A Day Of Dirtbikes

There are few occasions that I’ll get out of bed before 9am for.
And to get me out of bed before 6am? There are just two.
Holidays and Motocross.

Now this is the part where I’d love to tell you that it is I who rides Motocross and I’m this total bad-ass dirt-bike rider who can go quicker over whoops, and further over tabletops than Ricky Carmichael ever could.
But if I told you that I’d be lying.
Because my first ever attempt at riding a motorbike went a little like this.
But alas, it is not I that rides but my gorgeous boyface.

Our day begins with a 6am wake up call.
S rolls over to check his social media and ease into the day, whereas I quite literally have to roll myself out of the bed because I have separation issues with my duvet at that ungodly hour and if I didn’t I probably wouldn’t actually get up.

We zombie-walk out of bed and slip into a million layers before jumping into the van to attach the trailer. (Side note – if you do ever go to watch Motocross in England those million layers are key. My first time watching S was in the middle of summer so I wore a dress. BIG mistake. Don’t be fooled by that windless 20ºc you felt when you woke up, because by the time you arrive in the middle of nowhere and get to the track it will feel like 8ºc, it will be windy as hell and that dress you wore? It will make you look like a fool. A fool I tell you!)

It usually takes around 2 hours to get to the track, because whilst I live in a part of England with an abundance of fields that would be perfect for Motocross tracks, that part of England is also a place where people would rather keep horses, than horse-power, so we have to venture a bit further out. But the long journey isn’t all bad, because it means that my stomach has time to wake up before I scoff a McDonald’s bacon and egg bagel down my throat, because yano, I’m healthy like that.

We arrive at the track to a field full of vans and RV’s.
Bikes and quads line the grass, children race about on decked out pushbikes wearing their mini-Motocross boots and queues form at the burger van as people wait for their bacon-butty. I stand there being completely unhelpful whilst S and his dad unload the trailer, and it isn’t long before S is kitting up ready for practice.

Just incase you were wondering fashion is as important at Motocross as it is on (some) catwalks.
To the point that S loved his kit so much his dad did a custom spray job on his helmet.

With practice done it wasn’t long until the bikes were lining the gates ready to race.
You could feel the anticipation of families and children that had gathered to watch their loved ones race and I loved that this year more women had signed up to compete. (You see women race Motocross on TV, but it’s not often you run into them in day to day life).

With the gates down they were off and so was I.
Apparently being your boyfriend’s number one fan girl means you have to play personal photographer every now and then so when the bikes were off, so was I.

It made me realise that sports photography is incredibly hard and although I started to get the hang of it after a few hundred shots, it made me realise I really need to get a more diverse lens (currently shooting on the standard 18-35 that came with my 70d), so if you could leave some suggestions in the comments I’d be eternally grateful!

Motocross is an incredible sport to watch.
It’s high-paced, thrilling, competitive and you can’t help but get completely absorbed in it. Watching as riders dodge and weave past each other striking as their opponents slow, and picking your own version of an underdog who surprises everyone by shooting past their opposition. But obviously I only had eyes for S, being his number one fan girl and all.

But the thing I love most about motocross is how it makes it literally impossible to judge somebody. I once watched someone who moved quicker than a spring chicken on his bike, yet when he took his helmet and protective gear off it revealed a man with grey hair who wasn’t in his best shape. Once the kits are on there is literally no way to tell who is underneath (unless you know them, obvs) and I love how it strips away any subconsciously preconceptions.

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