t come back

So the news has come out that Rock­ing­ham is to close its gates af­ter 17 years. I’ve read on­line posts about the re­sult­ing job losses, and for those peo­ple that is never nice. Find­ing work is hard and I wish them all the best. But, from a cus­tomer point of view, the clo­sure of the track cer­tainly doesn’t fill me with sad­ness. I’ve al­ways left there with the same neg­a­tive feel­ings: the place has no soul, the fa­cil­i­ties are pass­able at best, and the sur­face is ghastly, es­pe­cially in the wet.

Built in 2001 in an at­tempt to kick­start a Euro­pean NASCAR se­ries that never took off, riding to the cir­cuit is like riding through some sort of waste­land. I al­ways have ex­pect a roving gang of ban­dits to at­tack me as I cross the vast ex­panse of dusty gravel park­ing spa­ces. What an aw­ful place to put it, too; you don’t see a grubby steel works right next to Brands Hatch, Snet­ter­ton, Oulton or Sil­ver­stone...

One of the big­gest rea­sons cir­cuits like Cad­well, Brands and Sil­ver­stone are so en­joy­able is be­cause you are riding on the same tar­mac as the greats. You can watch BSB at the week­end and a week later be tack­ling those same cor­ners. Rock­ing­ham never had that al­lure. It was a grand idea and was sup­posed to her­ald a new level of in­vest­ment, but re­ally it was a mas­sive white ele­phant.

Rock­ing­ham never pro­vided any­thing bet­ter or even dif­fer­ent to the cir­cuits clos­est to it. Sil­ver­stone and even Bed­ford Au­to­drome are far su­pe­rior. No, Rock­ing­ham was an ex­per­i­ment that failed, and as a rider’s cir­cuit it never was any good. Matt Brown

R1Mming fan

FAO John McAvoy: thank you for a neat, con­cise, ab­so­lutely spot-on sum­mary of the R1 in your BMW long-ter­mer up­date in the Septem­ber is­sue. You en­cap­su­late in a few words ex­actly how I feel about my R1; as an own­er­ship ex­pe­ri­ence it is ab­so­lutely sub­lime. It doesn’t bother me one bit if it’s a sec­ond or so be­hind an­other bike in a lap of some race­track or other, be­cause those sec­onds are more than com­pen­sated for when I open the garage door, look at the bike, start it and ride it. I’ve been sur­prised to see it be­ing some­what dis­missed in re­cent is­sues, but your write up re­stored my faith that I wasn’t go­ing mad. James Brown JM: It’s su­perb, but as much as I love it, the BMW is more use­ful to me and just as good to ride. We’ve not dis­missed it as such, but were dis­ap­pointed Yamaha didn’t do more with the 2018 up­date. It’s bet­ter, but not enough to get the at­ten­tion of ’15-’17 model own­ers, as you’ll see on p16.

15,000 PB read­ers, one de­mol­ished beer tent. They were the days...This sticker in­stantly dou­bles the value of your bike. Fact

Live on­board cam­eras from BSB races? What­ever next, san­i­tary toi­let fa­cil­i­ties?

Rock­ing­ham, pic­tured at the height of its BSB at­ten­dance

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