Well what can I say.. Its been emotional.
I started this journey a while ago, but December 2009 was when MX Vice started out as an idea, December 2010 we managed to get the first dodgy version online. I say dodgy as I (James Burfield) designed and developed the first one.
Up to this point I was a fan in love with Motocross but was becoming a little disillusioned with what was on offer for fans online and also with where the sport was going. Growing up in the 80’s and experiencing 40,000 British fans around Farleigh Hugerford cheering on legends like Thorpe, Nichol, Herring, Whatley, Froud, Smith, Andrews.. and then watching Hawkstone live on World of Sport (Dickie Davis the guy with the tash), things just seem a lot different now. I get it, it’s evolution right?
So in my infinite wisdom and because of my passion for the sport and web knowledge I went about trying to change the Motocross world on my own. Maybe I watched field of dreams too much (‘build it and they will come’) or I’m just delusion-ally retarded (Not sure if that’s a word?)? Two years later and we have managed to get some things right, but also managed to get some things wrong, but I guess unless you try these things you will never know. One thing I do know is, that I have given MX Vice 100%, never veered off the path and not took the easy cash from foreign MX businesses. I’ve stuck with British companies while other competitors took the money. What we have managed to do is grow the site to 15,000 unique British visitors a month and grow social to a figure that casts envious eyes from the big boys.
For those that know me (James Burfield) you probably either like me or dislike me because i’m opinionated…. I’m not one to follow like a sheep and if I think things aren’t right i’ll say it and i’ll face the consequences. Take for instance the current British Championships this year.. I’m a huge fan of the series, last year I invested a significant amount of money to become a media partner, this year however the investment is being made into young people looking to break into the sport like Elliot Spencer a talented photographer and Lewis Phillips a young journalist coming out of college in May. These guys are the future, they love Motocross, loads of passion and have pinned their hopes on working within the industry. Sorry went off topic there…I was saying about the British Championships.. Take Ross Keyworth, Carlton Husband, Oliver Sandiford Smith, James Lassu for example, four reasons why the series is loosing its value. All four riders in theory qualified in the top 40 at Fatcats but had to sit out and watch the first race (except OSS who was late to the gate, thanks @Spaetow for the info!), Ross who qualified in 33rd also watched race 2. Surely we have got to a stage where it should be the top 40 are there because they have earned it? The argument being not enough riders would enter a support race and by round 5 only 38 would be on the line. My thoughts are, run the support for the first 4 rounds of the Championship while its stacked and injuries are at a minimum. Running an extra 20 MX1 and 20 MX2 riders ( all paying money £100 each) with the top 40 fastest qualifying whether they are team riders, GP Riders or just billy working out his van with his dad on a 2 year old bike. What you’re doing is creating transparency and showing people if they are good enough and qualify they are there on merit. Suddenly the people who wouldn’t usually bother with riding the championship for the fear of only riding for 15 mins and spending £400 on fuel and entry suddenly start to become interested. At the same time I have just made the ACU 4k a meeting, 16k over 4 rounds if they implemented this. Everyone is happy, fans get to see the best riders, young riders see a fair system and we’re heralded as the best national series in Europe. Easy hey? Well if it was that easy i’m sure the ACU would have thought of this already..?
So back to MX Vice, as mentioned I have tried some things that have worked and some that haven’t, but one thing I can guarantee everyone, we will keep trying until we get it right! MX Vice is powered by the people and not me, hence this is my first and probably last blog on here ever as I talk way to much shit. We have attracted some of the UK’s shining stars in Journalism and Photography who have been given a chance to work for MX Vice and took that chance with both hands and ran with it. Lewis Phillips, Jonathan McCready, Elliot Spencer and Ed Warren are taking MX Vice forward, we have more opinion pieces, galleries than most of out American counterparts, not bad for a UK site hey? These guys are giving everything they have got to take Motocross forward in this country, it might be only a tiny ripple in the grand scheme of things, but trust me I work with these guys and this team will be making waves soon enough to make people stand up and take notice. As Imagine Dragons so deftly put in Radioactive…WELCOME TO THE NEW AGE.
We’re not here for the quick wins, we have a plan in place to help push British MX forward and that is exactly what we will do, but we can’t do it alone, we need your help.
Rob Sartin from Talon, DEP Pipes, Lifelong have helped push MX Vice forward, they see what we are trying to achieve and are actively supporting us, so for this I would personally like to thank you guys.
So REVOLUTIONS start somewhere and this takes me on nicely to the reason why i’m writing this blog piece. The Insideline, April 4th 2013 8pm will witness the start of something new, something we’ve not had, an hour dedicated to Motocross and following some of the UK’s smallest, coolest, biggest most passionate businesses we buy from. Ed Warren has worked his ass off going up and down the country to put together a 60 minute Motocross show that we hope will inspire others. Whether its get bums on bikes, prompts you to support your local dealer, learn about new brands, training techniques, practise tracks, clubs or whatever, we’re hoping we can make our small ‘ripple’ inspires a TV station to run a regular TV Show on freeview so we can all watch it and maybe one day bring live Motocross back to freeview channel and inspire the next legion of Motocross fans.
One person, one voice will never get the sport anywhere, but hundreds and thousands of voices will, but until we all work together to build the sport then we will be squabbling over pieces and people lining there pockets rather than all working to build a sustainable system that everyone benefits from.
You might read this and think what a tosser, if you do that your opinion and you’re entitled to it, but i’m hoping you might read it and mention it to someone who then visits the site and contributes to our growing 15,000 community. I would love to produce a forum that is worthy of all of us, something that we will work hard on to achieve in 2013.
Keep a look out for the the new site coming July 1st. We’re ready to take it to the next level.
If you do one thing this week, watch the Insideline on Motors TV, lets use this TV Show to show people we have a voice and we love MX, let the Insideline be a stepping stone to getting MX back on freeview TV.
TV done alright for Football in this country hey?
PS. Apologies for my spelling and grammar.. i’m just a fan – James Burfield Aged 37 and a half.