Everyday at MX Vice we’re getting closer to making this site what we want it to be. We’re long way from where we want it to be, both technically and editorially… but then in reality we’ve only just started. One thing we’re sure of though is getting people involved for the right reasons, one of which is they care enough about British motocross to see it improve. One such person is Adam Hartwell (we say person, but we think he’s been possessed or abducted at somepoint!). ‘Rad Ad’ is a fan first and Thor’s UK brand manager second and every month he’s going to giving us his insight into the sport. We’re not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but we know it will be entertaining and diverse either way. Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the first ramblings (and scribbles) of MX Vice’s ‘Inside Outer’…..
Being asked to write for MX Vice was something of a shock in all honesty! Sat at my desk, my eye was distracted from the glare of my laptop by the flash of a familiar phone number on my gooseberry! The last 3 digits, which for some reason are the only ones I can ever remember; read 135, that was enough to indicate that my good friend Jeff was on the other end… Naturally I assumed he was on the blag for some product, but the draw of some comedy banter was such that I had to answer, even though I was in the midst of polishing a pile of turds that would give the most seasoned muck-spreader, poo-envy… the bowl of glitter was running low… and I needed cheering up!
So… After the usual un-pleasantries where dispensed with we got talking about magazines, what they are, what they’re not… It was in all honesty a little long winded and more than a little opinionated, I think it would also not be unfair to say the conversations detail was a little slanderous too. Regardless, Jeff said he had read some of my ramblings from a “work” thing I had published and it turned out quite to my surprise that he liked the way I write! I say quite to my surprise as I am pretty new to this writing gig, so new in fact that this is really my maiden voyage, I just pray it ends a little better than the Titanic’s!
I have never written much other than some “thoughts” for a good friend and some stuff for work. Truth be known I bailed on English at school due to Mrs Bellamy’s preference for posters… rather than pontificating over Shakespeare. So I had spent most of my school days drawing in English! Partly because the other kids sucked at drawing, but mostly because I sucked at reading! Point of fact being the only bona-fide book I have ever read, I am still only 56 pages into!
Anyway, I have digressed quite without need; Jeff’s call! It was to ask me to write for this here new British website – MX vice. I don’t want to brand myself as the “industry insider” as in all honesty that is the 10 hours of my day that work steals from me, so to pigeon-hole me in this, my leisure time is a little unnecessary. Hopefully what I can bring you is a different perspective and some unusual detail stuff that would maybe have otherwise passed you by! I can’t tell you tales of GP victories as I am a little worse than average on a bike, nor can I recite viewing the greats in their heyday as I simply wasn’t there!
What I plan to explore with you is a little of what drives us all to take part in this sport, the inspiration I guess, the reasons we all ride in the first place… the feeling of release and freedom… For me, as I sit atop my steed I am at peace… I am the king of my motorised, plastic and tin castle, it owes me nothing, and I owe it nothing, it’s this mutual disregard for each other’s wellbeing that makes the experience so perfect, (similar maybe only to the lure of a lady called Roxanne?) …my mechanical mistress will doubtlessly punish me as hard as I can punish her, so maybe it’s the primeval urge to fight for something you desire as the stags do in autumn that arouses my senses?
Who really knows, all I know is there are very few things in life to liken the emotion to, especially since likes are so subjective! I like art, music, film, wine and sleeping for 8 hours straight… some folk don’t. Music really is the only thing for me that gets close to rewarding you with the same inner peace as thrashing your moto-mule senseless does… it has the ability to wholly absorb your attention. A good song can take you on a little journey that you enjoy so much you stick it on repeat never tiring of the predictability… sort of like how a good track, one that flows and has a rhythm that suits you, will not get boring no matter how many laps you spin.
My song of choice at the moment is Ben Howards “Old pine” the WLT live rendition. To me this little acoustic number is the perfect song for how I like to ride a bike, or at least how the inner working of my mind likes to ride a bike. It turns my imagination into one of my dear friend, Mikey Neale’s videos, all interesting and slow-mo-eee… I guess to appreciate the unlikely choice of tune you have to know I don’t ride too often anymore, so every time I do I savour it, like the last mouthful of the perfect bacon and egg sarnie. I love to have a mellow day of razzing, hence this song is no DnB mind riot by DJ head scramble and MC migraine.
The song starts… The strum and hushed vocal sounds like the morning chorus emitted from the birds in the bushes behind the van. The gentle, happy tune you hear from those feathered Mick Fleetwood’s as a slow sunrise on a warm day unfolds. A day where you know it rained slow and long the day before… now the dirt will, after its morning sauna, be “primo” (Hi Ash Mac) so… you pull on your boots, you talk a little with friends, you go for the third piss of the morning then laugh about it. 1-min & 25-seconds in, Ben sings “rang”, but to me it sounds like BBrrrrtttrrangg, the solitary – crisp twang of a perfectly jetted 2 stroke, backed up only seconds later by a few twangs of the acoustic dreadnaught Ben caresses. 1-min & 50-seconds in, the light bass rumble of a stock piped 450, that’s a little too rich off the bottom… a few nerves now – who’s the fast guy today goes through your mind. 2-mins & 19 seconds, you are all behind the gate, looking up and down the line, looking at the gate, looking at the gate. Nervous but at peace, you fiddle with nothing in particular, it’s just what you do… 2-mins & 31 seconds, the gate drops in slow motion, everything is in slow motion, your all too aware of that little shuffle you need to make in the seat to keep things straight. The relaxation then recoil in your clutch hand, everything seems slower than it should be. It’s taken my mind a full 14-elephants of clicking up cogs down a perfectly groomed start to get to… 2-mins & 45 seconds and into the first corner. With an exaggerated inhalation of breath I pitch it right as if it where Hawkstones first lovely, soft corner (odd I should dream of a right, I turn better going left!) 2-mins & 50-seconds you heart starts to beat a little faster, adrenaline and making the mistake of holding your breath too much combine to fill your head with that awesome fuzzy lack of oxygen – endorphin overdose – feeling, whatever those chemicals really are I love them, they make your body and mind work in perfect nuclear synchronicity. You rub bars a little with some w**ker you will share a cup of tea and banter with, in 17 minutes and 2 laps… before… settling into a good rhythm at 3.19… all the time watching, carefully learning your foes foibles… 3.47… it’s yours, you can read it easier than the junior edition of Spot-the-Dog… Now, full gas is the only position your crusty old throttle tube knows. You pass folk and the purest enjoyment flows as the nerves fall away – discarded with the same lack of conscience as your last tear-off was slung into the path of the said w**ker. Now time speeds right up like some weird sci-fi movie and it’s all over before you can think about it… I just love riding my Honda… either in the dirt or in my mind, I just don’t care… I flippin love it!