I know when my addiction started
|I guess I am lucky enough to know exactly when and where I first became addicted to motorcycles. It was August 14 , 1974, I even remember what field I was in, by field I mean an actual field, with grass and mud, located at quarry bends on the Dundrod circuit just outside Belfast, Northern Ireland.
My father had taken me to watch the Ulster grand Prix, a world Championship event up until 1971 where all the famous motorcycle riders had diced “between the hedges” in their pursuit of fame , glory and a place in motorcycling history.
Prior to that day I don’t remember having any interest in motorcycles or road racing, but when the bikes came by on the warm up lap, of the 7 mile circuit, I was immediately hooked on the smell of Castrol R and the sounds of high revving 2 and 4 stroke engines being blipped , the riders changing down the gears as they entered the high speed double bend. There is nothing better then the sounds and smells of high performance engines in the morning mingling with the smells of damp grass and fresh cow manure.
Much to my Father’s dismay, this was a passion that took over the rest of my life, both as a career and an addiction, a mixture of ecstasy and agony as over the years I experienced the joys of victory, mainly as a preparer of winning motorcycles, and the devastating losses of friends and heroes.
Little did I know that some of those top riders would in the future be calling at my door asking for assistance or inviting me to cross Europe on the adventure of a lifetime . Building bikes to compete at many of the legendary racing circuits, like the Isle of Man TT, Hockenheim in Germany and Assen in Holland.
I know all over the world, unsung heroes are in the background build and tuning the bikes or cars that make other people household names but I know they would agree, there is nothing that can compare to just being there and knowing , even if nobody else realizes, that without their work legends would not be made, records would not be broken and people would have fewer great memories to look back on.