People Watching At Mallory

Well. I don’t know what the weather has been like where you were at the weekend, but where I’ve been it’s been as hot as a hot, hot day can be – at least it has been for the UK.

Hot weather frequently brings out partially clothed bodies, and judging from what I’ve seen, I’ve been to the British round of the World Chav Championship this weekend. In actual fact, I went to the British round of the World Motocross Championship for MX1 and MX2, but judging from what I’ve seen this weekend, it’s compulsory to be heavily tattooed and to have loads of piercings to be allowed to spectate at one of these meetings. And I don’t comply in either way!

I don’t know what was the more interesting, watching the racing or watching the tattooed persons walk by. On reflection I think it was watching the tattooes as the racing wasn’t up to much. And it doesn’t matter whether you are male or female, you just need to be covered in tattooes.

Am I being class conscious? You bet I am. Motocross has always attracted a certain type of person, and it still does. That type of person seems to have changed whilst I’ve been away from top line motocross, but then again, people themselves have changed over the years, which probably means that I’ve turned into a boring old f***.

What has all this to do with trials? Absolutely nothing, well perhaps it has. The motocross was staged at Mallory Park in Leicestershire and whilst I used to go there regularly as a kid with my dad to watch road racing, motocross is pretty new for the venue. Now whenever I go to a trial, no matter whether that trial is a local event, a far-flung event, or even a World Championship event across the seas, I can reckon to meet loads of people that I know, or at least have a passing acquaintance with.

But last Sunday at Mallory, I never saw a soul that I knew. Not quite true as I did acknowledge photographer Ray Archer and speak briefly with my former TMX colleague Alex Hodgkinson. But apart from those two, never saw a soul that I knew.

And that brings me to the long-awaited point I’m getting round to. There was a time when motocross and trials had a link between them. Trials riders would watch motocross and occasionally motocrossers would have a dabble in trials. But those days seem to have gone. As I said, I saw no trials connected people there whom I knew, and I can’t imagine for one moment that any of the spectators there would bother to visit a trial to spectate.

And as for the meeting itself, well, it wasn’t what I expected or would want to make me go again. First of all, I recognise that organiser Gareth Hockey has transformed a basically flat field into a motocross track and as a businessman, he’s had to make the job pay if he can. Sure there was everything the true MX fan could need both on and off the track, but the real problem for me was viewing. You just couldn’t see enough. And that was in total comparison to the last big MX that I went to, which regular readers of this column will recall was very nearly a year ago when I saw the French round of the World Sidecar-cross Championship. Now there was a track that provided good visibility.

Anyway, well done to Gareth for getting it all done and his pre-event blurb in the weeklies did at least persuade me and five pals to get out our road bikes and get down to Mallory Park. The ride out was good as well, in fact it was a fine day for biking.