While you won’t find Bryan MacKenzie’s column inside Dirt Bike Rider magazine this month – the Scottish slacker missed his deadline for our Summer issue that goes on-sale today (Friday, July 28) – what you will find are his thoughts on the 2018 KTMs and the all-new YZ450F.
And as well as those awesome motocross bike tests we’ve also got exclusive interviews with three generations of Everts (Harry, Stefan and Liam), Arnaud Tonus, Nathan Watson, Alex Snow and TT ace James Hillier who took on the ErzbergRodeo along with 1,500 other dirt bike nuts including our own team of ragged rock-riding rascals – that’s Team Proseal y’all.
Plus there’s part one of Jack Burnicle’s Hakan Carlqvist tribute, all the regular stuff that makes DBR the UK’s #1 off-road read and FREE stickers! Yep, they’re yours to keep forever so you can stick ’em to your bike, to your granny, perhaps the fridge or your fanny (in the American sense, of course) – the choice is yours!
Oh, and if you’re a fan of freebies or just miffed that Bry Mac’s monthly musing is missing then read on because the whole thing is scribbled below for your reading pleasure – Anthony Sutton
This month I was reminded of how much I love motocross. Not that I’d fallen out with of course it but as my first year of being retired has unfolded, and I have gotten into the routine of life, sometimes I think I forget to appreciate how cool a job I’ve really got.
I’ve never taken what I do for granted as I really do appreciate and love my job but even in owning a motocross track there is a routine of work that needs done each and every week. And like everything else those moments go by on autopilot as the monotony of getting the same stuff done for the 50th time this year can numb me to the bigger picture of what it actually is I’m doing – working in motocross.
As life progresses after racing, I find myself mixing more and more with non-moto humans – aka mere mortals – on a much more regular basis. For most of my life I have unintentionally strictly hung out with motocross folk as we all share such a strong passion for our shared interest it’s all we ever speak about and we live in this MX bubble.
However, since the birth of Heidi – and a couple of other milestone moments – I find myself meeting new people who have no ties to our sport and have completely different interests and have wandered down a radically different path with equally as different life experiences way more frequently.
It’s almost unchartered territory for me to socialise with a completely non-MX related group but it’s happening. I’d like to say I’m adapting but the reality is I still only talk about motocross because our sport seems to perk the interest of virtually everyone I ever come into contact with and even the newest of acquaintances will happily chat away about our sport as soon as they find out my passion.
For example, I’m getting some work done at the palace this summer but I haven’t crossed paths with the builders doing the work too much as I’m usually out before they arrive and return after they leave. Most of the decision making comes from the wife but on the few occasions that I have bumped into them they are always really intrigued to what I have been doing – so much so that we spend more time speaking about my work than we do about theirs’.
Naturally I tell them exactly how it is – I’ve been working at the track either playing in diggers, running practice or race days or working with riders doing some coaching. But when it becomes such weekly routine it’s easy to forget how fortunate I am to be in such a position until I speak with someone from outside of the sport. Say it out loud and their enthusiasm and intrigue reminds me of how good it actually is.
And then a few weeks ago I flew out to Ottobiano in Italy for DBR to the 2018 Yamaha YZ450F Launch and I had a similar reaction from the taxi driver who took me to the airport at 4am. Wearing some long shorts, one of my track hoodies, flat peak cap, pulling along my Ogio 9800 gear back and a Rockstar Energy Drink backpack I could see her intrigue as to what I was carrying and where I was going. The inevitable small talk started as soon as I sat my butt in the car. “Off on holiday?” she asked. “No, work, actually” is the basic truth of it as much is felt strange to say it. Naturally the conversation progressed into me telling her that I was going to Italy for a couple of days to test the new motorbikes that Yamaha are releasing before I come home and write about my experience for a magazine.
I booked the same bird for my early morning return flight too and when I was picked up I was in a hurry and tried to rush us home so I could jump out and drive myself to the track to host a race event. Even when I say it like that I think to myself ‘lucky bugger!’.
She seemed fascinated by it all and wouldn’t stop asking various questions but her enthusiasm to hear about it made me happily tell her which in turn reminded me of how lucky I really am to be walking the path I am at this current moment.
So it’s easy to forget how privileged I am to do what I do as the repetition of some of the work takes the shine off of the big picture. But the enthusiasm and interest from those few interactions with people outside of our bubble is a great reminder of how good the big picture really is and how very fortunate I feel to do it.