Kiwi Rider January 2022 Vol.1 - Page 64

on the outer edge of the greater population , but I think this community is more significant than we actually realise . It keeps the smile on the face of a great number of Kiwis , and riders around the world . Over the years of road racing , I have been privileged to have met some exceptional racers , real NZ heroes ; people like John Britten , Simon Crafar , Andrew Stroud , Tony Rees , and Graeme Crosby . Every one I have met has , in some way , given me inspiration to continue to learn and keep my passion . I think as riders ; we feed off each others ’ passion . It ’ s infectious being around these people . When Graeme Crosby had his dealership in Auckland , circa 1990 , he took great interest in supporting promising riders through the shop . I was fortunate enough to catch his eye , and this was really the catalyst to my ascending the ranks in road racing . Thanks , Croz . These many years of racing have developed and delivered me lifelong friends , friends that I regard nearly as extended family . I think bike people just like meeting other bike people !
WHAT NEXT ? Looking to the future , with an eye on the past , I ’ d have to say that a 1992 to 2000 Yamaha TZ250 GP bike would be the one I would be most happy to have again . I have owned three over the years . It is a proper GP race bike and there is nothing better for a racer to ride . Anyone that owns , or has owned , a 250 GP bike will understand this . These bikes are a pure pleasure to race and work on , as they are designed for just that , unlike most road bikes that are converted to racebikes ; every part of the GP bike is there to do a job , and do it to the best possible degree . GP bikes do maybe 600-2000km per year , and are built light , fast and straightforward to work on . While converted road bikes retain many unwanted parts and weight , and they are engineered to go for tens of thousands of kilometres . They may do a pretty good job of being a race bike , but are simply nowhere near as good as a pure GP bike . To me , riding and racing are what sits within someone ’ s DNA , and racing has given me the kind of focus that I could not find when trying out other sports or activities . I would say that every time I tried something other than racing , I would always think : “ How can I use this skill or experience to help my racing endeavours ”, or how do I apply it to racing ? So , I get a little lesson from riding any bike , in any condition , in order to build my skills . Luckily , I ’ m a pretty happy and contented soul , or whatever you want to call it . Every time I get home after a day out riding - on anything - I am at my happiest . I even get a kick out of a less than ideal day ’ s riding . Something will always happen that will challenge you somehow , be it a new riding skill , a new location to visit and see , or a new person or group of people you meet . Every single time you will be richer for it .