Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Looking At The Sky - Maybe The Last Thing You'll See?

I was going to blog some race images here but...

It's taken me a whiles to look at my images from the entire weekend. To put things in perspective. As a motorcycle rider who was seriously injured, and almost died as a result of being hit on the road by a drunk driver when I was 16, I looked at the ambulances, the medical paraphernalia that was being deployed after not even a half of the first lap of Sunday mornings Red Bull Rookie Cup race and the first thought that came to mind was, you know, when you have a motorcycle accident you either don't know what happened (re: you're unconscious), your either look at the ground because that's the way you end up, or you look at the sky (again because that's the way you end up). Subsequently, you either watch feet run towards you, or you have lots of people fussing over you in this totally surreal "am I going to die" feeling akin to coming out of anesthetic where the nurse will gently tap your face and go "c'mon Andrew, wake up, wake up"...or you simply have no clue because.

In this image, the first ambulance on the left, a little 14 year old racer is being transferred to ultimately be taken taken on his last journey. Sadly, the 14 year old Bermudan was seriously injured and died of his injuries following an accident on the first lap of the Red Bull Rookies cup. When one knows what happens, the length of time it takes to do "things", watching the little guys leathers being cut off, and if this has happened to you, you know that things aren't going to turn out well. What struck me as this little boy, with huge dreams was being wheeled into the ambulance was the laughter and cheer cheer coming over the PA, obviously unbeknownst to the MC of the event. But for me, it just seemed so odd. It wasn't even sunny, it was grey, and less than two hours before I took a photo of this potential champ doing what he loved.

Sorry to be so gloomy, but as I wrote a whiles ago, I still maintain I wish I had this opportunity when I was a kid.

My thoughts, love and karma go to his parents. Also to Kevin Schwantz. Just spending 10 minutes in his prescence chatting with these kids could see they meant something special to him and the knowledge he imparted was priceless.

I leave for Atlanta early tomorrow morning 8/28. See you there. ..on a lighter note and to give you something a little happier to leave with, I spent a nice hour or so chatting with Eric on Rumblestrip Radio this morning about what I do...if you've got an Ipod and want a podcast and wonder what someone who comes from the West Country of England sounds like, click the link...!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It Didn't Rain - Mid Ohio And Being Broody

It didn't rain. I got plenty of sleep. I had a good weekend. Oh, and it didn't rain. What a relief. With the AMA Superbike Series already in a "what is going to happen next year" mode, the thought of one more acrimonious race (or lack thereof) weekend with riders at loggerheads with the series owners it was with positive thoughts that most of us involved hoped we'd have a dry weekend. Well, without harping on about it for too long, we did. With reasonably warm temperatures (Friday was rather hot but the weather cooled for Saturday and Sunday), I was reminded of the summers we have in England, slightly humid, with fluffy white clods across a lovely blue sky, and pleasant cool breezes to keep everything in check. It was wonderful. It's odd how significant moments in your life can be attached to places and events. For me, the visit to Mid Ohio Sports Car Course during the AMA Superbike weekend will always have the memory of my dear dog Jack dying whilst I was here. The kindness shown by many of the riders and fellow photographers who knew me at that point as I without reason would burst into tears. For me losing Jack was worse in some ways than losing my Dad. Some will understand that, some won't but in someways, whenever I come here my subconscious works on a different level. I feel broody. I think this then reflects in my imagery somehow, it's not that I think I'm here, let's take something dark and sombre, but it comes out after the fact. Okay, enough of that....! Back to the race weekend...Ben Bostrom, he with the fancy new Shoei that Greg White affectionally dubbed the Pergo helmet, won the Supersport race with style. Saturday was Official Red Flag Day at Mid Ohio, three red flags interupted the Superbike race, and then the Formula Extreme race was cut short, or red flagged, due to a nasty accident on the start finish straight involving Garrett Carter (he's okay btw). The flip side of this was that the schedule was getting later and later. However, the light does improve as the sun drops lower in the sky and we're all treated to those benefits.With that in mind, I have to finish getting prepared before I head off to Virginia International Raceway near Alton where I will be covering the next round of the AMA Superbike Championship. Until then, here is Red Bull Rookie, Benito Solis aboard his KTM125 during Saturday evenings Red Bull Rookie qualifying session.More from VIR to come next week.