I dunno what’s wrong with me this week as I’m actually quite content with stuff at the moment and even reasonably happy which is in itself an oddity.
There’s not even anything in particular that’s grinding my gears which might be because I enjoyed a rare – and very long – weekend off with my family or maybe I’m just at peace with the off-road world at present…
Last week we found a winner for our £5,000 Mega Comp subscriptions giveaway type dealio. To do this I assigned each and every entrant with a number and then used a random number generator to pick a winner for us.
And when the dust had settled it turned out that the lucky reader in question was Manchester’s very own Nigel Travis who’ll be hooking his lad James up with an absolute shed-full of bits and bobs, kit and clothing, oil and tyres, wheels and the like.
Calling the winner for one of our comps usually goes one of two ways – they’re either mega pumped and excited like Nigel was or a little aloof and bored by the whole thing. When it’s the latter you’re kinda left feeling a bit deflated and ‘well, I wish someone else had won it’ but in this case definitely not as Nigel is a real enthusiast who has been around the sport more or less forever.
After chatting with him for 10 minutes or so it became very apparent that he has genuine passion for motocross and has put plenty into the sport over the years with the Tameside AMCA club.
Back in the early nineties when I first joined the AMCA myself the Tameside club were drafted into the group my Macclesfield and East Cheshire club were with the North Midland group becoming West Pennine. This opened up some exotic new race locations such as Nangreaves and Leigh which were much needed as it was around that time we lost old classics such as Rushton Spencer and Byley.
Looking back it’s funny how much the AMCA has changed since then with much of its charm lost to modern ways of doing stuff. From what I can gather though the Tameside crew are keeping it real and still host regular club nights and socialise at and away from the track.
I’m not saying they’re the only ones still doing it that way but they’re certainly in the minority. Much like their club system is changed, the AMCA’s flagship series has had a reboot over the past few years too and with the qualification system now totally different and conditions for rider eligibility much changed too.
And by doing that the AMCA champs is now one of the strongest around and although the top guys aren’t quite as fast as the Maxxis front runners the bulk are definitely capable of running in that 10th to 30th sort of bracket.
In fact, it’s definitely fair to say that the growth of the AMCA series has come at the detriment of the ACU’s British Championship as there are stacks of guys who used to fill the lower orders of the Maxxis who are now top-10 AMCA guys and much happier with their lot after a weekend at the races.
Some might say that they’re sandbaggers but the reality is that motocross is a tough old sport and it’s pretty much impossible to compete with professionals when you’re having to do the whole nine-to-five thing.
The AMCA series – and the Michelin MX Nationals Expert groups too to a degree – give riders like this a place to compete on a levelish playing field which is something that should be applauded really.
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