Living with a motorcycle racer

No words can explain what it feels like to watch the person you love hurtling at breakneck speeds around a circuit, island, village road or park. Unless you experience it you can’t know what it’s like to have a part of you wanting him to slow down and come and have a cup of tea while the other part would happily jam the throttle open if you thought it would gain him a few extra seconds. I’m hoping that I can give you all a bit of insight into what being a racing WAG is like (for me at least). Motorcycle racing gives you a life of no money, no glamour, certainly no holidays (unless you count a million visits to the Isle of Man) high stress, excitement and disappointment but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

My New Skills
Supporting Rhys with racing has massively changed my life. I have become a PA, secretary, PR and marketing assistant, admin assistant, paddock bitch, catering assistant, masseuse, physio, the list goes on! I know what people mean when they talk about barrels, small-ends, big-ends, pistons, jets, and regularly spend hours talking about bikes, races and sponsorship. I genuinely couldn’t see Rhys spending that amount of time discussing speech and language therapy, hair and clothes or any of my interests!

The role I think I love most is being in the paddock. Although I need to get one thing straight – being a paddock bitch is the most unglamorous job ever! At the Manx Grand Prix last year, I could often be seen lugging around a tower of kit made up of paddock stands, wheels, generators and fuel, in an oversized bright red boiler suit; looking like a deformed tellytubby! All of this while surrounded by super glamorous promo girls. I genuinely don’t care though (until people take photos and plaster them all over Facebook) such is the obsession that racing becomes.

 

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Nerves, Disappointment and Excitemen for NorthWest200- and that’s just the entries!

When we were making the decision about which races to run this year, the NorthWest 200 was top of the list (besides the obvious Manx GP and Classic TT!). With it’s high speeds, grid starts (& the opportunity to ride around roundabouts backwards!) the NorthWest is a must-do for all road racers.

Going to the NorthWest is particularly important for me, as this will be the first road race circuit that I’ve raced at, that my father didn’t. My father, along with Joey and Robert Dunlop, inspired my passion for road racing before I could walk! While I am proud to be able to follow in my dad’s footsteps, the NorthWest will give me the opportunity to make footsteps of my own.

I was incredibly excited that NW200 was on my 2015 plan. But soon came crashing down to earth when I realised that my Supertwin wasn’t eligible as it is a hybrid. I am already on the limit (ok, I’m completely over the limit) of my funds and knew I couldn’t afford to upgrade. My boss at Reps motorcycles had generously bought me a loaned R6 ride and we discovered that it too may not be eligible due to it’s age. Gutted is the only word to describe how I felt. However , this was short lived as, the lovely Gillian at NW200 informed us that actually the R6 is eligible. Sooo, NW200, here I come! Entries will be sent next week, sharing a van with Billy Redmayne Racing, so between the four of us the LDV might
stay warm despite the leaks! That leaves us with 13 weeks to try and leak proof the van, prep the bike, watch a million on-boards, alongside a visit to Tandragee, Oliver’s mount and Brands Hatch, no pressure!