Friday, 20 April 2012

Round Two of the UK Flat Track championship tomorrow with a heavy threat of rain.
Here are some shots from Stoke speedway in 2006. After the race, we actually got showered with our helmets, boots and leathers on....I thought it was a great idea until we totally blocked the toilet blocks drains...Sorry about that!
Anyways, flat tracking is definitely not a wet weather sport!

Saturday, 14 April 2012


The fast approaching DIRT QUAKE race event is Joe Public's one-time opportunity to come strings attached. It will be a one night stand of exhilaration, fear and a true sense of accomplishment.

Whatever bike you can lay your hands on, we got a suitable class for you to race it in. Novice, street-tracker/street-scrambler, inappropriate road bike and chopper classes.

Here's what was lurking in my shed. Given to me over 15years ago... a crusty, unloved Suzuki GS750 hardtail chopper. I say 'hardtail' but what I really mean is 2 iron bars bolted into where the rear shocks should be.

My mates, PITSTOP PAUL and his lad PITSTOP KEV dropped by today to make initial steps to get her running for the big day. When I aquired the bike in the last century, it was running. However, it seems to be missing a rectifier and the wiring loom looks like it was put together over the phone by Peters and Lee. The overall standard of engineering is so poor and's almost perverse.

I'm not gonna race this bike personally. I'm already racing my Rotax in both the club meeting 11am-4pm and then in the GNC at 7pm which is more than enough considering I'm suffering with a hernia. The deal is if they can get it running then Pitstop Paul can race it in the Chopper class.....I'm positive I'll get far more pleasure watching a newbie at the helm representing SKOOTER FARM/SIDEBURN than riding it myself. If Paul decides not to race.....I already got a subsitute. A guy who's last legitimate occupation was being fired out of a cannon in a stunt show!

The Pitstoppers left undaunted with a small shopping list: coils, plugs, plug caps, air filters and a rectifier.
Work continues next week.

I hope this post inspires folks who toy with the romantic notion of being a motorcycle racer to stop fantasizing and make it a reality...even if it's just for one evening.

Remember....Ride it like you borrowed it!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Got a nice surprise in the mail today from my good friend Mel Bergman in California. It's a music project that himself, Deke Dickerson and friends collaborated on with Nokie Edwards.

Nokie Edwards was the lead guitarist with original instrumental surf kings THE VENTURES from 1959-1968. Tons of great tracks: 2000 lb bee, pedal pusher, swingin' creeper and their biggest hit...walk don't run.

Mel is the Guitarist in THE PHANTOM SURFERS and Deke was in THE UNTAMED YOUTH and this platter is an authentic sounding homage to the mid-60's period Ventures.

However....track Five is called DO THE FRANK SIDEBOTTOM....

How can this be? you ask.....Well, let me explain.... back in 2005, my band THE STAGS played a couple of European shows with The Phantom Surfers. One of these was at Wigan where we somehow managed to get Frank out of retirement to compere the show.....this kickstarted his career and led to me becoming Franks road manager.
Mel and the rest of the band where totally knocked out with Frank....instantly recognising the genius that it was. Frank ended up singing SHEENA IS A PUNK ROCKER with the Surfers and it brought the house down.
Frank and The Surfers stayed in touch and plans were made to record a Frank Sidebottom and the Phantom Surfers EP, for U.S. release and a west coast tour to promote it. Frank was really excited about this. Mel sent six or so instrumental tracks over but Frank being Frank....He never actually got round to finishing it. Sadly, Chris Sievey, Franks alter ego, contracted cancer and died. He did tell me he had recorded vocals on a couple of the tracks. It's possible they are tucked away somewhere on his portastudio. Problem is Chris/Frank was a disorganised, unconventional maverick. How you would even start to figure out the mystery tracks whereabouts totally beats me. seems this particular song has gone full circle. Mel and the guys have paid tribute to Sidebottom by keeping its original title and having one of the all-time great surf instrumental guitarists play on it. I'm positive that Frank/Chris would be completely jazzed at this unlikely know he would.....he really would....thankyou!

Monday, 9 April 2012


 Great day recently, filming the teaser trailer for Sideburn Magazine's next event DIRT QUAKE.
Weather was amazing, Hayley Saull and Dan Walsh from Patteran Productions did a super job as did my co-star Wilky # 99!
Extra big thanks to Kaitlyn, our glamourous starter girl who patiently hung around all day waiting for her call...and also Jonathon Saull for taking the photos.

Bikes featured in the shoot were my '82 Suzuki GS 850 shaft drive and Wilkys newly imported '38 Harley Flathead. The bikes were required to be street legal for the road sequences and it was a bit of a challenge to achieve that. Wilkys bike wasn't even registered in the UK and mine had been stood in a damp shed for over six years. Favours were called,  queue-jumping MOT's sorted by Gary at NORTHWEST CUSTOMS, emergency carb stripdown, new battery and filters by Paul and Tony respectively at PITSTOP MOTORCYCLES.
Wilky jumped through hoops to re-register his sickle on a UK plate....just in the nick of time.
The choppers rode surprisingly good out on the track....considering the hardtail frame, high bars and forward foot positioning. the Flathead developed a fault half way through the day....but Wilky somehow managed to keep her running and got the job done....a real trooper!

Keep an eye out for a cameo appearance by SKOOTER FARM team manager Joe Crawford!

Watch the trailer


More event details

Friday, 6 April 2012


After three months of rigorous lifestyle change, exercise and healthy body rewards me by developing an inguinal hernia.
Inevitably, I'm going to have surgery...but in the meantime.......IN GOD WE TRUSS!
Made a makeshift cod-piece out of 2 pairs of underpants, a piece of camping bed mat and some duct tape and proceeded to skate the pool. This worked satisfactorily so I then purchased a cheap, generic hernia support belt online and went flat track racing last weekend with no obvious serious issues.....but I guess it's only a matter of time.......