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Battle Royal

Sideburn ambassador, John Harrison, had his best night of racing in the DTRA's Friday night before DirtQuake meeting. Here he is leading the hotshot and much younger, Gary Birtwistle, the DTRA Sideburn Vintage Class series leader. John then flag marshalled all weekend while other people raced. The man is a legend. This is what he has to say about his weekend.

Hey Gary,

Thank you thank you for another great weekend.

Thank you for filling a hole in my life that I didn't realise was there before I found Sideburn.

Thank you for DirtQuake.

Thank you for the part you play in the DTRA.

Thank you for inspiration.

Thank you for offering me shandies & beers.

Thank you for topping off a fantastic evening by awarding me Sideburn Vintage Rider of the night. My daughter (28 yrs today) nabbed the sweatshirt as soon as she saw it. Perfect! Birthday present sorted, it looks great on her, she's proud of her Old Man, it fits her not me &, as you you might have guessed I haven't worn sweatshirts since she was 5 anyway. I have briefed her on Dwayne and Rotax for when she gets asked.

DirtQuake must be different for everyone who experiences it, (& it will be interesting to see what it was for North One on Weds) but for me it was:

  • Your introduction in the programme. More priceless and perfect copy Gary, bravo.

  • Finding the photo of Me & Brink in the programme.

  • Toria riding the Hooligan Indian. Whadda Ballsy Gal.

  • Tara the jockey on her trials horse.

  • Team Brink. Adam & Marnie, the gold suits, their bikes.

  • Tim Aucott back in the saddle and riding as if nothing had happened. Heroic. Give the man a Sideburn medal of Hooligan Valour.

  • Everything that Skooter Farm Dave devised. The man is a genius. Of some kind.

  • An overly dizzy and completely out of control King Herrod taking out Dave & Wilky as soon as he dumped the clutch on your minibike.

  • The Trump Jump.

  • Hubert riding around Steve Berry sqirting water at him through his teeth whilst Berry was commentating.

  • Noticing a flock of seagulls eating the cake whilst we were watching the bands.

  • Helping Max Paternoster fix his bike.

  • Having a ringside seat for some staggering riding. Those Neave boys........

  • Skye riding with the pros.

  • The Mirage Men's set.

  • Spending a quiet 25 mins early on Saturday morning completely absorbed & on my own studying the XR & XG.

  • The full moon rising over it all.

  • Meeting the big German with the sublime Triumph that he podiumed in Best of British.

All this whilst still riding the wave of euphoria that was my Friday evenings races. 26 laps of chasing the elusive perfect corner in the all consuming heat of a race. Friday night racing under the lights. Ascot in the '70s / Kings Lynn 2017? What's happening? Is that me?

My family watching at home whilst I lead races?!? This is not real, surely.

Hell- I finished 2 races with Frank Chatokhine still in sight ferchrissakes.

I'm still riding my Friday night wave.

For all this and more I thank you.

I need to state the case again. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you and the permission you gave me to have a go.

Your humble servant,

John H

Photo: Ian Osborne/ DTRA

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